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March 30, 2020

An Emotional First Aid Kit for Mothers

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As the pandemic continues, we hope and pray not only for a cure for the virus, but for some “emotional first aid” within our own families. We are truly in a “new normal” as parents with our kids, and we don’t know how long it will last. On this week’s Eyres on the Road podcast, Linda and Richard talk about some simple applications of “emotional first aid” that can help us and our children to not only get through this crisis, but to build some strong family systems that will be valuable even when this pandemic is over. Interestingly, Linda wrote a book called An Emotional First Aid Kit for Mothers.

And we must remember that we need to take care of ourselves as well as our children. Find a way to get out and exercise and clear your head. Find time to meditate and to pray. Find time to comfort and reassure your children. Use technology to stay close to those you love and need emotional nourishment from even though you can’t be with them. You can do this! You are stronger than you know.

 
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March 23, 2020

Spiritual Stewardship: An Alternative to the Error of Ownership

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At this time of isolation, quarantine, and new normal, most of us are more acutely aware of the things that matter most. There are some things that cannot be delegated, that rest only with us, and that are the most important and valuable part of our lives. A good name for these few and special things is “Stewardships.” The most important of these, of course, are our marriages, our children, and all of our family relationships.

Seven years after the publication of Stewardship of the Heart, the Eyres wanted to do a second edition that both expands the definition and application of an attitude of stewardship over ownership and that makes the concept available to all, whether “religious” or not. They called the new book Spiritual Stewardship and as the title suggests, it takes a spiritual but not denominationally religious tone. When Ownership is the trunk of our lives, the limbs that grow are pride, envy, covetousness, condescension, and greed. When we change our trunks to Stewardship, the limbs are replaced by humility, sensitivity, extra-centeredness, spirituality, and a win-win attitude. Learn how to apply a Stewardship attitude to everything, from parenting to career.

Definitions:

Ownership: The mistaken notion that things belong to us.
Stewardship: The more accurate attitude that things pass through our hands, that we are caretakers or stewards over them for a time.

Spiritual Stewardship: The pure, powerful perception that everything belongs to God, that true joy comes in magnifying and serving with what He gives us.

In “normal life” there is often a disconnect between what we know is most important and where we spend our time and mental energy. We all know family is our top priority, but it often gets less attention and effort than our jobs and our other interests. This pandemic, with everything canceled and with kids out of school, may actually help us better align what matters most and where we spend our effort and our energy. This all ties in with the powerful concept of Stewardship and of acknowledging that we own nothing and God owns everything–thus we need to be better stewards over the most important stewardship of all–our marriages and our families. On this week’s episode of their Eyres on the Road podcast, Richard and Linda outline what a Stewardship attitude looks like and how it can help us get through this pandemic and actually improve our priorities and our stewardship responsibilities over the long term.

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March 9, 2020

Families, Religion, and Spirituality

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The Eyres frequently speak of the need for divine help in the difficult and complex challenges of marriage, parenting, and family, and they are often asked about their personal faith. In this week’s Eyres on the Road podcast, Richard and Linda tell the story of their long friendship with Rhodes Boyson, the British member of Parliament who was Margaret Thatcher’s Minister of Education and who had some very deep questions about Richard and Linda’s faith and about their beliefs about the eternal nature of families. The Eyres wrote several long letters to Boyson, and later put those letters into a book called The Wrappings and the Gifts which was an attempt to explain why faith and a belief in a life before and a life after can have such a profoundly positive impact on the kind of marriage partners and parents we become. The book is free at EyresFreeBooks.com. To conclude this most recent podcast episode, the Eyres mention an Abraham Lincoln quote that says “There are times when I am driven to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have no place else to go.” This is often the way parents feel, and an appeal to a higher source can yield inspiration and guidance concerning what our children need.

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March 2, 2020

Serendipitous Parenting

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What is the single quality that all naturally good parents seem to have? The Eyres believe that a key, essential quality is an attitude of Serendipity! Serendipity, as defined by the man who coined the word, Horace Walpole, is “A state of mind whereby one, through awareness and sensitivity, frequently finds something better than that which he was seeking.” The implication is that we can have our goals and make our lists, but we need to be aware and sensitive enough to notice when something better comes along unexpectedly–an idea, a sunset, a question from a child, a need that someone has, any kind of beautiful and unplanned moment that we could interpret as an interruption or irritation but that we choose to interpret as a serendipity. It is with this kind of spontaneity and sensitivity that we recognize the teaching moments when we can really help our children, and as Richard likes to say, it is good to “Always put off a put-off-able in favor of a now or never.” And when the spiritual dimension is added, Serendipity includes the nudges, the impressions, the inspiration of the Spirit which guides us in our parenting and in knowing what our children need.

In the Eyres’ book, Spiritual Serendipity, (An expanded international edition of their earlier book Serendipity of the Spirit) they tell us the full story of the word–how Walpole coined the word after reading an ancient fable called The Three Princes of Serendip (the ancient name for the isle of Sri Lanka); and how the word can become an alternative attitude to the fatally flawed paradigm of control. Parents who try to control every aspect of their children’s growth are constantly frustrated, whereas those who respect their children and seek to know their inherent gifts and talents usually succeed.

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February 24, 2020

Loving Where and When You Live

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Too often we think life will be better when….or wasn’t it great back then…or if only we lived somewhere else. Today on the show, the Eyres talk about gratitude and appreciation and teaching our kids to appreciate the now and to love where they live. Back in the 90s when Richard was running for Governor, he and Linda wrote a book called Utah in the Year 2000 which was about making Utah a great state for families and appreciating and preserving the state’s beauty. With their children, in a motorhome, the Eyres visited every city and town in the state (over 300 of them) and learned that every place can be beautiful and taught their kids that everyone has a story and can teach us something. Enjoy this look backward and this look forward as we think about teaching our children to “bloom where they are planted.”

 
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February 17, 2020

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There

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In their 28th book, the Eyres explode some of the old sayings or cliches and hackneyed old sayings that just don’t work very well for families today. In our busy world, we need to turn it around and say “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit there!” Instead of “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well” we need to say “If a thing is just barely worth doing, just barely do it.” We need to relax. Instead of saying “Hurry up” we need to tell ourselves, and our kids, to “slow down.” We need to be present! Instead of “Never put off till tomorrow that which you can do today” we need to “Always put off a put-off-able in favor of a now-or-never.”

It is surprising how much certain old cliches can influence our lives. They become a sub-conscious part of our paradigm and make our lives more complex and stressed. On their latest episode of Eyres on the Road, Richard and Linda talk about their book Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There and debunk 20 or so of these old sayings and replace them with the new maxims that work for individuals and families today.

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February 10, 2020

Three Steps to a Strong Family

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Have you ever wished parenting was a little simpler? Here is the Eyres’ personal story about seeking and writing about simpler parenting: After their 26th book on Teaching Children Values became a #1 New York Times Bestseller, the Eyres’ publisher, Simon and Schuster, signed them to a 5 book contract with complete freedom to write about whatever they wished. In their speaking engagements with parents around the world, Richard and Linda had been teaching the goal of creating a Family Culture that is stronger than all the other cultures that swirl around our children and suggesting three ways to create such a culture. So they decided that their next book should reflect this goal and be called Three Steps to a Strong Family.

This week on their Eyres on the Road podcast, the Eyres talk about the three things that create a strong culture–the three things that every lasting institution has: A set of rules or laws (a legal system), A way of sharing responsibility (an economy) and repeating rituals that hold people together (lasting traditions). If we want our families to be lasting institutions, we must have these same three things–A family legal system, a family economy, and a set of powerful family traditions. If parents build these three things (or three steps) thoughtfully and deliberately, and if they involve the kids in creating each of the three steps, they will maximize their family’s chance to thrive, to be strong, and to last.

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February 3, 2020

Teaching Your Children Values

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What is the single most important responsibility (and greatest hope) of most every parent? To teach their children the values that will make them responsible members of society and maximize their chance for a happy, fulfilling life. Sometimes parents simply hope that their children will pick up their values by osmosis, and that all they need to do is to set a good example for their kids. But it is the parents who deliberately set out to teach their children specific values who succeed. We need the tools of stories and games and any other method available to us to help our children understand each value and know why they need to live by them.

On their most recent podcast, Eyres on the Road, Richard and Linda tell the inside, back story of their book Teaching Your Children Values which became the first family and parenting book in 50 years to reach #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is an exciting story involving Oprah, the Today Show, and two of the largest publishers in the world. More importantly, the Eyres discuss why it is so important to deliberately and systematically teach our children values, and how this can best be done by isolating one specific value each month to work on in your family.

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January 27, 2020

How a Stewardship Attitude Can Make You a Better Parent

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When we think we own things, it is the beginning of pride. Ownership is essentially a lie, because God owns all, and we are the recipients of His gifts. When our paradigm is ownership, we inevitably compare what we have with what others have, and the results are envy, coveting, condescension, and a whole host of other win-lose mentalities and emotions. A much more true paradigm, and by far a more happy one, is stewardship. We are stewards over all things God has given. Even the things we have worked hard for and inclined to think we own. An attitude of stewardship turns everything into a win-win and gives us an accurate and spiritual lens through which to view the world.

And oh how much this applies to families, and to parenting, and to marriage. Parents who imagine that they own their kids–that they are their genetic creations and belongings–become the worst kind of parents, with lots of “power” and very little respect. On the other hand, when we think of ourselves as blessed stewards over our children, we respect them and love them in ways that nurture and help them to grow. Along with serendipity (last week’s show) stewardship forms the book-end attitudes of good marriages and good parenting.

The Eyres’ 24th book–Stewardship of the Heart (28th if we count second editions)–is essentially a celebration of the attitude of stewardship and of all it can do to enhance our parenting, our marriages, our relationships, and our happiness.

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January 20, 2020

The Power of Serendipity

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We would all like to have more control over our time, our kids, our relationships, our schedules, but life happens, and so often things come up that throw us off of our plan and get in the way of our “lists.”

The Eyres’ 27th book, Serendipity of the Spirit, is about their favorite word, Serendipity, and explains that the word can become a mindset that makes us more spontaneous, more fun, and more relaxed. The original definition of Serendipity is “A state of mind wherein a person, through sensitivity and awareness, frequently finds something better than what he was seeking.” This quality can allow us to see teaching moments, to love rather than resent the surprises and interruptions of our lives, and to be more tuned-in to the relationships that matter most. In fact, the Eyres say that an attitude of serendipity may be the most important quality that a parent or marriage partner can develop.

Learn more about why and how it was written on Richard and Linda’s most recent Eyres on the Road podcast.

 
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