New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 3, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Parenting seminar is good investment for any couple
I remember the feeling so well. Josh was only about four. We were together in the kitchen—just he and I—on a busy but cold, rainy day. I was standing at the counter preoccupied doing traditional “mommy” things while he played cars on the floor—making the typical “boy-child” motor sounds! What I can’t remember is how the conversation started or what I asked him that provoked his response. But I do recall being absolutely shocked at the tone in his preschool voice when he answered. “Josh Miller,” I responded in my firm “mother” voice, “Don’t you ‘talk back' to me!” Silence. I continued to work while I let a few moments pass, then rephrased the question for him. Once again he answered in the same exasperated tone.
Stunned. I made the immediate decision that this manner of speaking was not permissible in my kitchen. “Josh-u-a Miller,” I retorted in my “adult” voice, “do not ‘talk back’ to me!”
Silence again. After a few deep breaths to regain my composure I tried one final time to get a simple answer to what I had (kerned a reasonable question. This time there was no reply. Only silence. Ear-deafening, total silence. With frustration and emerging anger I turned toward where he had been playing in the room, looked down and instantly caught my breath. Standing there just inches from me and looking up directly into my eyes was my beautiful child, his eyes J filling with big alligator tears, his lower lip J quivering “Josh.” I said softly as I fell to my
• knees to look at him on his level, “What’s the
! matter? Why aren't you answering me?” With a J thin voice breaking into larger and larger sobs J he spoke. “Mommy...! want to . but I don’t
I know how. You keep telling me not to talk back!”
At once his face and the tone of his voice drove an iron stake through my heart. His words cleaved a giant canyon in my brain. How incredibly stupid I had been! And how childish! Instantly I knew that he had never meant to engage in a contest of will with this overwhelming adult whom he wholeheartedly misted and lovingly called “Mommy.” Now, too late, I also foolishly realized that he had no concept in his young mind of the old expression “talk back” with which I had persistently accosted him.
, Automatically I reached out my arms and his little body melted into them. With his head tucked snugly under my chin I could feel his wet tears (Mi my face while at the same time my body absorbed his shaking, heavy sobs. My own tears began to flow as we sat there hugging, gently rocking on the cool kitchen floor.
* “Oh, Josh,” I said tenderly, “I ’m so sorry...I just wasn't thinking...I just didn’t know...I just didn’t realize...” There was no way to adequately apologize to my confused and broken-hearted four year old. Perhaps for him but not for me. I realized powerfully in that moment that in spite of my tremendous love for this child, despite an education in early childhood development, and notwithstanding my resolve to be a truly “good mother,” parenting was a skill for which I had been grossly ill-prepared. I needed help. I needed to seek guidance. I needed to learn how to pray daily for God’s forgiveness and grace in
• caring for this wonderful child of His whom He entrusted to me.
I was not then, and am not now, alone in this realization and this task of parenting. It has been said by many that being a parent is perhaps one of the most important roles of our adult lives— yet, unfortunately, the one for which we are the least prepared. But we can change that! We can each make a commitment and a step in a positive direction!
Next week, March 5-11, has been declared “Family Intimacy Week” in New Braunfels. It is a time for us to consciously review and renew
• ’ the physical, emotional, and spiritual ties we
have rn our families. It is also an opportunity for us to learn that we can develop our ability to better parent our Chilton at whatever age or in whatever situation they happen to be! One excellent way is to be there (Mi Saturday when Dr. Paul Warren and Ms. Teresa Ferguson come i to town to lead the “Parenting With Intimacy”
I workshop sponsored by local churches, schools
J and community leaders. Yes, it is an investment
J of energy. Yes, it is an investment of time and
• money. But it is above all an investment in a
• loving and healthy family for you and for me—
• and a movement toward a stronger and more
J compassionate community for all of us.
Josh? He survived—even thrived! He’s eigh-| teen now, my favorite (and only1) child who is
about to graduate from high school and leave for college in the fall. But I’ll be there at the ) Parenting Workshop next Saturday See, I know
I I still have Iou to learn I’ve got the rest of my
J life to be Josh’s mother!
! (The Rev. Judith Mitier is pastor of St Paul
J Lutheran Church For more information about
J the “Parenting With Intimacy " workshop or to
• register, coil I-800-881SOOS )
FUMO presenting Lenten luncheons
Every Friday during Lent, First United Methodist Church will present the Lenten Community Lunches from 12:15-12:45 p.m.
These are ecumenical services for the entire community and will be held in Wesley Hall, located in the back of the church off of Mill Street.
On Fnday, March 3, the guest speaker will be Rev. Bert Clayton of Canyon Lake United Methodist Church.
Soloist for the service will be Cathy Tal-cott.
Everyone is asked to bring a sack lunch and the church will provide beverages. For more information, call 625-4513.
NBCA hosting Parent KnHchmont Night
New Braunfels Christian Academy will present a PARENT ENRICHMENT NIGHT, Tuesday, March 7, 7 p.m. in the NBCA library. The public is invited. Scott and Susan Tjemagel will be the speakers discussing “Nurturing Your Child’s Spirit"
This fun and informative evening is designed to help parents recognize the need to nurture their child, spiritually as well as answer your questions on subjects such as "How to Teach your Child About Jesus,” “Answering Difficult Questions," and “Using the Bible as a Family Resource.”
Scott and Susan Tjemagel are both teachers at NBCA.
Scott pastors Mission Valley Bible
Church and they both serve on New Braunfels Young Life Commission. The Tjer-nagels have three children.
Call New Braunfels Chnstian Academy for additional information, 629-6222.
NBCA students to ctoan Landa Park
On March IO, students from New Braunfels Christian Academy will be contributing their time to clean and spruce up Landa Park in anticipation of New Braunfels’
150th Birthday Celebration.
Their jobs will include washing and waxing the antique fire engine, polishing the plaques surrounding Founders’ Oak and lots of general cleaning.
This work will benefit our community and give the students a real sense of pnde and accomplishment.
Nov. Higgins to spook at FUMO Linton luncheon
Rev. Daryl Higgins, minister of First Protestant Church, will be the guest speaker at the "Community Lenten Lunch” on Fnday, March IO.
The ecumenical lunches, sponsored by First United Methodist Church, will take place every Fnday dunng Lent from 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Everyone is asked to bnng a sack lunch and the church will provide beverages.
The lunches will take place in Wesley Hall, located on the back side of First United Methodist Church off of Mill Street. For more information, call 625-4513.
FUMC hosting pancake supper March 6
It’s time, once again, for the First United Methodist Church of New Braunfels, 572 W. San Antonio St., to host their annual Pancake Supper! Please join us on Monday, March 6, in Wesley Hall from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. for "All You Can Eat” pancakes, sausage, and beverages. The cost is $4.00 for adults and $ 1.50 for children. Wesley Hall is easily accessible from the Mill Street parking lot of the church.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to local community service agencies and projects. The recipients of last year’s funds were the Child Welfare Board, the Comal County Child Advocacy Center, Comal County Emergency Children’s Center, Comal County MHMR, Comal County Women’s Center, Homespun, Hospice, Literacy Council, NBISD and CISD Nurse’s Discretionary Funds, Project Graduation, Teen Connection, arui Habitat for Humanity
Join us for an evening of food, fellowship and fun and in showing support for our valuable community services!!
Th* Appointment’ to bo featured at Calvary Baptist
“The Appointment,” one of the most widely used Chnstian films in the country with nearly 5000 showings, will be shown at Calvary Baptist Church (2386 San Antonio St.) on Fnday, March IO, at 7 p.m.
It’s the story of Liz Watson, who wntes a
senes of anti-God and anti-church editorials for her news magazine.
St. John’s hosting Ed Longhorn March 8
The Stephen Ministry logo begins with a cross. On either side of the cross stand line drawings of a broken person and a whole person.
According to the explanation provided by Stephen Ministry headquarters, the cross is an ever-present reminder that it is God who is active, transforming broken people into whole people. For Stephen Ministers, the cross provides the motivation for caring ministry. ;
This symbol also says something about our role as Christian caregivers. Our canng is an expression of God’s love made real for all. God provides the cure through our care.
Ed Langham, who is in charge of Stephen Ministries at St. John’s Episcopal Church, will discuss this unique one-on-one Chnst-dnven ministry Wednesday, March 8, 7 p.m. at St. John's, 312 S. Guenther. Everyone who is interested is more than welcome to attend this gathering, which will begin with a pot-luck supper at 6:15 p.m.
All Stephen Ministers regardless of affiliation—are especially invited.
B To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about Church Life, call 625-9144, ext. 21.Church Life
Learning To Be A Better Parent
feel concerning whose responsibility it is, it is the school district’s responsibility to educate every child in the area. The best way to do that is to establish a satellite campus to deal with severe behavioral problems. This is effective but labor intensive and expensive. Again, the experts in our community point first to the deterioration of the family structure as the culpnt.
In other words, economic and social inequalities are not the issue. The key factor to the success of our children’s generation is rooted in good marriages and strong families. The question for us as a community is how do we help families escape the downward spiral that many of them live in?
I know that as a community we can not demand that people get help with their marriages and families.
I know that no one can be forced to change behavior that is destructive. But what we can do is join together, as a community, and provide the opportunities for families and marriages to be successful along with the support, encouragement, and extended care for those families that have broken.
That is why over 20 churches have linked arms with Charles Bradbcrry and the NBISD administration. New Braunfels Chnstian Academy, the Herald-Zeitung. New Braunfels City Council members, local doctors, and the Center for Mamage and Family Intimacy in Austin to provide one of the best seminars on parenting available in the U.S.
Dr. Paul Warren, author, behavioral pedi-atncian and adolescent specialist with the Minirth-Meier Clinic, will be hosted by the
As part of the 1995 Sesquicentennial celebration, the Chamber is sponsonng a city-wide, ecumenical event, the Founders’ Day Prayer Breakfast. It will be at the Civic Center on March 21 at 7 a m. Jim Scheele, Director of the Conv ention and Visitors Bureau, is the Chamber’s representative on the Founders’ Day Religious Activities Committee, which is chaired by the Rev. Daryl C. Higgins. As part of the breakfast program, descendants of the founding fathers will be recognized and table centerpiece displays will provide pictorial glimpses of the past 150-year history of New Braunfels.
The internationally known inspirational author-pastor Rev. Dr. Bruce Larson will be the keynote speaker. Molly Joe’s Catering will provide a catered breakfast, featuring foods enjoyed by the first settlers. Tickets for the "early settlers’ breakfast" are SIO per person and can be purchased at the Chamber, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, St. Paul Lutheran Church, First Protestant Church, and New Braunfels Presbyterian Church (located on Howard Street).
Other Founders’ Day religious activities include an afternoon “Book Signing Party” and an evening "Founders’ Day Worship Service." The “Book Signing Party," for the Rev. Dr. Bruce Larson, will be held in the Reno and Evelyne Schumann Hall of First Protestant Church. Dr. Larson has authored 23 books Some of his most recent titles are: Living Beyond Our Fears, The Presence, Faith For the Journey, and A Call to Holy Living. His newest book is entitled What God Wants to Know. June Pace, of the Book Trader bookstore, is assisting the committee in organizing the event and providing copies of several of the books authored by Dr. Larson for purchase at the book signing.
Herald-Zeitung photo MICHAEL DARNALL
Ash Wednesday sewices
Msgr. Eugene O'Callaghan of Ste. Peter and Paul Catholic Church places ashes on Mandy Brandt while her mother, Pam watches during Ash Wednesday services held Wednesday. According to Father O’Callaghan, several thousand attended services throughout the day.
Founders’ Day Breakfast scheduled for March 21
Did you know that:
■ The fastest growing segment of the criminal population is our nation's children.
■ Teenage sexuality will result in one million pregnancies, leading to 406.000 abortions in 1995 alone.
■ Since 1960, the DeiHliS
teen suicide rate has .. -
more than tnpled. G3ll3H©r According to Edward Ziglcr. professor at Yale University, for every successful suicide there are 50 to I OO adolescent suicide attempts. Using conservative estimates, more than 5 percent of all teenagers tried to take their lives in 1990, compared with I percent in 1960.
■ In 1991, 37% of high school students had used marijuana and 88% had used alcohol.
■ Homicide is the leading cause of death for males 18-25 years old.
We are saturated by the routine of tragedy concerning the children of our nation. Let’s face it, when the six o’clock news comes on and the headline report is of another dnve-by shooting or gang-related affair, our normal response is, “Thank God I don’t live in San Antonio”...or Dallas, or Houston, or any other major city. For those of us who are fortunate to live in the family-friendly atmosphere of New Braunfels those reports seem a world away.
And that is the deception. Do you really think that it is strictly a matter of location that keeps families intact? Do you really
believe that living in one place instead of another is what will keep the drugs, violence, and depression from capturing your kids? lf you do, you arc living in a dream world.
Here are some other statistics. Read them carefully, for the sake of our kids.
■ Teenagers from broken homes arc 6 times more likely to become involved in delinquent behavior.
■ Boys involved in violent misbehavior were 11 times more likely to live in homes without their father.
■ Promiscuity among young girls is "significantly” higher from single-parent homes.
■ Alcohol abuse among teens from broken homes is notably higher..."A collapse of family structure causing traumatic separation experiences.”
■ Children from single-parent households arc nearly 3 times more likely to drop out of school when compared with students from intact families (7% drop out from intact families. 20% from single-parent families).
I talked with Karen Simpson, Executive Director of Education Serv ices of NBISD. to get her feedback. What she said to mc was alarming. Karen attributes the need for the new "alternative schools.” that are now part of both school districts, directly to the result of the deterioration of the family structure.
What has happened is this. Over the past years, the number of kids that cannot function in a normal school environment has grown to the point where "alternative education" is necessary. No matter how you
team of churches and schools for a Parenting with Intimacy Seminar on Saturday, March 11. Paul will be joined by Tem Ferguson who coordinates academic instruction for adolescents at the Minirth-Meicr Clinic in Hous
ton. Dr. Paul Warren
The seminar is for parents of all types...couples, singles, young and old. It is designed to:
■ Equip parents to shape the emotional, intellectual and spiritual development of their preschool children.
■ Impart the essential ingredients of complaint behavior and responsibility to their school age children.
■ Equip parents for the challenges of the teenage years
■ Help parents rebounding from the pain of drugs, suicide attempts, and moral compromise.
You can register through your church or by calling I -800-881 -8008. The cost is minimal and the investment of your time will pay dividends for a lifetime.
So let's do something for our community
Let's do something for our kids.
Call today and register for this important community effort to equip parents and schools for the most important task that we will ever face.
(Dennis Gullaher is pastor of Freedom Fellowship Church in New Braunfels J