Monthly Archives June 2008

When Kids Say…

    Posted in Family/Parenting    |    1 Comments

Chet playing games with nephew and nieceI was recently approached a reporter from “The Plain Dealer” by the name of John Campanelli regarding how I handle a situation when a child says something inappropriate about me or to me.  He quoted me as saying:

“I often try to go directly to the child and open up a conversation with them,” he said via e-mail (he types with his feet). “It may be that they have never seen someone like me, and often times, I am able to show them that I am a person, too, and that they do not have to be afraid of me just because I look different.”  (pg. 3, Advice for handling kids’ embarrassing comments)

I would like to take a moment to write even more about this topic as it is very important to me.  Quite frequently, when I am in public, kids stare, laugh, point, or yell out things like, “Hey, what happened to your arms.”  
 
The worst way, in my opinion, for a parent to react is to ignore the child, or to rebuke the child openly/loudly for their behavior.  I have even seen parents hit or spank their children for the outburst.  I can only assume that the parent is embarassed, and yes, outbursts like that need to be corrected, however, I believe that type of correction only serves the purpose of furthering the child’s fear of people who look different than they do. 

If the parent has the opportunity, I recommend for them to stop what they are doing, get eye-to-eye with the child, and explain that some people look different, but that does not mean they aren’t people, too.  Many times, with this reaction, I’m able to speak to both the parent and child, which reinforces what I am saying because mom or dad can interject when needed.  Even better, when the parent involves me in the conversation, I get a golden opportunity to share God’s love with both the parent and the child.  Even though I may look different, God still loves me in every way that He loves you.  This message so important, and every child needs to hear it (and every parent, too).
 
I welcome the opportunity for a child to have questions.  The sooner I can teach them not to fear, the better off we are as a country with one more child growing up without a fear of others.

Family Time

    Posted in Churches, Family/Parenting    |    Comments Off on Family Time

Chet leading worship with (from left to right) Ben Wall, Jessica McDoniel and Randy McDonielMy dad and I had the wonderful opportunity to share our story at the New Life Church in Odessa, TX this past Sunday.  My brother and his family attend here, and I got to lead their praise team which my brother and niece both sing on.  We had a great weekend watching my niece graduate from High School and spending time with family.  The weekend was capped off by a powerful worship service.  In the picture above, I am leading with Ben Wall (far left) and my niece and brother (on the right).

The New Life Church is full of life and energy and their excitement could easily be seen in their passionate worship. One special moment of the service that morning was when my whole family was able to gather around a small communion table and share communion together. What a powerful experience!

After Sunday morning, Joni, Hannah and I drove to Lubbock to visit with relatives on Joni’s side of the family.  We even got a 5 generation picture from Hannah all the way up to Hannah’s Great-Great Grandmother.  Truly a “once-in-a-lifetime” picture that will be a wonderful keepsake.  After stopping in Abilene on the way home to visit more relatives, we finally made it back to DFW Tuesday morning.  You can see more pictures of that portion of the trip on our family blog, McDoniel Family.

We’re all still tired, but we had a wonderful weekend, and we were given yet another chance to tell our story. 

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