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On Sunday afternoon, one of Logan’s mates came over to hang out and play for a few hours.

He’s a great kid and Logan was looking forward to it, but I was slightly concerned when he turned up with a mountain bike.

The two boys played for a while and had a great time, then Logan’s friend asked if they could go on a bike ride in the bush out the back.  Last time he was here, I took Logan and a few other friends on a short hike to a place we call Salt Lake City, which is a strange lake surrounded by very white sand in the middle of the forest.  It’s about a 30 minute walk and my boys love going there.

Logan wanted to go and his friend was excited by the idea, but I couldn’t let them go off by themselves, so I pumped up the tyres on our bikes and went along for a ride.

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Tonight, Madison and I cooked dinner for the family.

I’m not a great cook, but Maddi had a recipe that she wanted to try, so we went to the local supermarket to buy some ingredients.

It was a simple chorizo carbonara with fettucini and it was delicious.  In fact, her twin brother, Logan, proclaimed it the best home cooked meal that he had ever consumed.  That’s high praise from a growing 12 year old boy.

But it’s not about the quality of the meal.

It’s about the quality of the memory that was created.

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Want your kids to be kind and compassionate when they are older?

Want them to be resilient?

Want them to live with faith and hope?

Want them to develop a strong work ethic?

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Whether you’re a parent, a leader, a teacher or anyone else in a position of influence, it’s time to catch the people around you doing something right.

It’s easy to catch them doing something wrong.

To focus on the negatives.

To highlight the weaknesses.

But is that really the best way to positively impact and motivate others?

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We outsource a range of tasks in our household.

We have a cleaner who comes in once a fortnight to clean up the mess that our three kids and two dogs make.

We outsource the education of our kids by paying for a school to give them a quality education that is aligned with our values.

We outsource coaches to teach our kids how to improve at football, basketball, netball, gymnastics, piano, athletics and cross-country running.

But we can’t outsource the important task of parenting.

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With the kids back at school this week and all of their after school activities starting as well, our household quickly becomes a blur of activity.

As a consequence, we try to make sure that we have breakfast together as a family so that we can start the day right.

As a part of this ritual, we read the bible, ask a question, go around the table so that everyone gets a chance to answer and then pray together.  It’s a simple process that helps us to get to know each other better, establish important principles and build positive and resilient mindsets for the day ahead.

If you’re looking for some sample questions, here are 10 to get you started: Read the rest of this entry »

I’m so proud of my 9 year old daughter, Madison.

She’s full of life, a real go-getter and has more energy than any 9 year old girl should have.

But I have a concern.

In a world that continually praises or criticises women purely on the basis of looks, I want her to be defined by more than her physical appearance.

So if you want to complement her, please don’t say that she is pretty or beautiful (although in her dad’s unbiased opinion, she is).

Complement her on her intelligence.

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Karen and I were just discussing this issue a couple of days ago, when I stumbled across this quote from South Carolina basketball coach, Frank Martin:

“You know what makes me sick to my stomach?  

When I hear grown people say that kids have changed.  

Kids haven’t changed.  Kids don’t know anything about anything.   Read the rest of this entry »

take-a-deep-breath-getResilience is one of the most important traits that successful people have.

But none of them were born with it and none of them obtained it by sitting on the bench.

They built it by falling over and getting back up again.

They built it by failing and realising that it wasn’t the end of the world.

They built it by not allowing the harsh words of their critics to seep into their souls.

They built it by doing the hard things that they didn’t want to do, because they knew that it would be easier the next time.

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Theres-nothing-quiteThere are few better experiences than sitting on the couch with one of my kids, with my arm around them as they read about Venus fly traps, sea otters, Captain Underpants or any one of a hundred random things.

To help them with the difficult words.

To hear the inflection in their voices.

To explain the concepts that don’t make sense to an 8-year-old.

To see them looking up for approval.

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