Purposeful Parenting

Going for Broke

We all want was is best for our kids but what does purposeful parenting look like in practice?

Follow the creator of Anton’s Antics’ as he negotiates the challenges of being a parent.

“The blog's slogan started off as a joke between my wife and I, as it can be tough making ends meet and parenting is not easy. I want to hear Jesus say ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ with what He has entrusted to me.  We have to go for broke don’t we?

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When your child should be banned from their favourite sport

footballertimothy-eberly-983458-blogWhen I was a kid I used to look forward to the weekends because Saturdays meant soccer matches in winter and cricket matches in summer.

I’d be devastated when the weather turned poorly, and you’d wake up dreading the phone call that would break the morning silence and announce the game was off.

Slightly less bad was being made ‘reserve’ and not getting a full game.

You play a sport to play and you’ll do anything to stay in the game you love.

Anything?

Well what if it meant denying your faith or silencing your mouth when it comes to what you share with others?

When kids deserve to be sidelined

Now, if you’re child does any of the following on the field, I think we all most likely agree, they should be suspended from play, if not banned.

-abusing the referee

-cheating

-disrespecting the coach

-bullying team-mates or the opposition

Off the field, one might argue that their behavior has no bearing on their Saturday involvement as that is a private matter.

Personal viewpoints and beliefs of our kids on and off the field one would think are just that, personal and a matter of opinion. However, this is changing in our secular societies as demonstrated by recent events in Australia.

Footballer gets sacked and banned from Australian Rugby team for quoting Scripture

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Why fire up a Facebook page for Skito after almost 10 years?

skito profile head shotblogThere’ll be a bunch of people out there who may dimly remember when Anton’s Antic’s shows were just crazy Anton and Stephen the story-teller. Not that just having the two characters was a problem. The shows were still great, but I always wished we had a musical component to lift up the shows, give a transition, a break and take the message home that much further.

For a couple of shows I put on some shades and a cap, maybe a jacket and started beat boxing to Bible verse in rhyme. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it fell flat. You learn quick that while all kids like beatbox, few can sustain beatboxing. You can’t do both so…People didn’t say, ‘drop that idea, it’s not working’. Instead they said…’you need your own beats’. So I went home and downloaded some free beats that I could put some simple rhyming lyrics over the top.

Enter Skito. 

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Before you ban your kid’s device, do this!

mumwithkids-edward-cisneros-blogAre you losing the battle as your precious plays with their ‘precious’?

Do they transform into Gollum when you threaten their device’s removal?

Well before you do a face off and unleash the four horses of the apocalypse there’s one thing you must do that has nothing to do with your kids or their device?

What is it?

YOU.

We need to talk about you and your device.

This week’s Purposeful Parenting tip is an easy one to grasp, but you may find it harder to put into practice than you think.

Test your fit by answering the following quiz:

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When it's time to ban you kid's device

cyberparentingYour boy is stuck to that darn game again.

You hardly see him and when you try and negotiate time away from his device, he gets cranky, irritable and well, it’s just easier to leave him be. It’s not all bad, lots of his friends do hang out with him, he’s got quite a social life. Only it’s all happening that virtual world. When your boy is present, he’s present in an alternate reality. The real-world lacks flavor. The alternate world is his new home.

Your girl rarely looks you in the eye, she just keeps scrolling.

She’s not antisocial, she just never goes out. After all there’s too much going on insider her device. Comparison is inescapable. Joy and contentment impossible. Beauty is without. Within doesn’t matter. And if she’s not in that device, she doesn’t even exist.

At school, the girls at least sit side by side, scrolling. Lol. During class they share images, via snapchat or Insta, as they sit right next to each other. ‘Sir, THIS IS really important!’ or ‘My mum is texting me!’

The boys likewise think they are masters of disguise, propping up a folder or a laptop, or staring between their legs, so they can play Fortnite or Minecraft or some derivative that is the latest ‘thing’.

As a concerned parent, what do you do?

Do you ban their device in order to save them and your family?

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Why teaching kids tolerance is getting tougher

You’re on holidays with your family, so you decide to visit a church. You arrive right on time but no time to be greeted by anyone, you leave right at the end with no real window of time for anyone to greet and welcome you. You leave.

You might even walk away thinking, ‘what an unfriendly church!’.

It’s highly unfair isn’t it?

When we behave like this, we don’t allow the space to be open to being served or serving ourselves. Instead, what’s really happening is we just want to be with others like ourselves, in our comfort zone, with people we KNOW. Meeting new people is challenging, it’s always easier to stick within your fold. Greeting people requires effort and other-person centeredness. So does making the effort to stick around a little to meet people who aren’t running up in any hurry to greet you as the visitor!

But here’s the thing…this is an opportunity to teach yourself and your kids tolerance.

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Ever feel that life is out of control?

mouldyfruit- ydney-rae-151444blogI was reading a reflection by a missionary on their time in the DR Congo, rape capital of the world.

The frailty of life, the shortness of life, the exposure to risk seems all too clear in Congo.

Security, being in control…you know that’s a fable in DR congo.

But then in Australia it’s different right, we’ve got good hospitals, good doctors, a democratic government that is stable and the rule of law is not absent.

Makes you feel like your standing on solid ground

Then the missionaries talked about having to return home to help out their daughter because her baby was fighting cancer.

How to combat that menacing insecurity in your family

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Should your kid de-clutter friends that don’t spark joy for them?

marie kondoYou line your friends up on your sofa.

It’s tight, some must sit on the arms or squished almost on someone’s lap but there all here.

You stand back.

You consider each one carefully.

Some make you smile.

Some you haven’t seen in a while, but they remind you of fond memories.

Others give you a sigh. You try not to show it, so you put out a small smile instead.

One or two make you look at the floor or away at a bird in a tree outside. They let you down.

You know what to do.

You ask each one to stand, give them a hug and ask them to sit in different parts of your lounge room.

The smilers and fond memories you ask to stay on the lounge.

The sighs, well, they can bunch up on a two-seater.

But the others…who spark no joy for you anymore, you give them a hug and ask them to leave.

You just Marie Kondo’d your friends.

Have you noticed how Kondo’s viral philosophy of only keeping what sparks joy for you is now spreading to relationships?

Life is busy, stressful.

Friends let us down.

Some don’t spark any joy for us…so why not shed them and declutter our lives so we have a bigger shot at ‘joy’.

With the approach of Easter, how does this trend in behaviour stack up against Christ’s ministry to us?

Let me tell share with you a little story that happened when I was a kid in primary school, perhaps you can relate…

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8 Biblical Boredom Breakers to Delight Kid’s at Easter

stickerstorydemohandblogAre you wondering how you’re going to keep kids occupied during Easter services?

Do you wish you could offer kids something substantial that would pitch the Easter story at their level, but doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg and takes all the pressure off you doing another thing?

Maybe you're also a parent looking for a Bibliical way to stretch your kid's faith through the Easter story?

I’m guessing that like most churches, you’ll be having the kids in with mum and dad during the Easter services. None of us want them to be bored, but even with a few ‘kiddy’ related spots or songs, any service can seem like an eternity to kids while that choc bunny is sitting at home, ready to be eaten.

What we need is something Biblical that turns a dull hour or so into a delight for them, right?

Imagine if you didn’t have to lift a finger and could give them a self-directed lesson, they can do in church that is Biblically focused and packed with fun activities including full colour stickers?

I’m Stephen Shearsby the creator of Anton’s Antics, Gospel Shows for Children and Families and over the past 7 years I’ve been writing and publishing sticker stories to make Easter a breeze for Christian ministries.

You see, one day a person came to me with a problem...

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5 Life Saving Ways to Teach Kids Easter and 4 Missteps to Avoid

drowning-crucifix-tim-marshall-76166-blogAre you drowning trying to think of some new way to share the good news with kids this Easter?

Could you use some inspiration and short cuts to help you teach Easter so that your kids hear the good news afresh this year?

We've all been there, so let me help you get the job done by giving you a focus and some quick tips to make sure your kids understand what Jesus achieved in a fresh light.

Plus, I’ll even give you the opportunity to have FREE access to one of my Easter video courses, that will take away the heavy lifting for you, saving you bundles of time and energy.

I’ve been sharing the good news with kids in schools and churches for the past 10 years performing shows using three different characters, live drawings and rap music. Several of these shows began from requests from schools and churches to perform around Easter.  I’m going to share with you my approach to preparing and engaging kids in the good news so that you can nail your prep, save time and do a great job teaching straight from the Bible this Easter season.

But we need to set some ground rules. First, I’ve got four things you should avoid then I’m going to show you five ways to help you really ‘zone’ in your preparation for Easter. 

Let’s get cracking with four mistakes I’d encourage you to avoid if you want to effectively teach kids the Easter message in a memorable way:

1.    The cart before the horse
2.    Trying to say too much
3.    Making God into a toothless tiger
4.    Unnecessarily graphic

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Why being a joyful Mumma is not enough

mom-kid-joy-jenn-evelyn-ann-blogWhat would make you be joyful?

Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword these days. Staying present, being in the moment.

The Bible calls it, contentment.

Happiness is fleeting, usually pegged about by our circumstances. When we’re winning, we’re up, when we’re losing, we’re down.

Whereas joy, the emotional sibling of contentment is unbuffered by the wind or lack thereof, that pushes our ‘boat’.

A joyful mum = kids?

Some would say, how’s that…I need a break from them!?

Then in our better moments as parents we say, ‘they are a constant source of joy’ (and frustration!). Am I right?

Recently our pastor put 3 pictures of different kids with just their head shots up on the church projector screen. He asked us to vote for which kid portrayed ‘joy’ to us.

When we panned back, we saw the full photo of each kid. One was riding a bike, the other opening the Christmas gift, the other a foster child who just got adopted. All were joyful…but most voted for the Christmas gift opening kiddo.

The point? Joy comes in many forms…and levels.

As a mum, what is joy for you?

Well, here’s the thing…what happens when your joy, your highest joy, is in being a mumma…or anything for that matter.

You’ll always be a mumma I guess, but your kids will grow up. …then what are you? Where does your joy go then? When they visit or call? You’re pretty much out of a job and the joy gravy train is looking pretty rusty.

What I’m saying is, when you’re outsourced, made redundant…your career is on the wane so to speak…if you’re joy is in being a mumma, won’t that mean your joy goes a bit south as the kids age?

Jesus made the same point after he sent the disciples out on a mission…they came back so stoked, so pumped, so joyful. Ministry success…how good is that, right? I mean if you get out there and preach the good news, launch a website, run a mission and things go off…you’d be pretty joyful.

But not Jesus.

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