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It might just be me, but I doubt it. I’ve had some low days. Days where I found it hard to get out of the chair and out of the pity party. We are all so tired of this quarantine thing. I am even struggling with which day of the week it is. Our weather is warm, then cold (even snow) and that doesn’t help. I’m ready to work in the yard and plant flowers and a garden, but this waiting is tough. Do you feel the same? What are you doing to combat this? Leave me a comment, because it might be something I need to try! Today, I actually made a plan and worked the plan. I got up and ate something nutritious and exercised (in the cold). I’m going to accomplish a few projects with my wife and try to use humor as much as possible. That means, I will probably make her jump a few times today. I am calling some friends and spending time on the phone with my dad. I just need a plan and push through the resistance that is holding me back. Sunny days are coming and the quarantine will pass soon enough. Stay safe and well (without losing your mind)!

Below is an email I sent to my church families and teachers who need encouragement and activities to enjoy during this wait. If you can use any of these in your ministry, please do. It includes a helpful article by David Thomas from Raising Boys and Girls. I am also sharing some links below to Stephanie Chase’s podcasts on the topic of “What it’s like to be home with a toddler.” I’m sure this will encourage some parents, so feel free to email the links for them to listen.

Your Friend,
Mr. Mark

Nothing seems to work as far as consequences for my kids. Help!

(by David Thomas from Raising Boys and Girls)

Consequences with girls are tricky. First of all, girls are manipulative. Second, they’re smart. And third, they’re manipulative. They’ll find any way to beat the system, if they can…especially girls that are later in the birth order. When it comes to consequences, I believe the three most important ideas are:

  1. Consequences need to be consistent.
  2. Consequences need to be enforceable.
  3. Consequences need to build incrementally.

We have a lot of parents who are of the “nothing works mentality.” We call these parents “buffet-style” parents. They’ve tried everything, for a week. Girls, again, are manipulative. These girls figure out if they say, “I don’t care,” or act like they don’t, their parents fall for it. They switch tactics thinking the consequences don’t matter to their daughters. These girls figure out if they hold out long enough, their parents will change tactics. Follow through.

One of my favorite consequences for young girls is to have them run laps.  They can run up and down the driveway or around the house.  But, laps don’t work if your daughter is older and literally won’t walk outside.  Only give consequences that are enforceable.  Chores are great, but only if you can actually rely on your child to do the chore.  If your child won’t do what you ask, the consequence will never work.  A girl who stonewalls needs a consequence that’s in your power.  She likely needs a privilege taken away that you do have the power to enforce.

Girls, again, are smart and manipulative. She’ll often try to blame you, if she can. “You’re being strict” or “mean” or whatever word she chooses. She earns one lap for disrespect, then another when it continues or loses time on her iPad incrementally. This teaches her cause and effect and a direct, non-arguable correlation to her behavior. Girls are smart. We’ve got to be smarter.

Finding effective consequences for boys can be challenging as well. I talk often about the importance of parenting in tandem with how God made him.  As we lean in to understanding his hard wiring, I believe it can adjust how we approach discipline.  Consider these categories.

Boys learn best by going through the motions. Lectures don’t help him make connections, consequences do.  Think back on the Prodigal Son. We’re told that young man “came to his senses” when he was dining with pigs – broke, filthy and swimming in guilt and remorse. In that moment, he decided to go home. His wise father didn’t meet him in the driveway with a lecture or an “I told you so.” He let the consequences do the teaching.  

Boys will bait their parents (especially moms) into a negotiation. They need to hear “I love you too much to argue. The conversation is over, and I’ve told you what the consequence will be. I’m going to my room and I suggest you go to yours.” Choosing to exit the conversation safeguards the chance either party will say or do something they’d later regret.   

Elevated Emotion
Giving out consequences when we are flooded with emotion is a bit like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach. We aren’t capable of making our most rational, thoughtful decisions. We’re more vulnerable to saying things like “you’re grounded for life” or “I’m selling the X-box.” I often remind parents that time-outs aren’t just for toddlers. Exiting the scene allows us to make wise decisions and model regulation and restraint. 

Art: Bible Verse Ransom Note
Here’s a fun way to practice Bible verses and it can take a while to accomplish. Give each child a sheet of paper, glue or tape, scissors, magazines or newspaper (even junk mail), and a Bible verse.  Instruct them to look through the pages of magazines and find the words or letters to make the Bible verse and glue it on the paper. Don’t forget the reference. Post it on the refrigerator and practice saying it each day. Repeat this activity next week with a new verse.

Verse suggestions:
Nahum 1:7  “The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; he cares for those who take refuge in him.”

Psalm 56:3  “When I am afraid I will trust in God.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Fun: Nature Walk and Leaf Rubbings

Supplies: copy paper, crayons

Instructions: Take your family on a nature walk to discover some items from nature create art rubbings.

Movement: Scavenger Hunt time

Post your pics & videos on Facebook and tag with #quailkids so others can see. Can you do all SEVEN this week?

April 13

  • Photo of you with clothes on backwards
  • Photo with your favorite hand written Bible verse
  • Photo of a human pyramid (be creative)
  • Photo in a homemade pirate’s hat
  • Video of you jumping over an object (be safe)
  • Photo in full snow-gear
  • Video doing the Church Clap dance (watch at

What it’s Like to be Home with a Toddler/Two year old
By Stephanie Chase

My heart goes out to the moms who don’t have the training and experience in working with little ones, so I made four podcasts in hopes to help them. The links are below. They aren’t perfect, but hopefully they will help. Feel free to pass them along to families in your ministry!


Or here are the links on YouTube:

Praying this will encourage moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers!!

This all-in-one Table Top Classroom set is perfect for creating a focal wall & table for your classroom or conference room. This set provides the long narrow crane boxes, sturdy cardboard tube, and large sticker panel (8’ x 4’). Order your Table Top Classroom set today or check out the other great VBS decorations in our store.

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