Let ‘Em Feel the Pain!

Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune of dozens of grandparents bringing their grandchildren to my karate school. After they had been with us for awhile and I was able to establish a good relationship with them, I asked them, “Why are you bringing your grandkids to karate? Where are their parents?” In many cases, I would hear that the grandparents were the children’s primary caregivers. The parents had skipped town, were in prison, or dead from a drug overdose.


In light of their answers, I then respectfully asked them, “If you could turn back the clock and go back to when they were kids, what would you do differently—what would you change?” Amazingly, almost every grandparent has answered, “I didn’t let them feel the consequences of their actions. Instead, I made excuses for them, I cut them slack, and I wish I hadn’t. I knew the teacher, the principal, the judge, the cop, and I got them out of trouble. So they never learned the consequences of wrong choices when their troubles were a tiny sapling, and as a result their troubles grew into great oak trees.”


As parents, you can learn a valuable lesson from the pain of others. Train your children when they are little. Let them feel the consequences of their inappropriate behavior. Let them stay after school for poor behavior in the classroom, even if it means you have to make and extra trip. Don’t argue with a teacher about a grade on a test. If they fail a class and have to retake it in summer school rather than go to camp because they goofed off during the year, they will learn a valuable lesson. As hard as these consequences may seem, they may be just the thing your son or daughter needs to keep them from going through greater hardship later in life.


If they are not listening to you and being polite when they are five years old, the situation will only become exponentially worse when they are seventeen. Consequences should be smart, swift, and real at any age. Remove privileges like cell phone and weekend activities if you receive reports of disrespect to teachers or authorities. Take away their car if they begin drinking and doing drugs. Let them get kicked off the football team or do community service because they got caught with alcohol.


Yes, cushion your kids’ consequences with compassion and understanding. They are constantly learning and transitioning into the role of self-sufficient adult. You should hug them, love them, and pray with them that God will help them through it. But, don’t take away the consequences. They must feel the pain of the poor choices they make when the consequences are safe and within your control.


“Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction, but he who heeds reproof is honored” (Proverbs 13:18).

The Turning Point

When I was asked to be a keynote speaker at the US Martial Arts Convention in Washington DC, the subject was The Turning Point. Here’s the highlights from this presentation:

For me and all of us, we have negative events in our lives: Tragedies, setbacks, obstacles…for us in Louisiana, our most well-known are Katrina and the following economic slump, and the oil spill. After events like these, griping, complaining, grumbling, and fault finding become everyone’s pastime.

But my question for you is: Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?

Are you a thermostat? Do you set the temperature in your life? For example, your attitude, your values, your beliefs, or your standards of excellence?

Or are you a thermometer? Do you reflect your environment and the thoughts and actions of those around you?

I hope its #1!

You decide for your family, your kids, your entire life. You ultimately decide what you think and say and do, because what goes on in your mind is exactly the results that you’ll get, and what you ALLOW to come out of your mouth will greatly determines your outcome.
For me, I had to stop making excuses, and stop accepting excuses made for me. I had to flood myself with positive messages, people, actions, habits and routines. I realized as YOU MUST, The Turning Point has always been as it always will be — the Turning Point had to happen inside of me. Nothing will get better until we do; make the decision today. Your mind, your thoughts, and your words will create your future. The battle to be won is within you- not outside of you

You’re the answer your looking for, and it all starts and ends with you and your choices. Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re always right”

So begin anew today!  Build the life of your dreams with no excuses or apologies! Your country, your community, and your family need you at your best more now than ever!

It’s your choice- I suspect you know it. It’s your choice- it always has been. Choose to be your best! Dream, build , create, encourage, grow! You can and must do it, so begin right now. Live the life of your dreams, and be sure to pray and include God in your plans!