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22 Parenting Goals To Raise Great Kids

Do you want your kids to behave?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Me to. We all want our kids to behave.

Do you know this isn’t a goal however?  In fact, having “kids that behave” as a goal will only lead to great frustration that will lead to anger.

Anger is the result of a blocked goal.  Goals that rely on others are desires.

We have lots to desire for our kids, we desire for them to behave, choose good friends, want a relationship with Jesus, and so on.  But, since we can’t make our kids choose these things…they are desires not goals.

So, we have to set goals that help us achieve our desires.

With mindset shift, you will see a significant decrease in your anger, because your goals will be properly placed.  Below our suggested starting points for goals you can use or alter for your goals.

These goals all: 

  • rely only on you to achieve them,
  • rely on the truth that more is caught than is taught, and
  • will help you parent your kids into positive decision making machines….one day.


Desire: Kids have great marriages:


  • Treat your spouse every day with love and respect.
  • Tell your spouse daily you love them and one reason why…in front of the kids.
  • Talk positively about your spouse in front of your kids when your spouse isn’t around.
  • Be intentional about your marriage…more than you were about the wedding.

Desire: Kids have a good work ethic:


  • Talk about the benefits of work.  Such as having a sense of purpose, money to live on, give, save and have fun with.
  • Don’t gossip about your boss or others at work.
  • If you don’t like your job, change it.  Live your dream responsibly   Your kids will do the same one day.

Desire: Have good friends:


  • Hang out once a week with good family friends.
  • Don’t gossip about your friends.
  • Talk about the impact your friends are having on your life.

Desire: Have a relationship with Jesus Christ.


  • Go to a Bible-teaching healthy church.
  • Don’t complain about the pastor or people at church.
  • Don’t just do church on Sunday…live a love relationship with Jesus Christ every day.
  • Read the Bible and pray as a family.
  • Don’t punish your kids with church, youth group, reading the Bible, etc.
  • Don’t tell your kids that “going to youth will help/fix you”.  Jesus does that, not youth group.

Desire: Raise generous kids.


  • Do mission work with your kids.
  • Tithe. And pray about your tithe with your children.
  • Let your kids choose what they want to give a portion of their money to.  It doesn’t have to be Sunday School…in fact, it probably shouldn’t be.

Desire: Kids that choose clean entertainment.


  • Don’t watch a TV show or movie you wouldn’t let your kids watch.  This just shows your kids that one day they can stop worrying about protecting their minds and hearts from being corrupted by unhealthy things.

Desire: Kids that have character and tell the truth.


  • Never ask your kids to tell little white lies for you. For example, when the phone rings don’t say….”If it’s for me, I’m not home.”
  • Don’t lie.
  • Check out the Character Growth Chart, it’s designed to help develop character in our kids that measures up.


  • In your Bible, in a journal, in Evernote, anywhere really….start a list of desires that you have for your kids future.  Then, you can start figuring out goals to set to give these desires the best chance they can have.
  • Don’t have time right now to do this.  Email me when you’d like to be reminded to work on it.  I’ll email you a reminder and follow up with you to see how it’s going.




Punishment That Makes Since

As a parent, it’s my responsibility to punish my kids. If I don’t do it now, somebody else will when they are older.ID-10025692

We punish small things with small punishments before someone else has to punish big things with big punishments. Tweet That

But, how you punish your children needs to be one of the topics you and your spouse spend significant time talking about. I know couples who have talked longer about the decision to get a pet then they have talked about how they will parent and punish their kids.

Don’t get caught up looking for the right and perfect way to punish your kids. There is no such thing. As long as you are doing it out of love and not doing harm, you are okay. If you prefer to spank over giving timeouts. Good for you. If you prefer to never spank your kids…that’s good too.

What About Creative “Punishment”

I hope you give some serious thought to creative punishment.

I love creative punishment. My favorite book on the subject is Parenting With Love and Logic. It’s full of creative ideas to parent your child’s bad decisions.

Just make sure you consider your ideas carefully.

Here are some things I suggest. Now, I’m using strong wording like….”Don’t do this”….if you disagree with me. GREAT. Your allowed…maybe you should. But don’t go away mad, instead comment below. Let’s talk. Together, we’ll learn and grow and become better parents.

These are suggestions.


Give Careful Thought To Creative Punishment


  • Don’t make kids apologize as a punishment. You want them to learn to say they are sorry because it’s the right thing to do. Give a punishment, then parent them into making an apology.
  • Don’t make your kids give money to anything as a punishment. You want them to give out of charity, not because they are forced to. When they are older, they will be less likely to give on their own.
  • Don’t threaten a punishment if you aren’t going to actually follow through. You want your kids to trust you in everything you say. If you say, “Stop or I’m taking that toy back to the store.” If they don’t stop and you don’t take that toy back to the store. You lied. You just showed them that telling a lie is okay. If you repeat these empty threats to your kids, when they get older if you say, “Don’t do that or someone might get really hurt.” Why would they believe you?
  • Just like every kid has a different Love Language, they have a different discipline language. What works for one kid, may not work for the other.
  • Don’t use the Bible, going to church or homework as a punishment either. This make all of these things negative.
  • Never hold back love from your kid. The moment I spank my daughter, if…and only if….she asks me to hold her, I do. I want her to know I love her, I didn’t love her behavior. If she doesn’t ask, I don’t offer. That would be selfish on my part.


  • Talk with your spouse and make sure you are on the same plan when it comes to punishing your kids.
  • Check out the book, Parenting With Love and Logic




Question: What’s one of the parenting lessons you’ve learned that you think is important for all parents to know?  What’s your favorite creative punishment?

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Things You Should Steal For Your Wife

Go ahead, steal ideas for your wife.

Image courtesy of chanpipat at

Recently I was asked a very interesting question on Facebook. For our wedding anniversary I changed my profile picture on Facebook and Twitter to this…

I Love My Wife

Feel free to download and use.


I encouraged other husbands to do the same thing. Later that day (or maybe the next) a husband posted this question. “I like the idea, but does it still mean the same if you have to be told to do it?”

Guys, we have to stop thinking like this. After all. What’s more important, your wife’s comfort and happiness or your ego? Besides, we are smart enough to tweak any idea to make it a bit different…which is all it takes to make it special.

I heard a wife being interviewed on the radio say that husbands need to tell their wives that they would choose them again. And, that we need to communicate this to our wives regularly. So I thought, “what the heck.” I grabbed my phone and texted my wife…”Hey, thinking of you and wanted to say I’d choose you again. I love you.

She replied, “Thanks. What did you do?”

Just kidding, she replied, “Thanks, I love you to.” And no….it didn’t bother me at all that she should have used “too” instead of “to”. That night when I got home from work, Marissa greeted me with a smile and again said, “Thanks for my text message today.”

It really meant a lot to her. I told her that I hadn’t thought of it but heard someone suggest it. She only wanted to know that I meant it.

After all:

  • You’re not the first guy to ask his girlfriend to marry him…and she loved that
  • You’re not the first guy to repeat wedding vows, but she loved hearing you say them
  • You’re not the first man to say “I Love You” yet your wife still loves hearing you say that
  • You’re not the first guy to send flowers
  • You’re not the first to get a card or candy for valentines day

…yet she appreciates all of them.So why copy what is already done so often it’s common place. Why not steal (or borrow if that makes you feel better) the unique ideas as well?


Husbands, Steal For Your Wife


  • Change a profile picture (click here to download the one I created for my wife)
  • Text your wife at 2:18 and tell her you are glad she’s in your life. (Genesis 2:18 …it’s not good for man to be alone…)
  • With your wife, pick a random day on the calendar that isn’t anything already. Just a normal day. Make it “Our Day”. Then, every year plan something special for “Our Day”.


  • Husbands, ask your wife on a date. On the date, talk about what she’d like for you to do for her that would show her your love in action.
  • Start a married men’s Bible study group. Ask a couple guys to meet once a week. Use a Serendipity Bible to guide an hour or so Bible study. For example, meet every Tuesday at 7:30 at Bob Evans.
  • Have you heard an idea but are having trouble thinking of a way to modify it? Email me directly, I’ll help come up with some creative ideas to modify it or give you a unique ideas that I’ll totally make up.



Question: Wives, would you prefer your husband steal (and tweak a bit) an idea or do nothing at all? Husbands, what is the best thing you have done for your wife that another husband could steal?

How To Make More Time For Family; Fight The Parenting Drift

Have you ever been frustrated that you spend to much quality time with your kids? I’m guessing the answer is no.

Distracted Parent With Family

Image courtesy of Ambro at

Have you ever promised yourself, “I’m going to spend more quality time with my kids/family.” I’m guessing the answer is yes.

Have you ever promised that you were done checking your phone during family time? That you were done agreeing to commitments that take you away from your family? I’m guessing probably so.

Here’s my last question. Have you ever promised these things more than once?

I like to maximize time. So, a good practice is to ask how one piece of advice or wisdom applies to other areas of life. If you learn a nifty leadership lesson or axiom, spend some time thinking how that applies to your parenting or marriage. And, take marriage and parenting advice to work when it applies.

So, when I heard Andy Stanley say, “All organization drift towards complexity over time.” I first realized the truth in this in the organization I lead.  I started making changes to simplify our structure, processes and procedures.

Then, one day I was thinking about this leadership truth for business and realized the same is true for parenting.

All parents drift towards complexity over time.


Fight The Parenting Drift


  • Have an iDrawer. Find someplace to stash the smartphone and tablet when it’s family time.
  • Schedule family time. Seriously, add time onto your calendar labeled Family Time. I know, it sounds bad to schedule your family. But let me ask this….how is not scheduling them been working?
  • Limit the extra circular activities your kids participate in.
  • Use an iSabbath iFamily folder on your smartphone.
  • Learn to tell your boss no. If you can’t take on an additional project because it will require more time away from your family, respectfully say no. If your boss get’s mad…that’s their problem. If you get fired, call me, I’ll hire you. A real leader wants people on their team with character. Putting your family first shows character. (okay, so it’s irresponsible to get fired. Instead find another job right away and leave where you are now. It’s more irresponsible to stay. And, I can’t really hire you anyhow, that was a just to make a point.)
  • Learn to tell others no. I was recently honored with a pretty huge request from our church. I really really really wanted to say yes. But, I couldn’t fit it into my calendar without taking away time from family. So, I had to say no. And guess what? They found someone else. And my kids don’t think I’m a stranger. I simply said, “I am so honored to have been asked. And I hope you’ll consider asking me again in the future. But, at this time, I have to say no. I can’t give it the time it requires to be done correctly.”
  • Become a morning person. I get up at 5am now and crank out a ton of work before the kids get up anywhere between 7:30 and 8. Now I have free time in the evening to play.


  • Schedule time on your calendar for you and your spouse to create an ideal daily calendar complete with meals, play time, work time, prayer time, etc.
  • Look at your current commitments, what can you get out of. (Listen to Michael Hyatt’s Podcast; So Your Over Committed, Now What?)




  • I’d love to hear your reply in the comments to: What do you do to keep family time protected?  Is this an issue for you?  What could help you be better at protecting this time?

Why My Wife Put My Bed In The Backyard

Maybe you are like me and hate surprises.The Anniversary Surprise My Wife Did For Me

Maybe you are like my wife and love them.

To those of you who love surprises, you’re weird. But that’s just my opinion and we can still be friends.

To the rest of you who are like me and hate surprises. You rock.

Unfortunately however, I married a woman who likes to plan surprises. And, my wife’s happiness is more important to me than my comfort. So, for our anniversary…I gave her the gift of planning a surprise for us.

Marriage is not 50/50. It’s 100/100. When Reverend Gary Jones announced Marissa and I as “…now one…” he didn’t add “…you are now one, as long as it’s an area Eric is comfortable with…”. He said we are one.

Husbands, we are to give 100% to our wives. We are to fully submit ourselves. Their dreams become our dreams. But, our dreams become their dreams. It’s actually pretty cool.

So, with Marissa’s happiness being more important than my comfort. I submitted my aversion to surprises to her desire to plan something special for our anniversary. And, I’m so glad I did.  She was so happy.

Now, since we are totally submissive to each other…when she asked to plan a surprise; if I would have said no, she would have honored that. But, I love my wife. So, I said yes.


Your Spouse’s Happiness Is More Important Than Your Comfort


  • Know your true motives. Ask yourself before you say no to a request from your spouse; “In the big picture, does this really matter? Am I just being selfish?”
  • Show Trust. Put yourself outside of your comfort zone every so often to show your spouse you trust them. Marissa know’s my biggest objection to surprises is being surprised in front of people. So, she planned a surprise that was just the two of us.
  • Don’t be dramatic. Once you say yes to something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t keep bringing up your discomfort. Keep your mouth shut and pray that God will take that discomfort.
  • Agree on limits. It’s okay to have limits. For example, we’ve decided to alternate years in regards to planning our anniversary. So, I only have to be surprised every other year. That’s not to bad. I can always make arrangements to be on a business trip every other year…


  • If your spouse has been asking you to do something out of your comfort zone, tell them right now that you have decided to say yes. Tell them, “Yes, I’ll go to your parents for Christmas.” “Yes, we can have a Superbowl Party.” “Yes, I would love to go shopping all day Saturday,”
  • Pray about your spouse’s happiness and ask God what you can do to increase their happiness.


  • First, Marissa asked me if it was okay to surprise me.
  • Then, she asked me not to come home for lunch like I normally do.  She said, “the anticipation for our date will be fun….”
  • Driving up the drive I see our tent set up in the back yard and laughed the entire way into the house.  My beautiful wife had set-up a romantic dinner of fondu for just the two of us.  She had already taken the kids to the babysitters.  I was totally and completely surprised.  Unfortunitly, the bar has been raised…I’m already planning Wedding Anniversary 5.0.

Here are some more pictures of the hard work my wife put into our special evening.  Isn’t she amazing?

My wife and our tent

The Meal Spread For Our Backyard Romantic Picnic


Me and My Wife




  • In the comments, please let me know…. What’s the last surprise you planned for someone?  What something you need to finally say yes to? 

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