Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rerun: Loving Those Tomatoes

This was originally posted last year. I thought it was good advice to start our year out right... I'll be posting some of these re-runs throughout the next few weeks as I move everything over to this site...


I see many families living in chaos. They want to have a better family, a more organized home, and a more peaceful life. They just don’t know how to do it. Over the next several weeks I will be giving tips to help you gain control of your family (whether large or small) so your days are more peaceful, and so that in a few decades we don’t wish we had done things differently.

The first place to start organizing your family is in training your children. Many people want obedient children they enjoy being around, but don’t want to invest the time and energy to get them to obey. Trust me — it takes lots of time and energy. The results are worth it, though. The ability to have children we enjoy being around is wonderful!

51DtJZbo7gL. SL160  Loving Those TomatoesThere are a plethora of good resources to help you. I have read many books, and have at least ten on my shelf waiting to be read. I am sure I will pass the good ones on to you as I finish them this year. Hands down, the best child training book I have ever read is Raising Godly Tomatoes by Elizabeth Krueger. Comparing our children to tomatoes is a bit weird, don’t you think? The concept is simple, and one that in real life I have experienced.

See, last summer I had my first garden. I knew you needed to stake the tomatoes, so I drove a tobacco stake into the ground and we tied the stalks with yarn. Seemed like a great idea to me! Those of you who are experienced gardeners are now laughing, for you already know what happened. When the fruit ripened, it was too heavy for the string, and the stalks drooped to the ground, making it hard for us to pick. The branches grew wild, and any attempt to train them and tie them back to the stakes broke the stalks. The fruit which was on the ground had the tendency to rot since it was on the damp earth.

Row3Best Loving Those Tomatoes

Mental note for next year: Stake the tomatoes better. Create the stage where they can grow strong and bear the fruit they were created to bear. Each of us — each of our children — are created to bear good fruit in our lives! Weak, wild, undisciplined children grow up into weak, wild, undisciplined adults who cannot bear up under the fruit. We see examples of this every day.

How does this apply to children? To create the right environment for my tomatoes this summer, I will need to plan ahead. I will need to train the branches to grow the right way, so they will be strong. I will need to fertilize correctly so they can have the best tasting fruit.

IMG 4728 Loving Those Tomatoes

Our children are the same. They must be trained so they can bear up to the weight of their fruit. We cannot let them grow wild! It is unfair to punish when they do exactly what we have let them do! We need to train them to be the people we know they should be. When we just punish after they have pushed all our buttons, we punish out of anger.

Tomato Staking keeps your children near you as they are growing. That way you are able to catch the behaviors and attitudes before they grow into a branch which is strongly grown the wrong direction. We all know how hard it is to change bad habits.

As the children become stronger and more trustworthy, they get to experience more freedom. Read what Elizabeth Krueger writes on her website:

“Tomato Staking is a powerful tool that enables preemptive parenting. When you Tomato Stake, you can anticipate wrong attitudes and misbehaviors and nip things in the bud before they become ingrained habits. You are right there to encourage right behavior as well. And, of course, it’s easy to get to know your child when you spend time with him. And the better you know him, the more likely it is that you will develop a close, loving relationship, and will remain close throughout life. Tomato Staking provides you with the avenue to be a teacher, mentor, friend and more to your child.”

She has a great website explaining how it all works. And the book is the best $15 you’ll ever spend in child training. Head over to her site and browse around. You’ll be motivated to spend some time training your children so they can bear the fruit they are meant to!

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