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  • ‘A Graduation Prayer’ [Video]

    From our friends the Skitzy Chicks, a new video for parents of graduates. What do we tell God as we watch our children prepare for the next phase of their lives?  
  • How to Raise a Narcissist

    asian father and elementary-age son sitting on grass outdoors having a serious conversation.
    We might also title this: “Four Things You Don’t Want to Do in Parenting.” The term “narcissism” is thrown around quite a bit nowadays. It is often applied to someone who is very self-centered. Actually, narcissism is a rather rare mental disorder. A narcissist has an inflated sense of importance, lacks interest in other people,…
  • Milestones and Magic

    toddlers-playing-toys-outside
    The school year is almost over, so you would think that I’d be over crying at drop-off. And yet, I am not . . . which is actually kind of surprising, considering I’m not the most sentimental of moms and this is our third time experiencing the whole Kindergarten thing. I blame it on turning…
  • ‘Slow Down’ by Nichole Nordeman

    Dedicated to: ~ all the mommies attending Kindergarten graduation. ~ all the parents of high school graduates. ~ all the dads about to give their daughters in marriage.    
  • Kids’ Summer Cooking School: Ice Cream in a Bag

    HoneyVanillaIceCreamMD
    One of my favorite date nights is attending a cooking class with my honey-pie. We cook together, we eat chocolate and/or steak, and sip wine. It’s so very romantic! I’ve always wanted to enroll our kids in the classes as well, but they are too expensive for our budget. Our library offers kid’s cooking classes occasionally…
  • 3 Questions to Help Determine a Yes or No Response

    Childrens choice
    Do you sometimes feel like you are the Enforcer? Being the parent police is taxing! We hate it. The kids hate it. Family life is filled with countless decisions. Thinking through every activity, deciding whether or not to give the go-ahead nod or deliver the dreaded no is exhausting. No matter the age of your kiddo, youngster to young adult, constantly…

Discussions

  • I love the "what did you learn" section. Very cool to reinforce learning while doing something fun! What ages would…
  • This was so good, and thank you for recognizing and honoring flexibility for families. What is right for one isn't…
  • Great article
  • Graduating a Child: A Pity Party for One

    young female graduate hugging her friend at graduation ceremony
    I’m having a pity party for one today—a full-blown sobfest because today is the second-to-last day of high school for my firstborn. I’ve been holding up pretty well this year; random welling up when I talk too long about her graduating and going off to college, but on the whole, I have remained upbeat and…
  • Make the Most of Your Teens’ Hard Questions

    confused-mom-teen-daughter
    Note: Win a copy of Tom Gilson’s Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with TEENS. Children are question-asking machines, aren’t they? They can drive a parent crazy! “Daddy, why is the sky blue?” “Mommy, who made God?” Innocent questions like those are replaced as they get older, though. “What do you mean,…
  • An Open Letter to My Kids After Mother’s Day

    kids MD note
    To My Wonderful Kids, You are loved beyond description. Becoming a mother thirteen years ago has forever changed my life, and I’m so thankful the Lord chose me to be your mom. I have loved every single stage—cooing newborn, busy toddler, the sporty grade school years, and now we even have a teenager in the…
    • The Stress Test for Test Stress

      hands-raised-school-class
      The debate continues. Is standardized testing a good idea? Does a standardized test prove your child’s ability to succeed in the future or just stress them out in the present? Does the ability to circle the picture that goes with the word prove that parents, teachers, and students have achieved success or does it prove…
    • When Being a Good Mom Doesn’t Seem Good Enough

      sfondo festivo con cuoricini
      Nobody intentionally sets out to fail as a parent. No one plans on raising an ax murderer. I’ve never met a mom who lies in bed at night envisioning how to mess up her kids. I have, however, met many parents who can’t sleep at night because they worry—a lot—about the fruit of their loins.…
    • My Daughter’s Eye-Opening Prayer

      Portrait of sad blond little girl sitting on the bridge at the day time
      We all have that one child, don’t we? You know what I’m talking about, even if you don’t want to admit it! It’s the child that gets under your skin more than the others by either acting just like you or by acting so differently than you that you can’t even fathom understanding what’s going…
      • 10 Reasons I Could Still Take My Younger Self

        my goals list on napkin and coffee
        I’m in one of my “time to reorganize and realign my life” phases, so it’s time to start the list-making, goal-writing, timeline-creating madness we all know and love. To reflect on the year’s progress up to now, picking out what went well, what I loved, the goals and triumphs I experienced, and decide where to…
      • A Dozen Hints for a Great Mother’s Day

        Happy mothers day
        The cards, the meal at the restaurant, and the extra hugs are nice. Moms deserve a special day that celebrates who they have been, who they are, and who they will be. The unique love of a mom begins the day the doctor tells her she is pregnant. She begins to love the potential of…
      • The Art of Mothering

        How is “Mother” defined? Well, it’s both a noun and a verb. Watch the Skitzy Chicks show us what it really looks like.  
        • My Favorite Parenting Advice

          preschool-girl-swinging-happy
          My husband and I cut our chops in vocational ministry by serving teens and college students. So long before we brought home a baby of our own, we saw the kind of parent/child conflicts that can tear apart the strongest of families. Because we paid our way through grad school in part by “housesitting” in…
        • Everyday Miracles for Moms

          Ballet Dance
          The very first miracle that Jesus performed, according to Scripture, sits in John 2. Tucked away in a short chapter that takes place at a wedding, it happens so fast and we’ve heard it so many times that it almost sounds nonchalant. It wasn’t a miracle of life-saving proportions. It was a practical miracle. The…
        • Why is He Wearing a Dress?

          a boy lost and wonders which direction to takes
          Kids have always asked hard, surprising, and embarrassing questions, often when we are standing in the middle of a crowded store or restaurant. The people nearby smile and wait to enjoy whatever response the parents come up with. Most of the questions are fun to remember and joke about after the kids are asleep, but…
          • Guiding Your Child’s Heart from Darkness to Light

            Sleeping child with pacifier and teddy bear
            Bear is a pretty good sleeper. He likes to lay down at night and roll onto his tummy, bury his head down like a hedgehog and snuggle with his pacifier and a small, soft blanket. He prefers to lay in the bed instead of being rocked to sleep. Add a little white noise, and he’s…
          • Proverbial Mom Wisdom Works

            Family time
            In my parenting, I have found it very helpful to have a few sayings that I can easily pull out. Nuggets that teach my kids about life, sayings that remind them of things our family holds true. There is power in a punchy and repeated phrase, and I try to wield that power strategically. Here are some of my…
          • Lessons Learned Through Faith and Foster Care

            Baby feet
            I sat in my kitchen on a stormy morning about a month ago, looking at a precious baby boy sleeping in a bouncy seat on the counter in front of me. In many ways he’s just like any other two-month-old baby you’ve seen. He smiles, he kicks his chunky legs, he loves his paci (until…
            • The Value of Imperfect Parents 

              frustrated boy over white background
              My first year as a second grade teacher, I taught an adorable little boy. He was quiet, didn’t have a lot of friends and seemed very nervous about his schoolwork. He was dressed in the preppy Izod clothing that was popular at that time. And he didn’t smile very often. His mom came in for…
            • Model Marriage for Your Kids

              TurnUpParenting bookcover
              The following article is adapted from Gary Sinclair’s book Turn Up or Turn Around Your Parenting. Most parents really don’t think about or do anything intentional to teach our children what makes a marriage or family work. Maybe it’s because we were never taught, either. I know that we often felt inadequate, and we had…
            • How a Flat Tire Inflated My Kids’ Faith

              Changing wheels on a car
              Lately, my kids and I have been reading and discussing various scriptures during our twenty-minute commute to school. We dissect proverbs about wise and foolish people; another day we discuss a psalm about worship or lament (God can handle anything you tell him, I say). Currently, at their request, we are following the life and…
              • Helping Our Kids Lose Well in a Fail-Safe World

                teen-girl-college-student-books-frustration
                Han Solo may have gotten the princess, but his parenting skills didn’t win Oscars. While superheroes rushing to the rescue may bring in box office accolades, that behavior backfires for parents who want their kids to succeed in a challenging galaxy. Research shows that most of our kids’ inability to deal with failure, and therefore…
              • Try These Helpful Parenting Phrases

                Woman and daughter standing together in their home
                I’m remembering all the times I crawled in bed and thought, “I should have said something like . . .” It can be difficult at times, to be wise in the moment. So, here are a few thoughts to think about ahead of time. Feel free to reword, rethink, and refashion any of these to…
              • Secrets to Building a Loving Home

                teen-young-boy-brothers-happy-play
                Often parents ask me how they can build more love and less anger into their family life. Certainly every mom wants to see her family get along in a cheerful and loving way, but we’re all human, and more often than not, arguing and anger are the norm. So what can we do as moms…
                • Expecting Good During Pregnancy

                  belly of a pregnant girl in dress on nature
                  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~Psalm 23:6 On June 19, 2015, my husband and I lost our precious first baby at nine weeks pregnant. That day was followed by months of processing grief, expectations, sadness, and hard…
                • Five Ways to Get Kids Involved With Mealtime

                  young-girl-baking
                  Involvement breeds ownership, and that is true in corporations as well as the family kitchen. Kids especially are more likely to eat food that they have a sense of ownership over. If you’d like to make mealtimes more peaceful in your household, get your kids involved. They will learn valuable skills, and you’ll learn a…
                • Is Your Discipline Too Tough, Too Soft, or Just Right?

                  older-teen-boy-scowling-mom-scolding
                  As we seek to discipline our children, there is a wide range of typical methods. At the extremes, some discipline harshly while others barely discipline at all. It’s finding that sweet “just right” spot that’s the real trick. We are at a time in history when kids are largely disconnected from their most significant adults…
                  • Prayerful Parenting

                    Synced
                    I raised three sons. All are grown and married with families of their own.  Each son has his own unique personality and approach to life.  I used to describe my three sons like this (though each has matured into a responsible man): Kennedy always has his ducks in a row. Brantley can’t find his ducks.…
                  • Raising Our Kids to be Curious about Christ

                    girl-bible-reading-black-white
                    “You guys are weird!” About once every month or two, my husband and I hear some version of those words. The reason our friends “don’t get us” or “couldn’t do what we are doing,” is because my husband and I both love school. We love it so much, in fact, that we both pursued a…
                  • Four Stages of Parenting [Video]

                    Pastor Andy Stanley and his wife, Sandra, share a quick perspective on four primary stages of parenting. Remembering that discipline is only a season, or that a parent will wisely not befriend the twelve-year-old at home, can encourage and equip parents to raise children well. Take a look at this short outline that helped the…
                    • Is This Unwanted Item in Your Child’s Backpack?

                      stuffed-Backpack
                      With a son and daughter, one of the repeat purchases every school year at my house is a backpack for each of them. Have you seen how much stuff today’s student carries to school? It is no wonder backpacks only last from August to May. Just a peek inside one of those things would convince…
                    • When Helping Helps [Book Excerpt]

                      And it was Beautiful
                      There is a haze that one enters when one is first diagnosed with cancer. I call it “the grace fog.” I believe God was gracious to let us enter into a kind of stupor where we lived from one moment to the next. So many offers for help come in right at the start, but…
                    • Be a Transparent Parent

                      mom-young-girl-hug-smile
                      We hear a lot these days about being transparent. We mostly think of being real in terms of what that looks like in adult relationships and friendships. But, being vulnerable, authentic, and open doesn’t just apply to adult friendships. It can be implemented in our relationship with our kids, too. Please hear me, I am…
                      • Why did a good ‘Dad’ let them kill his Son?

                        Surprised Young Girl Against White Background
                        Your kids will probably ask you that question someday. Are you ready to answer? There isn’t a child or, quite frankly, an adult who finds that question simple to understand or answer. Surely God could have come up with a better way to save our souls than to kill his child. Good dads don’t let bad…
                      • Five Differences Easter Makes

                        cross-drape
                        Most of us will buy candy for our kids, put on our better clothes for church, and attend a special service or two this Easter season. Perhaps we’ll even get up early and go to a sunrise service nearby. But the question will still always be, Does Easter make any difference in my life?   Hopefully,…
                      • Easter: 4 Fun Hide & Seek Scripture Eggs Ideas

                        toddler-boys-easter-egg-basket-outside
                        Kids young and old enjoy a good hunt, so why not multi-purpose those plastic Easter eggs and incorporate Scripture!  Here are variety of ideas that can be geared up or down depending on the age or ability of your child(ren): Fill eggs with… Picture Clue Fill eggs with nothing, except for one egg that has a picture…
                        • Your Character Influences Your Child’s Faith

                          dad-teaches-boy-golf
                          We have all heard the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do.” It is often used humorously in the context of parenting. Let us face it. Parenting is a very tough gig. Just as we know that are no spiritual experts, there are also no parenting experts. There are only learners. And what…