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Each week the Eyres post one tried and proven “Parenting Principle” (or sometimes a Marriage Principle) here on this page, and also on social media (Instagram @richardlindaeyre, Facebook @lindarichardeyre, and Twitter @richardeyre). Please follow, and invite your friends to do the same. Each week the brief, quotable parenting principle will appear with several links to articles, podcasts, videos, or radio and television appearances that give more ideas, instruction and inspiration on that principle.

January 21, 2019

Be a Stewardship Parent, Not an Ownership Parent

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If we think of our children as our possessions, we respect them too little! If our paradigm is “I made them so I own them and can try to make them into what I want them to be,” we will fail as parents and will feel a lot of frustration while we are failing.

We don’t own our children! When we act as though we do, we make all kinds of parenting mistakes.

A much better attitude to have is that we have Stewardship over our children. This is a beautiful word because it implies that we love and take full responsibility for our kids, but recognize that they came from God as a sacred charge and that they are equal to us and we need to find out who they are—each unique one—and help them grow into all they can be.

This Stewardship paradigm causes us to respect our children, to view each of them as individuals, and to find joy as well as obligation in the privilege of raising them.

For more insight on Stewardship Parenting:

Podcast Article Book

January 14, 2019

Be a Serendipity Parent, Not a Controlling Parent

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Controlling parents try to manage all of their children’s actions, thoughts, ambitions, and behavior, to make their decisions for them, and to turn them into their version of what they should be. They often lose their kids or force them to rebel.

Serendipity parents observe and notice who their children really are and recognize and support their unique gifts and attributes; they see teaching moments and find opportunities to ask involving questions and to motivate kids to plan their own lives and make their own choices.

The definition of Serendipity is “A state of mind whereby a person, through awareness and sensitivity, frequently finds something better than that which he or she is seeking.”

Of course, good parents have goals for what they want to teach their children, and to some extent for what they want their children to become, but if we become too obsessed with our wants for our kids, we can become control freaks and do more harm than good.

Instead, if we can train ourselves to be sensitive and aware enough to notice our kids’ unique gifts and potential, we will find ways to help them grow into their own best selves, and we will enjoy this kind of parenting much more than the controlling kind.

For more insight and practical ideas on how to make this shift:

Podcast Book

December 6, 2018

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips Bonus #11: Elevate Your Marriage Goal

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The problem with “equality” in marriage is that it can induce a kind of confusion with “sameness” and a constant awareness of who is ahead and who is behind. It may produce more competition than cooperation. A better marriage goal is “oneness” where appreciation and cooperation and compensation for each other’s weaknesses can produce a synergy where the total is greater than the sum of its parts.

Hydrogen, by itself, is a gas possessing many unique properties. Oxygen is another gas with its own set of qualities. But when they are combined, in a committed, fused sort of way, they become marvelous, clear, flowing, life-giving water. In a similar way, a man and a woman, involved in and committed to the Oneness of their marriage, can continue to each possess their own individual qualities even as they combine them into a wonderful, synergistic union where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

For additional insights on the idea of oneness in marriage:

Article 1 Article 2 Podcast

November 28, 2018

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #10: Believe in the Micro and the Micro of Marriage

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There are plenty of discouraging statistics out there about the decline of marriage and worrisome public opinion polls showing a shocking rise in the number of people who don’t think marriage is any longer relevant.

And sometimes these kinds of statistics and polls can tend to make us lose hope for the future of the institution of marriage and even discourage us a little about our own marriages and our ability to continue to strengthen them.

But there is another side to this coin. The fact is that the very best marriages in history are happening right now. Today’s good marriages are very good marriages, representing more equal partnerships and the meeting of more physical, mental, social and emotional needs than marriages have ever met before.

For more data and commentary on what is happening to marriage on the macro, and ideas on how you can be optimistic and positive about the future of your own marriage and of marriage continuing as the most important institution of all time:

Podcast Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 Article 4

November 9, 2018

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #9: Make it a Three-way Partnership

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To have an eternal marriage, we need an Eternal Managing Partner. When a married couple begins to see a spiritual dimension to their union, it can make a two-way partnership into a three-way partnership and can bring a kind of holiness and perspective into the marriage that lifts it above the daily struggles and deepens the love and commitment.

A large majority of Americans believe in some form of higher power and engage in some kind of prayer. It is only natural to want help from this higher source on the most important relationship of our lives. Approaching marriage spiritually gives it a dimension and a level of commitment that improves its chances of lasting and flourishing.

Getting away together as a couple to communicate and plan and enjoy each other without the kids or cares or distractions of the world can have a powerful strengthening effect, but there is another kind of getting away with a third partner, and it is called prayer. When a couple recognizes not only their interdependence with each other but also their dependence on the Divine, something wonderful happens to a marriage–a new perspective comes, and a kind of help that only the Spirit can bring.

If we think of a husband and a wife as the two lower corners of a triangle, and God as the top point, then the closer we each draw ourselves toward the top, the closer we will find ourselves to each other.

For more ideas and approaches to this spiritual perspective in marriage:

Podcast Article 1 Article 2

Painting by Caitlin Connolly

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