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Seize the Moment!

by on August 15, 2013




We go through stages as we grow up.  Initially we are cared for and we develop attachments with the care-givers. Those attachments can be secure or insecure depending on the level of care we receive during our earliest days of life.

A later stage has to do with autonomy and initiative.

Autonomy is associated with our ability to develop as individuals.

Initiative has to do with our willingness and ability to begin behaviors on our own.

My little grand-children enjoy going to grandma and grandpa’s house. On a recent visit, a two year-old gave me a puzzle and then she went and sat down on the floor and looked at me. Her language has not developed to the place where she could express verbally what she wanted. Her non-verbal language, however, was unmistakable. She wanted Grandpa to help her with the puzzle.

Prior to this experience, I always had to initiate playing with the puzzle. This time, she clearly initiated the puzzle experience on her own. This is called initiation. She personally began the process of doing the puzzle with me.

What to do? I was busy. I had things to do. There was my little grand-daughter sitting on the floor looking up at me. Work was calling. What to do?

Seize the moment!

This was her first time to initiate play time with grandpa.

It was my opportunity to reinforce her desire to express herself in this way.

Had I ignored her what would have happened?

She would not have a vocabulary to express what happened but,

She would have feelings about the situation.

If initiations are consistently ignored, the child will struggle to develop feelings of worth and value. Those feelings, not infrequently, persist into adulthood.

Does this mean that we reinforce every initiation? No. children need to learn that life does not revolve around them. They need to learn that obedience and cooperation are important in life. We also do not want to reinforce negative and harmful behaviors that are initiated. Healthy behaviors need to be gently shaped into the early life of the child. The result will be an emotionally and Spiritually healthy life.


Many adults are living a performance based life. This makes life very difficult for them and for those closest to them. They were not reinforced for being who God made them to be. Their early, and later, initiations were ignored or rejected. Now, they do not feel valued. They are familiar with rejection but struggle to process acceptance and love. They are comfortable with performance but struggle to accept affection. Love does not feel right. They do not feel worthy. These feelings get passed on to the next generations.

It takes much love and truth to change those long-standing feelings.

  • Truth and love must be applied with sincerity and gentleness.
  • It must be applied over a long enough time to be realized and accepted as genuine.
  • Wrong, self-depreciating thought patterns must be replaced with
  • Statements of genuine appreciation and truth.

Eventually, a sense of being adequately loved can replace the performance based living.


Many wonderful, talented people are living lives of painful struggle.

Love is available but they are skeptical of love.

They tend to persist in performance.

It is their “safe place.”



Raising children requires much wisdom and discipline.

  • Reinforce everything they do and they become self-centered narcissists.
  • Reinforce nothing and they become haunted by false guilt.
  • Balance and discernment are very important.
  • Reinforce and bless their childhood efforts.
  • Later, give them age-appropriate tasks and
  • Bless them for doing their work and
  • For being responsible.
  • They will develop a sense of value and worth.


I can still see those little eyes looking up at me saying (without words),

“Grandpa, come and play puzzles with me.”

Seize the moment!

You won’t regret it.

You will bless a life for life.




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