Monday, April 27, 2009

Carol Barnier: Don't Miss the Gift in Your Child

Here are my notes from Carol's encouraging talk...

1. My children are gifts.
-When Christ lived on earth, children were often viewed as disposable and lowly. His attitude toward them was radical - they were precious to Him!

2. How do I miss the gift in my child?
-As a homeschooling Mom, I'm with my children 24/7; this can cause us to lose sight of God's vision for our children.

3. Why I cannot let myself lose sight of the gift:

-If I continue to hammer my child all the time and/or constantly put my expectations on him, them he will eventually redefine himself in his eyes as the bringer of all the frustration in my life.

-I need to be the grownup and set the tone for the family.

-When I mess up (get angry, frustrated) and hurt my child's feelings, I need to start with an apology (with no buts or justifications). No matter what the child did, I didn't respond well, and I need to be responsible for my behavior. End the apology with "Will you forgive me?" and "Have I hurt you in another way that I'm unaware of?"

-I must change my perspective if my child is going to be all God planned for Him to be. I must view my child the way God sees them.

4. Pitch...
a. of myself being a supermom (housekeeping, perfect kids, etc.)
b. that I've placed on my child. Accept him the way God created him.

-Teaching methods that aren't working with my child (If I have a non-traditional learner, I'll need to think outside the box to help him learn. Don't keep pounding away with any method that's not working.)

5. Final Thoughts...
-I have to work at opening the gift that is my child to understand his strengths, interests, learning styles, special qualities.

-Don't be arrogant. Don't get stuck in my child's current condition. Don't diminish the glorious things that God has in mind for my child.

-Realize the value that God places on my child and then share it with them.

-Share with him how God has a divine plan and vision for him. Tell him about all his gifts and special qualities that God has given him.

-A regular, consistent, habitual quiet-time for me is a necessity.

-I have to point out the stuff my children need to change, but I must also counter-balance that with the positive...They must have hope!

-Find and focus on the positive side of each of my child's negative qualities. Make a list. (Ex. - likes to argue/a great quality for a lawyer. Maybe he'll defend homeschoolers' rights someday!)

-Use The Love Sandwich: Precede any negative criticism with a positive comment, and then end with another positive observation. Positive/Negative/Positive

-Make it a habit of affirming my children by pointing out their positive qualities: "You bring me peace." "You make me laugh." "You give me new perspective." She's given her children nicknames like, "my doer", "my feeler", and "my thinker".

-Again...I must view my children the way that God sees them. He has awesome plans for each of their lives!

These notes do not do Carol's talk justice. She is such an honest, real, encouraging, and humorous speaker. I hope that these notes will encourage you to check out one of her books or take the opportunity to see her in person if she's speaking near you. You can hear samples of her talks and purchase her books at her website, Open Gifts.


  1. It sounds like a great convention! The 24/7 of homeschooling certainly does impact the ability to see your children's gift. You brought back some great reminders. Thanks for sharing your convention with us.

  2. Thanks for sharing these notes, this is one of the sessions I really wanted to get to but was unable to hear. Sounds like a good one!! :)

  3. Hi Shannon, That was a powerful post, I will have to check out her website AFTER my feet heal from being stepped on after reading this. What a great goal to strive for everyday.

  4. Oh I just love you and your blog. What a blessing. Thank you so much...this is true blog-candy!!!!

  5. I get to see Carol when I go to the LEAH convention in June!

    I'm only going one day so I'm not sure what I'll be doing when I get there yet.

    I haven't finished reading, but I'll come back and do that.

    Trying out for the TOS Crew? I sure hope we make it!

    Heather W


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