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October 14, 2019

Teaching Children Responsibility

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After the Eyres had been on their media tour promoting Teaching Children Joy for the parents of preschoolers, their publisher asked them to consider writing a sequel for the parents of elementary-age children. It had always been Richard and Linda’s philosophy that as kids get to first or second grade, the focus has to shift to helping them begin to understand how to behave responsibly. So it was natural to call the sequel Teaching Children Responsibility.

This is a book about the universal challenge of helping children grow into responsible adults. Many studies show that the single biggest concern of parents worldwide is “Raising Responsible Kids in an Irresponsible World” and Richard and Linda tackled the subject in their eleventh book, Teaching Children Responsibility by breaking down the subject into twelve different kinds of responsibility–one each month of the year for parents to focus on. The twelve things we all want our kids to be responsible for are 1. Obedience, 2. Things, 3. Work, 4. Actions, 5. Talents, 6. Attitudes, 7. Choices, 8. Character, 9. Potential, 10. Smaller Children, 11. Dependability, and 12. Contributing.

The important thing about both of these “Teaching Children” books is that they represent a whole new approach to parenting that the Eyres call “Parenting by Objective” which involves having very clear and intentional goals concerning what you want to teach a child, and then pursuing a plan and a month-by-month approach that implements the objective and gives the child what you have predetermined he or she needs. The old saying “a great offense is the best defense” really applies here, and parents who are proactive rather than reactive have more fun!

Just as Teaching Children Joy became the basis for world-wide Joy Schools, Teaching Children Responsibility spawned Alexander’s Amazing Adventures – a brilliant series of 12 fantasy audio adventures, each of which, through drama and music and humor, teaches one of the 12 forms of responsibility. Elementary-age kids love Alexander and his adventures, which are available here on this site.

Listen to the podcast and get the book for free:

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October 7, 2019

The Awakening

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Years ago, while living with their family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Richard Eyre, with Linda’s help, began thinking about and writing a novel that would be an adventure story and a romance, but that would also symbolize the journey we all go through in trying to learn who we really are. The story is set in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Park, but also in Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England.

In their podcast this week (Eyres on the Road–available on all podcast apps) the Eyres talk about how essential it is to give our children a strong identity as part of a lasting family. Studies show that kids who know “where they came from” in terms of their ancestors and their stories are more resilient and secure than kids who don’t. Richard and Linda focus in on the tenth book they ever wrote, a novel called The Awakening, which is about an amnesiac and his search for who he is. The book is written as an adventure and a romance, but on a symbolic level it is about the search for identity that we all go through and how we can discover what is most important and make what matters the core of who we are.

Podcast Free e-Book

September 30, 2019

Simplified Husbandship, Simplified Fathership

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We really believe that the role of “Father” has taken on a new pro-activity in the current generation of dads. We see more dads becoming full and equal partners with their wives in the raising of children–changing diapers, driving carpools, telling bedtime stories, and giving the tender, nurturing kind of care that used to be thought of as the preview of moms.

We like to tell the story of a friend of ours whose daughter asked her one day “Mom, how hard is it to be a mom?” She said the question caught her off guard and while she was trying to think of how to answer it, the daughter went on to say “Mom, sometimes is it just so hare that you wish you were a dad?”

Funny as that story is, the fact is that today’s dads are more and more involved in the “hard” part of raising children and being equal partners in the home.

Years ago Richard Eyre (with a lot of help from Linda) wrote a book advocating this greater involvement from husbands, and suggested that men take a more proactive approach both to parenthood and to marriage.

In their podcast this week the Eyres expand and expound on the principles of this book which is directed at fathers and husbands and which attempts to give men four key concepts or words that can be programmed into their minds to form their attitudes and approaches as husbands (“Partner” “Protect” “Patriarch” and “Priority”); and four other principles or word-pegs that can form their approaches to fathering (“Confidence” “Calmness” “Consultant” and “Concentrate”) Each of these eight words is fleshed in with stories and illustrations of how they can make us into the type of dads and husbands we want to be. At the beginning of the show, the Eyres pay tribute to the dads and husbands of today and how much more involved and committed they are than those of previous generations.

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September 23, 2019

Lifeplanning

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Can we write our diaries in advance? Can we set goals and make plans so precisely and powerfully that we are actually creating the future? Are statements like this true: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve,” “Beware of what you want, for you will get it,” “You can achieve anything if you plan your work and then work your plan.”?

This week the Eyres discuss their seventh book, called Lifeplanning (co-authored with Paul H. Dunn), and candidly admit that they are not happy with everything they wrote in that book. They worry that it suggests that we have more control of our lives than we really do, and wish that they had written more about how important it is to be flexible and to adjust our goals and plans as unexpected opportunities or problems enter our lives. But the core idea of goal-setting and planning is sound, and we need to have “relationship goals” for our marriages and our parenting as well as “achievement goals” for our work and careers. How well we set these goals, how frequently we review and adjust them, how prayerful and guided we are, and how diligently we work on them can determine our happiness as well as our destiny.

Since it’s writing, Richard and Linda have made significant adjustments in their personal approach to life, and now believe that goals and plans can be powerful tools, and can help us examine our lives and seek our destinies, but that it is extremely important to balance relationship goals with achievement goals and that an attitude of serendipity (watch and pray) must accompany our attitudes of stewardship (work and plan). These added ideas are reflected in a subsequent book called LifeBalance which will be briefly reviewed here in coming weeks.

For a more thorough review of the “good parts” of Lifeplanning:

 
Podcast

September 9, 2019

Teaching Children Joy

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Today’s featured “Eyre Book” will come as no surprise to visitors to this website, because it is the book that started it all–that became the basis of Joy School, and that caused the Eyres to shift from their management and music careers and become full-time writers and speakers.

A preschooler’s absorbent mind can learn just about anything, so the question is, what to teach them. Many parents opt for early academics, but studies show that this may make them bored when they start school and that other kids will catch up by age 7 or 8. A better option is to let kids have a real childhood, free from the school pressure that will come soon enough. The thing to focus on with preschoolers is the emotional and social skills or “Joys” that will make them happy people.

The Eyre’s eighth book, Teaching Children Joy, came about in resistance to all of the pushy, early-academics preschools that they encountered while living in suburban Washington DC. In the book they break Joy down into 12 separate “Joys,” three that are physical, like the Joy of the Body and the Joy of the Earth, three that are mental like the Joy of Imagination and Creativity and the Joy of Order and Goal-Striving, three that are emotional like the Joy of Family Identity, and the Joy of Individual Confidence and Uniqueness, and three that are social, like the joy of Communication and Relationships and the Joy of Sharing and Service.

The book became a best-seller, was translated into a dozen languages, and spawned Joy Schools, a do-it-yourself preschool that has now been practiced by more than 200,000 families.

Hear the Eyres tell the personal story of how the book came about and get the whole book for free online:

Podcast Free e-Book

September 2, 2019

What Manner of Man

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For many years, Richard and Linda have said that the two most important things on earth, (and the two highest priorities we should have) are our family relationships and our relationship with Christ. They like to think of “eternal family” as the goal or the end, and Christ as the facilitator or enabler or the means. That is why they post on Instagram (@richardlindaeyre) each Sunday on one aspect of Christ (taken from this book and enhanced) and each Monday on one aspect of improving our marriage or parenting.

Perhaps the single most pivotal and influential thing we can do for our children is to teach them to know Jesus Christ. Nothing else will prepare them as well to make good decisions and to live to their potential than a clear vision of who Christ was and is. It was these thoughts that motivated the Eyres to write their sixth book, which asks its readers to focus on one single, specific aspect or facet of Jesus’s character each week of the year, particularly on each Sunday. The Eyres wrote this book while they had the stewardship of 600 young missionaries in London, England in the hopes that those young people, along with their own children, would become interested in knowing as much as they possibly could about Christ and His life and ministry and about “what manner of man” He was and is.

The Eyres’ sixth book was written for a very specific purpose–namely to help themselves, their children, and those they were leading and working with to develop a deeper and more specific understanding of and relationship with Jesus Christ. Originally written not as a book but as a series of weekly letters or articles, the idea was to focus or zoom in, each and every week, on one separate, individual element of who Christ was and is and what characteristics He had that we can try to follow or emulate.

Listen to a podcast from the Eyres about this book and receive the entire book for free:

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August 26, 2019

The Birth That We Call Death

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Some cultures completely avoid the subject of death–to the point where it is taboo to even talk about it. Faith communities and certain other societies are less hesitant to talk about death, and many of the most enlightened discussions depict physical death as a kind of spiritual birth.

How we talk about (and how we think about) death can have a significant impact on our children. Clearly, it is easier for people of faith and belief in a hereafter to think positively about death, but with the right mindset, we can all think of death more as a kind of birth and bring a comforting long-range perspective into our families’ lives.

The fifth book the Eyres ever wrote is titled The Birth That We Call Death (co-authored with Paul H. Dunn) and it shares some of the wisdom and insight of great thinkers from Shakespeare to Nathaniel Hawthorne to Benjamin Franklin on this subject, and it is insight that applies to us all and to our families.

Listen to a podcast from the Eyres on this subject, and if you want to go still further, receive the entire book for free:

Podcast Free e-Book

August 19, 2019

Goals

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Goals: The ability to set, sub-divide, and pursue goals is often what separates the great from the mediocre or even from the good. Good planning is not possible unless it is preceded by good goal setting. This week the Eyres post and speak about the subject of Goal Setting from a family and parenting perspective. Referencing a book they wrote many years ago, called simply Goals (co-authored with Paul H. Dunn), they discuss the charting of a life course and the setting of corresponding plans via the sailing analogy of knowing your destination and then setting and trimming the sails in a way that will get you there. Of course, it is the wind that propels the sailboat, and it is work that propels us toward our goals. “Relationship Goals” are even more important than “Achievement Goals.” At this time of year, as a new school year begins, there are special opportunities to help our children set academic, extracurricular, and character goals.

The Eyres wrote this book, their fourth, at a time when goals and the direction of their family and professional lives were in formative stages, and the book’s content has had a powerful impact on how they have chosen to live their lives personally as well as influencing the life-approach of countless readers over nearly four decades.

Sailing works particularly well as a metaphor for goal setting. In this book, written mainly at the Eyre’s sailing mecca of Bear Lake, every left-hand page is a principle about sailing and every corresponding right-hand page is about how the same principle can be applied to life and to the goals we set. For example, one left-hand page starts with “A well-handled sailboat is so versatile that it can sail into the wind as well as with it,” and the corresponding right-hand page begins with “Properly set goals are so powerful that they can propel a person in a direction that is contrary and even opposite to the prevailing directions of the world around him.”

The table of contents is arranged in ‘steps” rather than chapters. Step one: Understanding sailing and Understanding Goals, Step two: Knowing your ship and your sea and Knowing yourself and your world, Step three: Final destination and Lifetime Goals, Step four: Intermediate stops and Intermediate goals, Step five: Setting the sails and Setting the plans, Step six: Trimming the Sails and Adjusting, updating the goals, and Step seven: Wind and Work.

A free copy of this book will soon be available at EyresFreeBooks.com

For more on this book:
 
Podcast

August 12, 2019

The Discovery of Joy

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”Joy” is a deeper and very different word than “happiness.” Joy, as we like to say, is the purpose of life and a choice we make. Joy is an attitude. Joy is a paradigm. Joy is a way of life. We can’t always choose the paths our life will take, but we can always control how we respond to those paths and what we try to learn and feel from them.

The third book the Eyres ever wrote was called The Discovery of Joy and it set the tone and the theme for much of their subsequent writing. The thesis of the book is that there are four levels of true joy: 1. The Physical Joy of Body and Earth, 2. The Social and Emotional Joy of Relationships and Achievements, 3. The Mental Joy of understanding the long range purpose of our thoughts and deeds, and 4. The Spiritual Joy of feeling Divine approval of what we are doing and who we are becoming.

But the real story of this book began long. before it was written and continues long after. The concept of the superiority of Joy over Happiness and the notion that Joy can become the theme and the pursuit of family life and move us toward lasting marriages and successful kids is something Richard and Linda had pursued for years and that eventually led to the founding of Joy Schools, a preschool curriculum that is now worldwide and that has been participated in by more than 300,000 families. (several years after writing The Discovery of Joy, the Eyres wrote Teaching Children Joy which became the actual prototype and catalyst and essential curriculum for Joy Schools.) The belief is that small children should not be pushed into early academics but should, instead, experience a real and joyful childhood. Joy School is a do-it-yourself preschool where moms form a group and rotate as teacher using lesson plans that have been developed over 30 years.

Interestingly, the new year of Joy School is currently on sale here on ValuesParenting, and the Eyres’ mother, Ruth S. Eyre who developed the full 12 unit curriculum from Richard and Linda’s books is honored this week (her birthday week–she would be 97).

But it all started with this book, and you can learn more about it via a podcast that the Eyres did 2 days ago, and you can get the whole book for free at EyresFreeBooks.com.

Podcast Free e-Book Joy School on Sale

August 5, 2019

Relationships

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No one, on their deathbed, says “Oh gee, I wish I had spent more time at the office.” What ends up mattering most in life is not the things we accomplish or the accolades we win; what matters most is the strength of our relationships with those we love most.

This week the Eyres continue their series on the core message of each of their 50 published books on family, parenting, marriage, and life balance. This is the second week in the series, and the focus is on their second book, titled Relationships, With Self, With Family, and With God (co-authored with Paul H. Dunn).

The prime message of the book is that relationships are more important than achievements and deserve an equal or greater amount of time and mental energy. While achievement goals are often set with numbers and percentages and quantitative measurement, relationship goals are set with descriptive paragraphs about what you want a particular relationship (with a spouse, or a child, or with God) to be like in five years.

Those who deliberately change their priorities from achievements to relationships will find ways to improve the one thing that, late in life, everyone wishes they had spent more time and effort on–the key relationships of their life.

For more on this book and to read it for free:

Podcast Free e-Book

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