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Protecting the Child, Preserving the Family, and Honoring Life

10 Potty Training Tips

potty-trainingPotty training is another milestone in your child’s life. It is important to make sure your child is ready for potty training.

Through this long process it is key that you as a parent remain patient.

10 Tips for potty training tips from Mayo Clinic, Baby Center, and Pull Ups:

1. Educate your toddler-Before you start potty training your toddler it is important to educate them. Show your child by using the bathroom yourself. Then do a potty dance.

2. Buy a potty seat that fits on the toilet, or a potty chair. There are also portable toilets for toddlers to use when you are out and about.

3. Use pull ups and mattress covers for night time.

4. Let your child pick out underwear & ditch the diapers. Scontinuing to use diapers may only confuse your child at this point. Even pull-ups are a better option because they are different from the diapers which signifies to the child that they must use them differently (i.e., not relieve themselves in them).

5. Use positive reinforcement. Use potty training charts which could be a sticker charts. Once the child gets so many stickers they get a special prize. Praise them when they use the potty. Some parents let their child have an extra book with them at bedtime. You can use these ideas or come up with your own positive reinforcement.

6. Don’t get upset with accidents. Instead say to your child, “It’s ok, accidents happen” and clean up the mess. Remind your child to use the bathroom in the morning, before going to bed, and before getting in the car.

7. Be prepared. Always have an extra outfit, and underwear when going out.

8. Try Target Practice for Boys. Put a cheerio in the toilet and have them aim at the cheerio. Make it into a game. When your child has learned to aim, take away the cheerio.

9. Get a stool for the child if they are using the big toilet.

10. Help your child’s fear. If your child is afraid of the big toilet, get a small size toilet. Potty training can be scary for a child. The toilet is big and makes loud noises. Consider the child’s point of view. Baby Center suggests a way  to get him or her more comfortable with the toilet is to empty a soiled diaper into the toilet, and let them flush their poop. Then explain that is what happens when they use the toilet.

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Learning to Manage the Family Money


In a sense, today’s culture is all about spending money. We all have to have the newest phone, the designer clothes, and the fastest car. Many people spend more money than they have and the families and marriages suffer because of it. Money issues are the third leading cause of all divorces according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis 1 and research shows that parents can pass bad money habits to their kids.2

The following are good principles and practical ideas to help parents manage the family’s money.

  1. Learn to manage money before it manages you3
    • Learn self-discipline and self-restraint. “Do not confuse wants with needs… If we are not careful, it is easy for our wants to become needs. Remember the line ‘There, there, little luxury, don’t you cry. You’ll be a necessity by and by.’”4
    • Financial peace of mind is not determined by how much we make, but is dependent upon how much we spend.3
    • Heber J. Grant has said: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means, and if there is any one thing that is grinding, and discouraging and disheartening it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet.”4
  1. Use a budget3 (This link is to a budget worksheet)
    • Every family must have a predetermined understanding of how much money will be available each month and the amount to be spent in each category of the family budget.
    • A budget helps you plan and evaluate your expenditures.
    • Budget for a specified period (such as weekly, biweekly, monthly), according to your pay schedule.
    • Balance income with expenditures, and spend less than you earn.
  1. Pay off your debts (This link is to a debt elimination calendar)
    • Once you pay off one debt, use that money to pay off another.
    • Work toward home ownership3
    • Home ownership qualifies as an investment, not consumption. Buy the type of home your income will support.3
  1. Build an emergency fund
    • Start with $1,000 and work towards having enough savings to cover 3-6 months’ worth of expenses.3
    • It is most important to have sufficient medical, automobile, and homeowner’s insurance and an adequate life insurance program.3
  1. Teach your children
    • Fred Gosman has said, “Children who always get what they want will want as long as they live.”4
    • Teach children while they are young the importance of working and earning.
    • Help your children save for their futures (college).
    • Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend.1
      • Based upon appropriate teaching and individual experience, children should be responsible for the financial decisions affecting their own money and suffer the consequences of unwise spending.3
  1. Save for continuing education
    • This is money well invested. Based on potential lifetime earnings, the hours spent in furthering your education will be very valuable indeed.3
    • College tuitions and housings expenses continue to rise. Don’t let college sneak up on you. Saving now will put you ahead of the game when your kids graduate from high school.5
    • Teach your children to save for college.
  1. Be generous in giving and sharing with others
    • C.S. Lewis said: “I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. … If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, … they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
    • Simply put,

Build wealth, become insanely generous, and leave an inheritance for future generations.5


For more information see:
5 http://www.daveramsey/.com/baby-steps/
Budget worksheet:
Debt elimination calendar:
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Drafting a Family Mission Statement


A mission statement is a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual. Therefore, a family mission statement is a summary of the goals and values of a family. It encapsulates the rights, roles and responsibilities of each family member in addition to the family as a whole. Important features of a family mission statement include

  • brevity: the statement should be precise and concise, getting the basic points across without using too many words
  • values: principles, ethics & standards of parent & child behavior; the important things in life
  • goal: purpose, objective, aim or desired result

“A family mission statement sums up what we believe and how we choose to live, giving clarity to children and parents alike.” – Wendy Speake

When life gets crazy, a family mission statement can act as an anchor that reminds a family where their focus should be. According to the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, a feeling of “connectedness”  with parents was the primary factor that helped protect teens from becoming involved in any high-risk behavior (including drug and alcohol use and sexual activity). A family mission statement can help foster a feeling of connectedness between members, decreasing the liklihood of behavioral problems from kids and marital problems between parents.

Our children and adolescents are listening, especially if we practice what we preach. Drafting a family mission statement can give parents an opportunity to explain and explore values with their children and the best way to do so is for all members to collaborate, from the youngest to the oldest.

Creating a family mission statement is easier said than done and it’s likely the process will take a significant amount of time. If necessary, dedicate a a couple weeks or even a month to having family discussions, jotting down notes, making a draft and finalizing the statement.

The following steps may assist you in drafting your own family mission statement.

  • Have a special family meeting with in depth discussion
    • Questions to ask include
      • What do we value most?
      • What do we need to be doing in order to be our
      • best selves?
      • What do we stand for?
      • What do we want our family to do?
  • Make a list of values and ideas that are important to your family
    • each member should participate in this process
    • examples include
  • Condense list into roughly 10 or fewer ideas that are most significant
  • Write out your statement, proofread & make final edits
  • Finalize and hang family mission statement in a prominent place in the house
  • Refer to statement daily & redraft if/when appropriate (rarely and with reservation)

Each step could take place on a different day during a different family meeting, or the whole process can take place in one day. It’s up to you; but remember, take as much time as you need because (hopefully) your family will look to the statement for years to come.

For more information:
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