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  • Good News for Bad Parenting Days

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    Babies cut teeth and kids get sick. All children forget homework assignments or permission slips, and choose to exert their free will in public at the worst times. Kids get hurt, disappointed, lazy, and angry. Kids have bad days and usually want parents to “share their pain.” There are some days when parents crawl into…
  • Am I Raising Judgmental Kids?

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    As I’m soldiering through these tween years, I have a new respect for mommas who’ve raised well-balanced, know-right-from-wrong adults who also have a deep, true genuine love for everyone. It’s not easy. Here’s how this has played out in our house: We teach them our core values. The things we want to stick. The things…
  • Why It’s Worth Seeing ‘Beauty and the Beast’

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    Disney’s latest live-action reboot of an animated classic started out as one of the year’s most highly anticipated family films. Sadly, it quickly devolved into a battleground over gay rights and the role children’s movies should have in pressing that issue after director Bill Condon—who did an excellent job with the film—told reporters that there…
  • From Bad Hair to Brokenness: Pointing Our Kids to God

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    Kate is my awesome, godly daughter who rarely flies her thirteen-year-old crazy flag. But when she does, it’s great stuff that must be shared. So with her permission, I relay a worthy moment in our house a few weeks ago in hopes of giving us something bigger to consider in our parenting journey. One particular…
  • Helping Children Cope with Death

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    Death is one of the hardest topics to broach with a young child, especially if you are struggling to deal with your own sorrow. However, it is an inescapable aspect of life and your child will want to understand it and find his own way to grieve. Children of all ages are confronted with that…
  • The Exit Strategy: a Parental Safety Net

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    In October of 2010, I took the plunge to follow my call: I left a high-profile country radio morning show in Dallas/Fort Worth to start a life of ministry. I told my co-hosts first, which was by far the most difficult part. Afterward, I sat in the office of our program director. He looked me…

Discussions

  • Is Your Child Ready for Believer’s Baptism?

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    My seven-year-old has been asking, periodically for almost a year, to be baptized. I recorded this conversation from a car ride home after church in December: Me: Gabe, so why do you want to get baptized? Gabe: Because I do! Me: Nope, not good enough. Gabe: Because everyone else in our family has been baptized.…
  • Janet Denison Shares Parenting Perspective [Video]

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    Have you ever wanted to get the parenting low-down from someone wise, regular, and fun that can give honest look-back advice? ChristianParenting.org founder and blogger Janet Denison (mom, author, Bible teacher, and Christian speaker) chats with Kay & Brenda in an afternoon carpool line about her Top 10 Kindergarten-to-college “bucket list.” You can find a…
  • If Your Child Is Different, Read This Book [A Review]

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    “If your son continues with his behavior, we will need to ask you to find other schooling options,” the letter read from the principal. My husband and I had spent two years praying and correcting, but no matter how many parenting books we read and tried to apply, the notes sent home from school continued:…
    • Kids and Giftedness with Kathleen Fischer [Video]

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      This clip from the Say Something Show features Kathleen Fischer’s wisdom on kids and their unique gifts. Kathleen Fischer, RN author, life-coach, educator, and mother of three, has specialized in adolescents for over thirty years. She has worked in public health, taught in high school as well as at the university level, and encourages parents through…
    • Giving Lent Meaning for My Kids

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      God has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. But Lent wasn’t a significant part of worship in the churches we attended. So, I was intrigued and curious when I would see my Catholic or more liturgical friends show up on Ash Wednesday with a cross on their…
    • The Needy Child in Each of Us

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      Kids have needs. Lots of needs. Constant, mind-numbing, are-you-serious, can-mommy-and-daddy-get-a-break kinds of needs. When our oldest child, Evan, started kindergarten, it was a bit of adjustment. (This adjustment may have involved a few tears, some blood-curdling screams, and gym-full of kindergarten parents thinking, “Well, at least that’s not my kid.”) Fortunately, he adjusted quickly and…
      • How to Help Our Kids Learn from Mistakes

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        As parents, one of our greatest fears is often that we’ll do something to screw up our kids. While my two children are still young, I already wonder at times whether I’m being too hard or not hard enough. How do you discipline a three-year-old, for example, in such a way that she’ll understand what…
      • A Bucket List for Christian Parents

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        Have you heard the song by MercyMe titled “Dear Younger Me”? In some ways that was the inspiration for this article. I had been asked to speak to a group of moms at a Christian school and my thoughts took me down a similar road that Bart Millard walked when he wrote that song. As…
      • My Child Has Cancer: One Family’s Spiritual Journey

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        Jace Poncio was two years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A. L. L.). Initially, his parents, Jason and Tisha, were told his treatment would take three years, but it took an extra six months. He completed his last chemo treatment at age six on May 25, 2016—a week before his Kindergarten…
        • Ephesians 6 — The Spirit-Led Parent

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          With the usual caveat that my parents weren’t perfect, I freely admit that I have big shoes to fill as a mother. My parents fed, clothed, and schooled my brothers and me. They cheered us on and worked hard to give us every chance at success. They loved us. And they consistently disciplined us. Paul’s…
        • The First Pillar of Truth We Must Teach Our Children

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          In my previous post, I noted two concerning, and connected, trends: Young people walking away from faith Biblical literacy dramatically declining among young people (and adults) As promised, this is the first of five pillars to teach your family. That means five ways to help your family grow up to understand truth and to walk more confidently…
        • The Awesome Thing about Your Kid’s Misbehavior

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          The rough-looking teen’s tough veneer had softened. I detected tears in his eyes. “No one has ever said anything like that to me.” Just minutes before, I met this teen in a line at our local amusement park. After a brief conversation, I dug a little deeper and asked Jared what he was good at.…
          • Kids and Lenten Fasting: Yes, No, or How Much?

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            I was raised in an Episcopalian, church-going family. My mother volunteered anywhere she was needed, my father served on the vestry, and my sisters and I participated in choir, youth group, and other various church activities. I remember my parents observing Lent each year, mainly because my mother would always give up sweets, and if…
          • Kid Kindness

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            What kind of kindness can kids kindly give? How is a kind kid created? A room full of toddlers all wanting the same toy is usually not a picture of kindness. A soccer field full of competing children may not demonstrate kindness. A group of teens with laughing sarcasm and a cell phone may not…
          • Teaching Our Kids to Love God with All Their Strength

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            And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…
            • The Most Important Thing to Teach Our Kids

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              As parents, we’re on the lookout for things that might harm our kids. It’s instinctive to annihilate dangers in their path: germs, foods additives, diseases, preservatives, and a steady diet of sugar. I’m pretty sure Stephanie and I will give our future grandkids plenty of cookies and ice cream, but right now it drives us crazy when the grandparents…
            • One Crucial Characteristic of Exceptional Kids

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              As exceptional parents, our goal is to pass on the importance of faith to our children. Not a secular faith or a general “Sure, I believe there is a God” kind of faith. Instead, we want our children to learn about a real, interpersonal, loving Lord who has an amazing, eternal plan for their lives! This…
            • Valentine’s Day with Kids

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              It was Valentine’s Day and each student decorated a shoebox for the holiday. We all took turns dropping our Valentines into one another’s boxes. I remember picking up my box and finding a large, grown-up Valentine sitting on top, with a big box of chocolates. I was a shy fifth grader and I still remember…
              • After a Miscarriage: From Incredible Pain to Extraordinary Faith

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                In the months following the second miscarriage, I felt so broken; I felt as if the pieces of my heart had been scrambled on the floor and I did not know where to start in piecing them together again. I could barely see through the tears to begin the process of restoration. Then I realized…
              • 7 Reasons You Should Care About Martin Luther

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                Did you know that 2017 is the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses? You don’t have to be Lutheran to care about this important moment in the history of the Christian faith. The changes that Martin Luther brought to the world sparked the Protestant Reformation and have effects that trickle down to people of…
              • The Problem of Love [Video]

                Valentine’s Day is about chocolate, flowers, and letting that special someone know just how much you care. But as the Skitzy Chicks find out, love adds up to so much more!  
                • Protecting Our Kids Eternally

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                  For parents, few things are more important than keeping our kids safe. It’s why we incessantly check on them as babies to make sure they’re still breathing, place child-proof locks on every cabinet despite the fact that they’re also parent-proof, and lose half a year off our lives every time we go thirty seconds without…
                • Say Something Show: Grandma Wisdom on Teens and Generational Love

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                  I’ve heard from a couple of incredibly encouraging folks who asked if I’d post the latest Say Something Show episodes. Kathleen Fischer, author, registered nurse, certified life-coach, speaker, and a mom and encourager to many parents AND kids, stopped by to share her no-nonsense approach to tough issues that face kids and parents. In this…
                • 7 Ways to Impact Your Teen’s Almost Adult Phase

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                  Have big sighs and rolling eyes entered your home? You must be the parent of a tween or teen. First off, let’s just get this fact out of the way: Mom, Dad, you are no longer cool. Even if you once were, you have officially lost your mojo, and it is your teen’s mission to…
                  • Kids in the Kitchen

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                    You know all of those sweet commercials that show mom making cookies with her smiling, helpful, neat, and super clean children? Is it just me, or does anyone else think, “We never look like that!”? Baking and cooking is messy! And when you get kids in the kitchen, guess what happens? They make a mess!…
                  • 10 Ways to Halt Your Child’s Negative Self-Talk

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                    “I’m so stupid.” “I can’t do that.” “I will only mess up.” “I’m a bad kid.” “I hate myself.” “There’s no reason to study. I will fail anyway.”  Do your kids speak like this about themselves? Do they verbalize negative self-messages? Do they have a defeatist mindset? Do they demonstrate a pattern of pessimism? Do…
                  • Praying a Life Verse for Your Child

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                    I’m an overthinker, so when I decided to pick a verse to pray for my children, it sort of stressed me out. There are so many great Scriptures, how would I choose?  Do I pray a different one for each kid or just pick one for both? Should I pick a verse, passage, or even chapter? Though…
                    • From Pandemonium to Purpose: Finding Your Family’s Superpowers

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                      Sometimes family life can seem like a crazy collision of everyone’s challenges and weaknesses. In our family Jim could get impatient and snippy, Lynne tended to nag, Daniel liked to dominate and demand fairness, Bethany was over-sensitive and cried easily, and Noah sometimes told fibs to avoid conflict. On a bad day, it was mayhem!…
                    • Create Moments of Awe and Wonder for Your Children

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                      Over the holidays I had the opportunity to participate in Advent celebrations in churches of different faiths. I am always curious to observe how churches include or exclude children in the life of the church because it says something about how they view the spiritual growth and development of little ones. In one church the…
                    • Three Important Conversations to Have with Your Kids

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                      Years ago my wife came across a book that stirred both of our hearts: Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it (by Ken Ham, Britt Beemer & Todd Hillard). Estimates suggest two-thirds of kids from Christian homes will walk away from the faith during college. But here’s the…
                      • The Friendship Fix

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                        Some kids pick the best friends and some kids need a little help with “discernment.” God created our kids with the ability to choose, and he honors their right to choose. One of our most important jobs as a parent is teaching our kids how to use their right to choose, rightly. When do you…
                      • Youth Sex Trafficking: America’s Hidden Slavery

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                        To a parent of a teenage daughter and son, it was unthinkable. I couldn’t believe this was happening in America, let alone the very city where I reside. But every day thousands of teens are sold for sex in America. And these teens are of every socio-economic segment, every race, every gender, every religion. As…
                      • A Parent’s Real Motivation for Wanting Kids to Obey

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                        The heavy topic of perfection once again sucked all of the oxygen from the air surrounding one of my kids the other night. I watched as the lure, the expectation and the absolute inability-to-be-perfect weighed heavy and locked in like a heat-seeking missile to its target. I guess with five kids, this topic was sure…
                        • Successfully Launch Your Out-of-the-Box Child

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                          From the very beginning, Nathan was different from other children. Not different because of his face shape or his freckles or his personality. A different kind of different. He did not fit into any boxes we could define. Agitation seemed to be a part of his internal motor that revved up each day. People and…