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Coach Mom Newsletter - APR 2011

Discovering the Heart of Your Child or How is Your Child Hard-Wired

When my first child was a baby, I thought my job was to mold him into who he would be. Then came the second one.  I treated him the same, but he was completely opposite from his brother. Then the third, yet another personality. By the time the fourth and fifth came along, I realized that at least 85 percent of who they were and would be was already in their genes. 

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” The verse literally means to train up each child in the way he uniquely should go. Part of knowing the way each should go (and knowing the path of least resistance in getting there) involves taking the time to get to know each one.

By learning what they love (and what they don’t), we can train our children in ways that help them reach their fullest potential. One of the parenting resources I have recently used that has helped with this path of discovering the true heart of my child is the interactive Kids Flag Page, by Dr. Tim Kimmel and Mark Gungor.

Recently my ten-year-old Micah and I sat down to experience Kids Flag Page. We saw that Flag Page puts each person in two of four categories (labeled as “countries” that make up a world): Peace country, fun country, perfect country, and control country. After answering a series of questions on the 36 trait cards, it revealed that Micah is from perfect/peace country. That tells me that Micah is one of the world’s best workers…because he gets it done right and he gets along with others while doing it.

Everything outlined about the perfect/peace country person lined up with the way Micah lives. At two years of age he began making his bed every morning without being told. Many times I’ve awakened to the sound of Micah doing his daily chore, unloading dishes from the dishwasher, before sunrise. This afternoon when I couldn’t find him to call him in for dinner, he was in the backyard weeding the vegetable garden! (No, none of my other children made their bed daily at age two, have awakened me by coming in to gather trash or laundry, nor have they ever even thought about weeding without being told…or even promised payment of some kind!)

I learned that the perfect/peace child needs respect for his commitment to harmony and recognition for the thorough and careful way he lives his life. I also enjoyed the practical tips, such as:

  • Give him as much advance notice regarding schedules and daily agendas, and alert him about changes as soon as I can.

  • Verbally recognize the stability he brings to relationships and the exceptional way he carries out responsibilities – be specific.

  • Be deliberate about helping them process failure – both their own and the failure of others.

This exercise was especially helpful to me since I live in fun/control country (which is about having fun while getting lots of things done), making Micah and I polar opposites!

This colorful and engaging activity helps kids see who they are at their very best. The Kids Flag Page gives parents direction on how to bring out the best in each of their children.  It empowers us to not only love our children, but to turn that love into a potent influence for good in every dimension of their lives. It gives specific do’s and don’ts of how to motivate, encourage, discipline and help each child succeed in life.

Included in the kit is the book Discover Your Child’s Heart with the Kids Flag Page: What to Do with Each Child and Why. Part 1 explains the philosophy behind it. Part 2 allows you to look specifically into your child’s qualities. Part 3 outlines Kimmel’s exciting and refreshing strategy for raising great kids known as grace-based parenting. It not only sets you free to bring the best out of each of your children, but also takes some of the stress and unknowns out of your responsibility as a parent. Study questions in the back make the Kids Flag Page a great tool to not only use on your kids, but to study together with your friends.

Maybe you should try it yourself? Discovering the God-given design of your child’s heart, receiving practical trips on how to adapt your parenting, and then learning how to raise that child in the context of a grace-based family will have a powerful and positive impact on everyone living under your roof.

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The Kids Flag Page Kit

The kit includes:

  • Activity Board
  • Instruction Booklet
  • 36 Trait Cards
  • 4 Countries of the World Chart
  • Kids Flag Page Book by Dr. Tim Kimmel
  • Supplies for 3 Kids Flag Pages
    • Score Cards
    • Stickers

Details at http://shop.familymatters.net/product/71/Kids-Flag-Page.

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Kids Flag Page Give-Away!

Win your own Kids Flag Page today! Forward this newsletter on to three friends, then email brenna@brennastull.com with the word “Kids Flag Page” in the subject line and you will be entered to win a Kids Flag Page on April 8.

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Ask Coach Mom

Dear Brenna,

My husband and I are trying to give our children (ages 8 and 10) every chance to succeed in the future. I drive them a half hour to the best private school in our area, and take them to tutoring three evenings a week to make sure they are on track to make high SAT scores in high school.  Our schedule seems so packed, and my son seems irritable most school days. Even my daughter, who has always been a people pleaser, often lets out sighs and rolls her eyes when I try to discuss her academic progress and goals. Are we on the right track?


Dear Lori,

Our culture has gotten lopsided in placing such importance on academics. In Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (New York: Bantam, 2006), he showed that a person’s ability to control their emotions plays a greater role in their success than IQ or skill set ever could. That’s because people’s ability to cope, to process stress, and to get along with others has little to do with their SAT score.

I encourage you to lighten up on the tutoring and focus your efforts on getting to know what your children love. When you discover what makes your child tick and how best to support them and work with them, both of you will gain important benefits. You will enjoy a better parent/child relationship as you strategically soothe frustrations, your stress level will reduce, and you will parent with more confidence. Your child will be receiving guidance in a way that increases their emotional intelligence, which will contribute toward social success in the future.

A great place to get to know your children better? At the dinner table. Catherine Snow, professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, studied 65 families over an eight-year period. She found that dinnertime was of more value to child development than playtime, school, and story time.

Make family dinner a priority and I think you will find that stress levels will decrease, your sense of confidence as a parent will increase, and you and your husband will get on the same page with your children. That has the potential to yield results beyond what years of tutoring could ever do.


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