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Parenting Illustrations

  • 1900 Fatherhood compared to today.In 1900, fathers prayed their children would learn English.
    Today, fathers pray their children will speak English.

    In 1900, if a father put a roof over his family's head, he was a success.
    Today, it takes a roof, deck, pool, and 4-car garage. And that's just the vacation home.

    In 1900, a father waited for the doctor to tell him when the baby arrived.
    Today, a father must wear a smock, know how to breathe, and make sure there is space on the video camera.

  • A real home illustrationA REAL HOME is a playground. Beware of the house where no rough-housing is allowed and no cries of glee are heard.

    A REAL HOME is a workshop. Pity the child who is unfamiliar with wrenches and hammers, knitting needles, thread, screwdrivers, and saws.

  • penWhen I was younger, I remember receiving the inevitable homework assignment to write an essay on "something I am thankful for." Then I'd spend a lot of time sitting in my room trying to figure out just what in the world that could possibly be; and I'd end up writing down everything I could think of from God to environmental consciousness. But after having children, my priorities have clearly changed:

  • bus interiorA young mother was riding the bus with her four year old boy when he suddenly blurted out so that everyone in the bus could hear, "Look mom, see that man's nose, it looks soooo funny!"

    The mother was quite embarrassed and scolded her son. Then she whispered to him that if there was something he wanted to say about someone then he had to wait until they got home or at least where nobody could hear them, so that nobody would be sad.

  • crayonsLittle Johnny had been bringing his drawings home from kindergarten every day since he started a month ago. Each day his mother admired the pictures and hung them on the refrigerator. One thing started bothering her. Little Johnny only used black and browns for his drawings. Fearing a problem and not wanting it to get worse, she decided to take him to a child psychologist.

  • grandma grandkidsLaura and Freddy are cousins, and their grandma is babysitting them for the day.

    Although Freddy's mom is the renowned chef in the family, Laura's mom prepared lunch earlier, including potatoes in the oven. But one fell and got badly burnt. Grandma jumped on the occasion to show the kids how to draw with it on a piece of paper.

    Sad, Freddy observed:

    "My mom would NEVER burn potatoes for me!"

  • drivewayThe teenager lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a fruitless search, he told his mother the lens was nowhere to be found.

    Undaunted, she went outside and in a few minutes returned with the lens in her hand.

    "How did you manage to find it, Mom?" the teenager asked.

    "We weren't looking for the same thing," she replied. "You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $500."

  • christmas fruit cakeTHE SEASON OF FAMILY FRUITCAKES

    By Saralee Perel

    This season, certain relatives we haven't seen since last Christmas (because we kept making excuses) gather together. During festive meals, we sharply elbow loved ones sitting next to us. This is to discourage them from snapping back at innuendos that loved ones sitting further away are spewing.

    Sibling rivalry is a brief adolescent phase that ends at age 92. It stems from the fact that most kids have distinctively different ideas as to what their parents are really like. And we each know our perspective is the RIGHT one.

  • boy happyMy dad gave me one dollar bill
    'Cause I'm his smartest son,
    And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
    'Cause two is more than one!

    And then I took the quarters
    And traded them to Lou
    For three dimes--I guess he didn't know
    That three is more than two!

  • man angryOn the Upper West Side lived a man who was a very militant atheist but he sent his son to Trinity School because, despite its Christian roots, it was a great school. After a month, the boy comes home and says casually, "By the way Dad, do you know what Trinity means? It means the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

    The father can barely control his rage. He seizes his son by the shoulders and declares,

    "Danny, I'm going to tell you something now and I want you never to forget it. There is only one God and we don't believe in Him!"

  • computer2I've got 3 TVs, cable and a satellite dish. I have 3 phone lines in the house, a cell phone and one in the car.

    I use 2 computers, 3 ISPs and a fax. I subscribe to two daily papers and one weekly one. I watch both the local and the network news every evening.

    And my kids have the nerve to tell me I'm out of touch.

  • child4A six-year-old comes crying to his mother because his little sister pulled his hair.

    "Don't be angry," the mother says, "your little sister doesn't realize that pulling hair hurts."

    A short while later, there's more crying, and the mother goes to investigate.

    This time the sister is bawling and her brother says,

    "She knows now."

  • child happyWith her brown eyes and curly hair, our youngest daughter takes after my husband. At three, she was a lively, mischievous girl, and people often remarked on how cute she was. One day I was standing with her in the supermarket when a woman commented on how cute she was.

    My smile disappeared when she asked, "Is she really yours?"

  • child bed"Peter!" his mother scolded, "There were two cookies in the pantry this morning but now there's only one! Do you have an explanation?"

    Peter replied, "It must have been too dark and I didn't see the other one."

  • child and boys clubI was taking my six-year-old son to sign him up at the Chicago Boys Club, an event he had been long waiting for.

    As I parked in front of the building he stated; "This isn’t the boys club."

    I looked through the windshield and looked at the Boys Club sign. I asked him, "If this isn’t the boys club, then where is it?"

  • sermon writing

    A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.

    "How do you know what to say?" he asked.

    "Why, God tells me."

    "Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"

     

  • child and dadA little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit."

    "And why not, darling?"

    "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

  • old manWhen my son was around 4 years old, we went to the local drug store one afternoon. While in the check out he noticed a bald-headed man behind us in line. I had, as good moms do, been teaching him manners, especially how important they are when in public. I noticed the man the same time my son did and just prayed that he would remember what I had taught him.

    Within seconds, at an unusually quiet moment in the store, my son proclaimed, "Look mama, that man ain't got no hair!" The man was understanding, and even smiled at my son.

    Next, without warning, my son shouted, "And look, he ain't got no teeth either!!"

  • studentMy son came home from school one day,
    with a smirk upon his face.
    He'd decided he was smart enough,
    to put me in my place.

    "Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
    that's taught by Mr. Wright?
    It's all about the laws today,
    The 'Children's Bill of Rights.'

  • family 1950sA few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Ohio town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

    As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger...he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries, and comedies.

  • outhouseOnce there was a little boy who lived in the country.

    For facilities, they had to use an outhouse, and the little boy hated it because it was hot in the summer, cold in the winter and stank all the time. The outhouse was sitting on the bank of a creek and the boy determined that one day he would push that outhouse into the water.

    One day after a spring rain, the creek was swollen so the little boy decided today was the day to push the outhouse into the creek.  So he got a large stick and pushed. Finally, the outhouse toppled into the creek and floated away.

  • baby 6moWhen my wife quit work to take care of our new baby daughter, countless hours of peekaboo and other games slowly took their toll. One evening she smacked her bare toes on the corner of a dresser and, grabbing her foot, sank to the floor.

    I rushed to her side and asked where it hurt.

    She looked at me through tear-filled eyes and managed to moan,

    "It's the piggy that ate roast beef."

  • watergunsWhen my three-year-old son opened the birthday gift from his grandmother, he discovered a water pistol. He squealed with delight and headed for the nearest sink. I was not so pleased.

    I turned to Mom and said, "I'm surprised at you. Don't you remember how we used to drive you crazy with water guns?"

    Mom smiled and then replied....."I remember."

  • children4I was leaving for a two-day conference, and my seven-year-old daughter, Katherine, was becoming overly clinging and teary.

    I was mystified at her emotional reaction until I heard her say to my husband,

    "Daddy, I have a loose tooth. If it falls out while Mommy is gone, do you know how to handle this tooth fairy thing?"

  • man sonTeddy came thundering down the stairs, much to his father's annoyance.

    "Teddy," he called, "how many more times do I have I to tell you to come downstairs quietly? Now, go back upstairs and come down like a civilized human being."

    There was a silence, and Teddy reappeared in the front room.

    "That's better," said his father. "Now in the future you will always come downstairs like that."

    "OK," said Teddy cheerily. "I slid down the railing!"

  • child toddlerOur three year-old granddaughter, Audrey, had just been through an episode of potty training by her Mom, who expressed concerns about her slow progress.

    Audrey, somewhat tired of the process, turned to her Mother and asked:

    "Can't we forget the potty training and just be friends?"

  • class1A little boy was caught swearing by his teacher.

    "Jeffrey," she said, "you shouldn't use that kind of language. Where did you hear that?"

    "My daddy said it," he responded.

    "Well, it doesn't matter," explained the teacher. "You don't even know what it means."

    "I do so!" Jeffrey corrected. "It means the car won't start."

  • baby2Brian and Cathleen took their newborn, Emily, to meet her cousins, Erin and Savannah, in Oklahoma. The cousins were delighted with her and watched everything the adults did with Emily including changing her diapers. The girls were sitting right beside Brian the first time he changed one of Emily's messy diapers.

    When he opened her diaper he said, "Ew! She pooped!"

    Erin looked at him and asked, "Didn't they tell you she would do that?"

  • tattooBeing a teenager and getting a tattoo seem to go hand in hand. I wasn't surprised when a friend of my daughter showed me a Japanese symbol on her hip.

    "Please don't tell my parents," she begged.

    "I won't," I promised. "Just curious, what does that stand for?"

    She replied, "Honesty."

  • table setOne summer evening, a thirteen-year-old came in while his parents were setting the table for supper. Quite surprisingly, he asked if he could help.

    His mother said, "No, but I appreciate your asking."

    The child responded, "Well, I appreciate your saying 'no'."

  • parentingMy wife and I are teachers, and our jobs often spill over into our family life. One morning as our eight-year-old Maggie was getting ready for school, I peeked into her room to be sure she had tidied it up.

    "You call THAT a made bed?" I asked.

    No Dad," Maggie replied. "It's just a rough draft."

  • A teenager is someone who...A Teenager is . . .

    -A person who can't remember to walk the dog but never forgets a phone number.

    -A weight watcher who goes on a diet by giving up candy bars before breakfast.

    -A youngster who receives her allowance on Monday, spends it on Tuesday, and borrows it from her best friend on Wednesday.

  • Sunday School pageantA little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday School presentation.

    His mother, sitting in the front row to prompt him, gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it didn't help. Her son's memory was blank.

    Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world."

    The child beamed proudly and with great feeling and a loud, clear voice said,

    "My mom is the light of the world."

    - Jesus is the Light of the world!

  • dog walkingOne afternoon I was walking on a trail with my baby daughter, chatting to her about the scenery.

    When a man and his dog approached, I leaned down to the carriage and said, "See the doggy?"

    Suddenly I felt foolish talking to my baby as if she understood me.

    However, just as the man passed, he reached down, patted his dog, and said, "See the baby?"

  • father and son2"Walk a little plainer daddy," said a little boy so frail,

    "I'm following your footsteps and I don't want to fail.

    Sometimes your steps are plain, sometimes they are hard to see;

    So walk a little plainer Daddy, for you are leading me.

    I know that once you walked this way many years ago;

  • Children explain what love means.A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8-year-olds: "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

    "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
    Rebecca - age 8

    "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."
    Billy - age 4

  • Children are always watching the adults around them.A message every adult should read, because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

    When you thought I wasn't looking,
    I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
    and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

    When you thought I wasn't looking,
    I saw you feed a stray cat,
    and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.