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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Teaching Children to Celebrate Their Strengths

Teaching Children to Celebrate Their Strengths

Lucille Williams equips you with ways you can nurture your child’s strengths and help them learn to overcome their weaknesses. She shares her story of struggle and challenges as she discovered her own abilities. By building a strong identity in Christ, you can develop strategies to highlight their talents.
Original Air Date: January 29, 2024

Preview:

Lucille Williams: If one person, just one person, believes in our children, it just takes one, that will give them the confidence to soar and move on and do what they need to do. It just takes one person believing in them.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Our guest today is Lucille Williams on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: We all, I think, long to find that place in this world, uh, what we’re good at. That probably begins to emerge in our teen years, uh, where we belong, who are we, what’s my identity, and then, as we mature, we find the right rhythm and settle into places. I think that’s getting through your 20s.

John: Mm-hmm. Yes.

Jim: 20s can be just so full of things, but, as a child, you’re just trying to figure out who you are and why am I here and, sometimes, you don’t see what God-given talents you have. Those are developing, right? Um, and it’s so rooted in our personality. Today, we want to equip you as the parent to recognize your children’s bents and to help them to determine their strengths and overcome their weaknesses or, maybe better said, their fears and, hopefully, that will lead them to a strong identity in Christ, which is the goal.

John: Yeah, and we’re gonna hear, uh, about this through the story of Lucille Williams. Uh, she’s been here before on the broadcast, uh, she and Mike, a pastor, has three grown children and five grandchildren and, as an author, uh, Lucille has a terrific little book. It’s called Turtle Finds His Talent:  Discovering How God Made You Special. It’s a wonderful kids’ book, and you can learn more at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Lucille, welcome to Focus. Welcome back.

Lucille: Well, thank you. I am thrilled to be here.

Jim: You know, so often, we’re looking at children’s books and, oh, we say as parents, “Isn’t this cute?” I think the boys and I used to do Goodnight Moon. Do you remember that one?

John: I remember that one.

Jim: And I made up… I made up more to the story. I shouldn’t tell the author that, but I, yeah, ended up inserting my own thoughts in that.

Lucille: That’s okay.

John: Yeah.

Jim: Well, I took the rhymes and sometimes said things that didn’t rhyme just to get a stir out of the boys, and they loved it. Instead of brush and mush, it was brush and oatmeal, you know, and they’d say, “Daddy, it’s mush.” (laughs)

Lucille: (laughs) I do that, too.

Jim: But, with that, there is a lot of purpose in children’s books, and not always, but in your case, definitely because you’re writing this book, uh, to help them find who they are and then what are their gifts and talents. How did you come upon that idea?

Lucille: Well, it’s an important concept to teach kids.

Jim: Mmm.

Lucille: You know, when, when we’re in the world, we see people that are really good at things and we compare what we’re not good at to what they’re really good at, and then we think, “Oh, what’s wrong with me?” And I know I took that all into my adulthood. Not just as a child, but even as an adult, I’d be, “Why can’t do what they do?” And then, finally, I realized, no, I’m, I’m different. I’m made differently. God designed me differently and it’s okay.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: These struggles that I’ve had all my life like, “Why can’t I do it as good as them. How come my brain doesn’t work like that?” I’m like, “It’s okay. Maybe that’s your strength.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: And I think we can lean into our struggles as our strengths.

Jim: You know, when you look at children today, uh, this book, I would assume, would be for what ages? Pretty young?

Lucille: Two to six or-

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: … maybe even a little younger, maybe even a little older.

Jim: Yeah, okay, but the, the sweet spot would be two to six, so-

Lucille: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But think about how quickly children today are developing with doubts because of, uh, digital influence and all the things. It’s like all the good and all the bad of the neighborhood is right there in front of them today even at that age. You go to a grocery store. Kids are looking at tablets and looking at phones, and everything is just right there. And I think the question isn’t about, you know, the good or the bad of technology. It’s more about the imprint of kids today and what they’re hearing, and so often it’s, “You’re not good enough.”

Lucille: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Or you’re different in a weird way or-

Lucille: Right.

Jim: … whatever it might be. So, again, that was your motivation to get kids to start thinking about the positive things in them, the talents that-

Lucille: Yes.

Jim: … they could begin to see and to help-

Lucille: Absolutely.

Jim: … parents to do that, right?

Lucille: Absolutely, and, you know, as our kids are growing up, you know, one of the things as a parent that I didn’t do really well and I wish I could go back and do it better was listening to my kids’ emotions.

Jim: Hmm.

Lucille: As a parent, my kids would be sad or they tell me something that was difficult and my, my heart would break for break for them…

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: … and, instead of saying, “Well, it’s okay you’re feeling that way. Tell me about it,” I would wanna fix it because I couldn’t deal with the pain they were feeling.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: So instead of saying, “Oh, honey, it’s okay. Tell me about that. Oh, yes, mommy understands that,” no, it was, “Oh, well, it’s gonna be okay. Do you want to… You know, let’s go eat some cake,” or something. I was trying to-

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: … make them feel better rather than-

Jim: Right.

Lucille: … validating their feelings.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: And, now, both are my kids that have children, I have three adult kids, but only two of them have children.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: My youngest, he’s, you know, who knows, maybe.

Jim: Not there yet.

Lucille: Maybe one day.

John: Not yet.

Lucille: Maybe one day.

Jim: That’s right, but you have five grandchildren.

Lucille: I do.

Jim: Yes.

Lucille: I have five. Love them all. Anyway, and they-

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: I see them doing a really good job of keying in on their, you know, kids’ feelings. And I think that’s an important thing to do when they come home and say, “Hey, this happened at school.” It’s okay to say, “Okay. Well, it’s all right. Let’s, let’s talk about this. Tell me how you’re feeling.”

Jim: I can remember. I remember I didn’t have access to an emotion card like they have today, so, when the kids were growing up, I’d draw… take time to draw the six faces or eight faces or whatever I could come up with. Anger is pretty easy.

John: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: (laughs) Yes.

Jim: Smiley face is easy. Now, embarrassment, how do you draw a face that’s embarrassed? You know, so you come up with those things, and I’d have the boys point to how they’re feeling. So I tried in my archaic stick man way (laughs) to draw these out.

Lucille: That’s wonderful.

Jim: How did you get, uh, captivated? And I think this is peering into the creative mind of, you know, really insightful adults that write children’s books. How did you come up with the turtle, and what was the turtle all about?

Lucille: Well, I have ADHD.

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: Surprise.

Jim: There’s the creative mind.

Lucille: There’s the creative mind, absolutely, but I never knew I did until I was way into my adult years when I finally got diagnosed, and I was like, “Oh, so many things make sense now.” Like, “Okay. Now I get it.”

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: I was that kid that, that struggled in school, but I was creating and I was make… like I would… Uh, anytime the family was together, I’d throw my cousins together and put little outfits on them and I’d do a show for the family. You don’t get graded on that in school.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: You don’t get graded on your creativity and your-

Jim: On energy?

Lucille: … and your, your, you know, your, your ability to boss your, you know, your siblings and your cousins around and make them shows and make the adults laugh. They don’t grade you for that in school.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: So I was good at that, but, sometimes, when I had to like really focus and learn in school, that was really difficult for me, and so I realized like… and looking at the animal kingdom, I looked at these little turtles and, you know, they can’t keep up. They’re a little… You know, they go slow. They’re, you know, they’re just different and, and I thought about other animals, and I thought, “Okay,” and then, when the turtle can’t do what they wanna do, they go inside the shell and they hide.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: And I thought we do that sometimes when we feel shame or embarrassment. We pull away instead of stepping into our relationships because we feel, you know, w- w- we feel like we’re not good enough.

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: And we are. God made each of us special, and if you’re out there listening today and you’re like, “I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m gonna…” You are. You are good enough. God made you just the way you are, and we are good enough just as we are with our challenges.

Jim: Yeah, and it’s… There’s a distinction. Some Christians are gonna say, “Well, wait a minute. You’re not good enough. You’re a sinner.” That’s not what you’re talking about.

Lucille: No.

Jim: It’s not about the sinful part of life.

Lucille: Right.

Jim: We’re all sinners saved by grace.

Lucille: Absolutely.

Jim: But what you’re saying is God loves you and accepts you as you are.

Lucille: Exactly.

Jim: That’s, that’s the big point and-

Lucille: Yes.

Jim: … then you move from there, and hopefully we go toward redemption, (laughs) which is the goal. Let’s speak to your childhood because so much of your, of your childhood is, uh, part of the story of why you even do children’s books. So you’re this little girl. Obviously, you’ve described some of what you’re dealing with. Nobody gave you a good grade for squirming in the seat at school. I guess, speak to those things in your childhood that gave you that pain and, since you’ve said it several times now that you didn’t feel good enough-

Lucille: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … so you’re, you’re expressing something that was there.

Lucille: Right. Right. I was that kid in class that… You know how they go around the room and they read?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: I was that kid in class that went, “Oh, no,” and I counted the kids in front of me. I had trouble with reading, especially reading out loud.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Lucille: So, so difficult in my, you know, early elementary years, and so as that… As we get closer, I would try to figure out what part I was gonna read and try to get ready for it, and my heart would be pounding and I’d be having a panic attack in my seat, and then finally it would get to me. And there were big words that I couldn’t pronounce, and so I tried to pause before the big words so the kids didn’t know which word I couldn’t pronounce and, inevitably, no matter what I did, the class ended up laughing at me-

Jim: No.

Lucille: … because I’d say it wrong or I couldn’t…

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: Or, uh, just the way I read, and it was just so shaming for me as a kid, and I just felt like what’s wrong with me? Why can’t read like the other kids? How come I can’t take tests like the other kids? What is wrong with me?

Jim: Did you have an adult in your life like your parents, obviously, or the teachers, anybody talk with you and, and soothe that emotional trauma?

Lucille: Well, not really. I mean, my parents, you know, they, they were good people, but they had their own stuff that they were dealing with and like, for instance, we lived in New Jersey and, when I was six, my dad came home one day and said, “We’re moving. That’s it.” He looked at my mom. He said, “We’re moving to California.”

Jim: And you didn’t see that as a good thing in New Jersey? (laughs)

Lucille: Well, (laughs) I didn’t know. I didn’t know.

Jim: I’m teasing.

Lucille: Yeah. I didn’t know what California was. All my dad said is there was no bees there ’cause it was like the perfect paradise. That’s w- my dad’s idea of California was. So the first time I saw a bee, I’m like, “What’s this doing here? My dad said there’s no bees,” but… and so he told my mom, “We’re… I’m going. We’re moving. We’re going,” sold the house, packed us all up in the family Buick and, by the time I was seven, we were in California. But before we left, we had to say goodbye to my big Italian family.

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: And I still remember the aunts and the uncles and the grandparents just crying and screaming, both sides. We stopped at each side of the family, and as we… and I’m just a little kid.

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: I don’t know what’s going on and just… It was just horrific having to, to watch this and the cries and the screams. And so we land in California, and we’re in a motel. He’s working, so, finally, we got in this apartment and, you know, my… Uh, all this to say, my parents, they had their own stuff that they were dealing with.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: They had their own issues and they just weren’t really in tune to what was going on with me at the time. And my dad, he was just trying to put food on the table. He had invested some money in the stock market, and he’d come home at lunchtime and he’d watch the stock market and he’d be all upset, and so I just… You know, I didn’t want to give them any more to worry about, so I just kinda had to deal with that on my own. I had to figure it out.

Jim: What do you think was the benefit of that? I mean, i- it’s a valley and, you know, so many people… I, I love that idea. Trust people that walk with a limp-

Lucille: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … ’cause people that go from mountaintop to mountaintop and have not had a valley experience, in my, uh, view, uh, don’t seem as well-rounded in their character, if I could say it that way. Uh, when you’re the darling all the time, uh, there’s a kind of a false sense of identity in that, I believe, but when you’re broken, just like scripture says, “He’s close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit,” why not run to that if that’s where God will meet you? And that’s where you were.

Lucille: I agree. I agree with you. Yes. Uh, for me, well, in school, I learned to always sit in the front because that kept me focused.

Jim: Wow.

Lucille: I was… I’d get there early and I’d get myself in the front because I knew, if I was in the back, there was a lot of distractions between where the teachers was and all the way to the back of the class, so get yourself in the front. And I learned to make friends with kids who were really smart, and they would help me. Like, in third grade, when I had trouble reading, my, my friend Karen, who I’m still friends with today, if you could believe that, all these years, we met first day of third grade, she would-

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: … sit with me and read, and she help me read.

Jim: Oh, wow.

Lucille: And so I learned how to make connections, which can be challenging when you have ADHD ’cause you get very distracted.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: And, sometimes, when you have someone in your life that has ADHD, it could feel like they don’t care about you.

Jim: Right.

Lucille: So my message to those with ADHD is to pay attention because, sometimes, the way you’re getting distracted, people think you don’t care. Like, for instance, one day, I’m watching, um, a movie with my kids when they were teenagers, and we’re watching a movie and I said, “Oh, I have to go to the bathroom.” So I go into the bathroom, and they’re waiting for me. They’re waiting for me. They’re waiting for me.

Jim: They got it on pause?

Lucille: Uh, uh, yeah.

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: They’re waiting, and then my daughter comes in. She’s like, “Mom?” I was cleaning the bathroom. I forgot we were watching a movie.

Jim: Hah.

Lucille: And I’m like I literally forgot. I saw the bathroom needed cleaning and I thought, “Oh, I better clean the bathroom.” It’s like, “Mom, we’re watching a movie.” I’m like, “Oh, yeah, we were.”

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: And then she goes out and tells her brother, “Mom’s in there cleaning the bathroom,” and they’re laughing, so I come out and I go, “Guys, I’m so sorry. I, I, I got caught up in cleaning the bathroom,” but they understood. Like, you know, we didn’t know I had ADHD at the time, but we knew that I got distracted. So knowing this about myself, I was very strategic about letting the people in my life know how much I care about them, and I still do that-

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: … today because you could… They could be telling you something really serious and then, all of a sudden, you’re glancing the other way. And it’s like, wait a minute, that can be taken as you don’t care, so you have to go, “Oh, I’m sorry, my, my ADHD just kind of took me for a minute, but I really care about what you’re saying and I care about you. Please continue.”

Jim: I was gonna say did you ever turn to the kids and go, “Do you like living in a clean house?”

Lucille: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: That is the benefit of your mother having-

John: Yeah.

Jim: … ADHD.

John: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: That is true.

John: No. That’s good.

Lucille: That is true.

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and our guest today is Lucille Williams, and we’re hearing about her life story and, and kind of what led up to writing this terrific little kids’ book called Turtle Finds His Talent: Discovering How God Made You Special. It’s a terrific book and, uh, you have great life lessons in this. Uh, we’d recommend you get a copy from us here at the ministry. The details are at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Le- let’s talk about some practical, uh, ways to help our children discover those talents. Uh, you’re touching on it. Why do you think in, in some ways, it is important and very difficult, I was pretty much a failure at this, letting the kids struggle, but why is it important to let your kids struggle?

Lucille: If we don’t allow them to struggle and we’re always following or going before them fixing everything, that’s not life. That not life, right? We, when we go out and we try to do things, you’re gonna fall flat on your face and then you gotta pick yourself back up. And if our kids never had to fall and then pick themselves back up, they didn’t learn that. They didn’t learn that, when you stick with it, you can do it. You gotta just… You gotta stay with things and you gotta be willing to let those that happen and the challenges and all the obstacles that are gonna get in the way. You have to let those happen for your kids, but, oftentimes, it’s more painful for us parents than it is for the kids, and you don’t wanna see your kids struggle. It’s so hard. It’s so painful, but we gotta remind yourself that it’s that, those struggles that are gonna make them strong and make them succeed and make them do the things that God has for them.

Jim: Yeah, and I think I, I wished I would have kept my eye on that ball a little better rather than rescuer. Rescuer is an interesting thing ’cause I think we do it ’cause it makes us feel better about ourselves. Aren’t I a good parent…

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … ’cause my child’s never had to suffer? And it’s not healthy, but it is what we do. Uh, your son, I think, Tim, had some struggles with reading. That must have brought up a lot of stuff for you given that you had that difficulty in elementary school. How did you help Tim approach that differently and kinda move from shame to less shame?

Lucille: Yes, when we realized he was having struggles and, oh, man, teachers, they’re heroes, I just-

Jim: Yeah, they are.

Lucille: Teachers are amazing, but when you think about it, they’ve got such a big group of kids, so they can’t see everything. They just can’t. Even in your home, you can’t see everything. And so, sometimes, what is happening at school, you know, you just hear about the struggles. You know, when a teacher contacts you, it’s not normally because, “Hey, I just wanna tell you your kid’s doing great, and they got straight As and they’re doing great.” No. It’s the, the area that they’re struggling in and, and, unfortunately, even as parents, sometimes we’re focusing in on were our kids struggling rather than going, “Wow, you’re great here and you’re great here and you’re great there, and don’t worry about that C. We’ll, we’ll work on that.” But with Tim, he really had difficulty with reading and letters and all of that, so what my husband and I did is we would put, um… It started out as letters on doors and, in order for him to go through that door, he had to say what letter it was on the door.

Jim: Oh, that’s great.

Lucille: And then we finally, you know, got to words and like, you know, “What is this word?” And so we would stop and we go, “Okay, what’s this word, Tim?” and then Tim would look at the word and he’d figure it out and then you can go through the door. And once he got whatever was on the door, then we would change it, and so all the doors (laughs) in the house had letters and, and, uh, words. And he would… and he would have to say them all day long, and so it was a fun game rather than, “Well, you’re not reading well, sweetheart, so we got to practice this.” No. It was, “Hey, what’s on this door?” and he would say it, and it was a fun game.

Jim: And you never put ribonucleic acid on the door, I hope, right?

Lucille: (laughs)

Jim: You didn’t do that, did you?

Lucille: Did not. I’ve never heard of that.

Jim: Or dextro ribonucleic acid.

Lucille: No. No. No.

Jim: That’d be mean. (laughs)

Lucille: No.

Jim: But that’s a creative way of doing that, and, and I’m sure it helped him. The… Again, here’s the underlying observation of that. Not only could he begin to know the alphabet and know the words that were critical, but it gave him confidence, which is the most important aspect of that, right?

Lucille: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That you gain confidence. I’ll tell you, life, it is about confidence and not, not ego. But, I, I mean, leadership confidence, being able to be confident in what you’re expressing. And, boy, I think, uh, we as Christians really need to be confident in what we believe, but it starts at a young age, and that ability to be able to be there. You also helped Tim get into boxing. Now, here’s a contradiction, a Christian mom saying, “Son, I think you ne- need to get into boxing.”

Lucille: Yes.

Jim: Talk about that.

Lucille: Well, he, real young, we put him in soccer and, his first game, I remember my dad came over to me and said, “Get him piano lessons.” He just… He just did not (laughs) have the gift for soccer.

Jim: That’s way too much running.

Lucille: Yeah. Exactly.

Jim: I could tell you that now. (laughs)

Lucille: Exactly. Well, and he, he was such a sweet kid. He, he was-

Jim: Oh.

Lucille: … the kid that would notice if a girl had a new dress and go, “Oh, your dress is so pretty,” and-

Jim: Ah, that’s sweet.

Lucille: But then he started getting picked on in elementary school.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lucille: Oh, I did not know what to do. I was just, uh, frantic as a mom, so I would… Anyone who I would talk to who’s an adult, I say, “Hey, my son’s getting picked on. You have any advice,” and so I just kept asking people for advice. And I remember running into this female who was a boxer, which is unusual.

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: And I told her about my son. She says, “Well, you know, you, you live in Santa Clarita. They have this free boxing program. Why don’t you take him over there and see if he wants to box,” and I’m like, “Okay, that’s kinda weird. I mean, I don’t want anyone hitting my kid, but if this stops him from getting picked on, then let’s try it,” so I… He came home from that day, and I said, “Tim, you know, what do you think? You wanna go try boxing?” “Sure, mom,” so I take him over to the boxing center and we watched the whole thing. So we finished, uh… You know, the session finished, and I’m like “What do you think?” I mean, it was smelly and, you know, it was-

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: … a lower income area, so-

Jim: Right, but it’s all that nitty-gritty gym stuff.

Lucille: Yeah. Exactly. And, and so he’s like, “Mom, I wanna do this.” “Really?” He goes, “Yeah, I do.” I go, “Okay,” so now it was a commitment on both of our parts and so we were there pretty much every day, and he, he stuck with it, and he was… He got so good, I couldn’t believe it. And I remember, as he got older, his coach was this small, tough, tattooed guy who had grown up on the streets and, oh, he was tough, and he taught our son things that we could never teach him because that wasn’t our experience. And I remember him coming up to me and he’s like, “I don’t know what to do with this kid. This is boxing. He’s sweet, but I gotta make him mean. This is boxing.” He goes, “He doesn’t ever swear,” and he looks to me and goes, “I bet he gets good grades, too.” I’m like, “Yeah, he does.”

Jim: (laughs)

Lucille: And he’s like, “I don’t know. I gotta make him tough. This is boxing.” And he did.

Jim: Huh.

Lucille: And so he boxed up until he went off to college, and so he had a decision to make. Okay, do I want to… He could have gone professional. He could have maybe gone toward the Olympics.

John: Really?

Lucille: But he decided, “I wanna go to Bible College.” I was like, “Yay,” ’cause I was, I was done watching him get punched. I really was.

Jim: Yeah.

Lucille: And, and so he ended up going to Bible College, and he never got picked on anymore either, by the way, as soon as he-

Jim: (laughs) Yeah, I bet.

John: No.

Lucille: … became a champion boxer. It was amazing.

Jim: Yeah, it kinda… That, that was, uh, an objective that was, uh, done.

Lucille: Right, and so he’s still in ministry today and, uh, I mean, it was a great training for ministry.

Jim: Yeah, that’s amazing, but, you know, what you’re expressing there generally is the principle that parents need to catch, and that is your children need to believe that you believe in them, and elaborate on that because sometime we could think that we’re building up a, kind of a pride or ego in our child if we say it too much. I mean, I, I don’t think that’s true, but some people may feel that way. I guess speak to the importance of making sure your children believe that you believe in them. How do you do it without it being syrupy or really do it to the point where it’s not even believed because it’s over the top or whatever it might be.

Lucille: Mm-hmm, that was something that, uh, like even today, if I were to call my, my son I was talking about and tell him that he’s doing a really good job of something or I saw something and, you know, “Tim, you’re doing a great job,” and he goes, “Thanks, mom,” but it matters. I just took every opportunity that I could to show my kids what was great about them and we… I don’t think, as parents, we can ever lavish our kids with too much love and praise. I think that our kids really, really need that. They need to know that we believe in them. If one person, just one person, believes in our children, it just takes one, that will give them the confidence to soar and move on and do what they need to do. It just takes one person believing in them.

Jim: Lucille, you’re a very energetic person. I mean, everything about you is just beaming. Um, I’m thinking of the parent where that child is having difficulty in maybe junior high. It seems like we all have difficulty in junior high. I remember being punched in the chest in junior high by a much bigger guy and, uh, man, it just destroyed me for a few days. You know, like I’m never gonna be big enough to take care of myself. I think I’ve gotten to that point, but the, uh, the, the point of that is many parents may struggle with knowing what to do, you know, like your dad saying, “Hey, I got enough of my own problems. You gotta take care of yourself.” That is a, a point of strength and resiliency that a child is gonna learn through that, but there’s also a place for a parent to step in like you did with Tim to encourage him to do boxing even though that he didn’t seem to be as bent, and then he was brilliant at it. How does parent assess that and then get engaged and not let kind of the stuff of life just blind you from what your child is screaming maybe not verbally, but emotionally, screaming that they need?

Lucille: If I wasn’t on the other side of this, I wouldn’t know this, but my two oldest, they struggled. It was struggle after struggle after struggle, and my husband and I would just sit down, be in their corner, be with them, you know, just, just different things with school and friends and, as they got in their teen years, breakups, and it was just heart-aching And we, we would just walk it through with them. And to those parents out there, wouldn’t you want your kid to struggle while you’re right there-

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Lucille: … not the day you drop them off to college? That’s not when you want struggle to start. That, that’s a terrible time for that to start then, not that it’s not gonna happen, but you want them to go through those things with you so you could jump in and be there and be by their side and hold their hand and be there when they fall even during those years where they’re like, “No. Go away. I don’t wanna talk to you about this.” Okay. That’s fine. When they’re ready, they will find you and they will talk to you. You just have to wait and be ready.

Jim: Well, I think people are getting a good insight into your heart, and this wonderful children’s book, really about, uh, ages two to six, Turtle Finds His Talent, it’s got fun pull tabs and a bunch of things in here, but it’s the story, it’s the story that matters and what you’re teaching your child. And, and then I would say, as a parent, you know, do a little study of your child at that age. Begin to understand what their talents are. Begin to reinforce those. I love the weaknesses that you did with your son Tim and help him with the alphabet, help him with words, put them on the door. “You can’t open the door until you tell me what letter it is.” That’, uh, that’s brilliant. And, uh, you know, again, this is just orienting you as a parent to better understand your child. That’s always a good thing, so thank you for being with us, Lucille. It’s been wonderful.

Lucille: Thank you for having me.

Jim: Yeah. And, as always, we want to get this into your hands especially if you have a child about that age in your orbit, maybe as a grandparent or a parent. Uh, if you can make a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family, we’ll send it to you as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry. We’ll make it real easy and, uh, that way, we’re doing the ministry together to help other families.

John: Yeah, stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast to make a donation and to request your book, Turtle Finds His Talent, or give us a call, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459.

Jim: Hey, John, also, a really exciting new resource that we have for parents is something we’ve been working on for years, but it’s Age and Stage eNewsletter. So you can go in to Focus on the Family, the website. You can create your family’s profile in that Age and Stage area. Tell us the age or fill in the age of your children, and we’ll age that record appropriately and send you newsletters that will relate to parenting a child at that age. Pretty simple. It actually was sparked when I went to the pediatrician long ago and, uh, the pediatrician gave me the two-year-old sheet and what I could expect with Trent’s behavior, and I remember thinking, “Wow, we should be able to do that at Focus.” Well, it’s taken us a little while.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But this content has been put together with that in mind.

John: Mm-hmm, yeah, Age and Stage is a great resource, and you can sign up for those weekly newsletters at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, join us again tomorrow and we’ll share practical advice for those who struggle with depression from a medical professional who’s been there.

Preview:

Dr. Gregory Jantz: I know what it’s like to walk through the despair and the despondency, and I also know what it’s like to get out of it, and I know you need a plan, and that’s when we see hope, when we have a plan.

End of Preview

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Turtle Finds His Talent: A Slide-And-Find Book: Discovering How God Made You Special

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