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  • The Parenting Teens Summit

    Axis cover
    As a parent of two teens and two younger children, and as the editor of Christianparenting.org, I was surprised and somewhat appalled that I had never heard of Axis until now. Axis is a ten-year-old ministry whose strategy is simple, yet incredibly unique: they are culture translators. They stay abreast of the pulse of culture,…
  • Parenting Comparisons: A Game You Can’t Win

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    One of the more damaging habits facing our society today is comparison living. It’s this idea of “keeping up with the Joneses.” This is an age-old saying, but the Joneses are more present now than ever. They seem to have the perfect life with the nice two-story house, two nice cars, the country club membership,…
  • The Gospel for the Un-Graduated

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    Do you have a child who recently missed an opportunity to graduate, or perhaps didn’t graduate because other life circumstances interrupted his or her progress towards a degree? As a former high school dropout, myself, allow me to speak a few gospel truths that touch on some of the thoughts and emotions your son or…
  • What should kids know about Memorial Day?

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    Kids probably think Memorial Day is about a day of vacation, barbeques, parades, and the chance to hang the flag out on the front porch. Parents tend to protect kids from the real meaning of the holiday. There will be plenty of time for them to understand the sacrifices of war, the cost of freedom,…
  • Should teenagers get a summer job?

    Dave Dugdale
    In 1978 almost seventy-two percent of our teenagers got a summer job. Today, that number is about twenty-eight percent. Different reasons are given for the change. The recession meant that many of the jobs formerly given to teenagers are now taken by adults. The increase in illegal immigration has added to that job deficit as…
  • Is My Child Safe at a Christian Summer Camp?

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    When the school year winds down and temperatures heat up, parents begin to think about summer activities for their children. As one of the most iconic summer pastimes in America, summer camp is at the top of the list. In evaluating Christian camps, parents often look at programs offered, the location of the facility and…

Discussions

  • Connecting Real Food to Spiritual Health

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    Good food. The phrase means different things to different people. Aside from the obvious (parents: vegetables; kids: candy!), even our location—farm, suburban, urban—affects how we access food and think about nutrition. Connecting City To Farm, a nonprofit organization founded by Kris Habashy, connects food producers and consumers by teaching families about safe and affordable nutrition through…
  • For Those Who Mourn on Mother’s Day

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    Often the worst day of the year for an infertile woman is Mother’s Day. On this holiday, going to a house of worship can feel more like going to the house of mourning. During the decade when my husband and I went through infertility treatment, lost seven pregnancies, and endured three failed adoptions, I found…
    • Cool Moms

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      Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. —Proverbs 31:25 ESV My mom was not cool. Not at all. Not one little bit. Not even close. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a wonderful person. She is funny, witty, and smart. She is generous, compassionate, and gentle. She…
    • Smart Money Management for Grads

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      If you’re the parent of a child already attending or about to enter college, you probably have a lot on your mind. That’s understandable. College is an exciting time of life, full of big choices and exciting opportunities. But let’s face it, it’s also a stage of life that can bring temptations—money troubles in particular.…
    • 12 Vital Things for Parents to Say to Their Gay Child

      MessyJourney cover
      “My young adult just  told me he’s (or she’s) gay. Now what?” This inquiry used to be a rare one. This past month I have spoken to three different moms seeking answers to this very question. Broken-hearted, lonely, and confused, they are looking for camaraderie, comfort, and clarity. Empathy and compassion I have in full…
      • Teaching Kids to Think

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        One of the most difficult months of the teaching year is May. Young kids can’t sit still. Older kids know how to count the days and daydream. High schoolers are more interested in their proms than their papers. And college students are asking themselves why they didn’t start to finish sooner. There is so much…
      • The Parents’ Club

        A Lovers couple scared after pregnancy test result
        I recently made a mistake I have made way too often. Most parents make this same mistake because it often goes unreported. The day we meet our children is one of the most life-changing moments of our lives. Actually, it might be the most life-changing moment of our lives. It’s natural to talk about it,…
      • Will Your Teenagers Graduate from Their Faith After High School?

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        Will your teenage son or daughter still be walking with Jesus when they graduate college? Or will they leave their faith behind as they walk off that graduation stage to start a new chapter of life? As parents, we want what’s best for our kids. As Christians, we know that means following Jesus for a…
        • Teaching Kids How to Pray

          Little young beautiful boy (child, kid) spiritual peaceful praying and wishing, horizontal, copy space.
          Sometimes God gifts parents with moments when we think, maybe I’m doing okay with this parenting thing. Like a few weeks ago when my son, age seven, saw a homeless man as we drove and said, “God, please help that man. He looks dirty and sad.” Awww. So sweet. But let’s be real. My stack…
        • When Your Children Grieve

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          In January, a sixteen-year-old girl from my community was tragically killed in an ATV accident. But she was not one of those unknown faces or names that we see on the news every night. It was a classmate and teammate of my own kids, a dear friend that they lost suddenly. Because my children attend…
        • Can Children Love God?

          child, kid, joy, faith, praise and happiness and freedom
          Hopefully, children experience love and the bonds of love from the time of their birth. Before their first birthday, they have developed smiles and other behaviors that indicate they know the people who love them are special and unique from the other people in the world. Children experience love from an early age, but when…
          • Charting Your Family’s Spiritual Course

            DYCB cover
            Decades of moral and spiritual decay have left our foundations crumbling. Our families are in disarray and our nation’s homes are broken, and we continue to lose ground at an alarming rate. Are parents being the spiritual leaders that they should be? Are children being discipled in the home?  Until these basic commandments from scripture…
          • One Family’s Unusual Adoptive Journey [Excerpt]

            Lucky Few Book
            Our family makeup is unique. If I were to see my family out in public, I’d be curious and probably stare a bit. So rather than be easily offended or pretend to be normal, we try to face it with openness, grace, and a little humor. We chose to adopt two kids with Down syndrome…
          • Redeeming Carpool and Commute Time

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            Have you ever calculated how much time you spend in the car each week?!? (For heaven’s sake, please don’t!) My guess is that you would agree it’s enough time that we should consider how to spend it. The good news is, spending time in the car is a perfect opportunity to talk to your kids…
            • A Little Bunny and a Lot of Jesus

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              Explaining the Easter bunny is a lot like explaining Santa. Santa is easy because that was simply the nickname given for St. Nicholas—who is a great Christmas story. The Easter bunny is a little trickier, but still doable. How did the Easter bunny come to be associated with the celebration of the resurrection of Christ? In…
            • What ‘Strong is the New Pretty’ Says about Our Daughters

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              A group of fathers was recently asked to name the top two or three qualities they hoped to see in their daughters. Intelligent, independent, and strong were their top three answers. Essentially, the men surveyed wanted a daughter who would be capable of taking care of herself and who showed the kinds of capacities often…
            • Movies for the Family at Easter

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              The Easter season has become a favorite time of year for families to watch movies about Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection, and other biblical stories that point to the savior. Below are a few recommended shows for families, kids, and adults that will help keep the focus on Christ and his amazing gift of salvation.…
              • A Resurrection Garden How-to for Easter

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                I’ve seen many different versions of Resurrection Gardens through the years and had always wanted to make one. Being a Type A person, I finally put it on my calendar for the following February to make sure we remembered to not let another year pass. With my kids getting older, I’m realizing more and more how…
              • Making Easter Spiritually Meaningful for Kids

                easteregg
                Easter is a busy, exciting celebration for the Christian faith. But between chocolate, eggs, and a certain furry animal who likes to hide them both, it’s easy to lose sight of what the holiday is all about. Yes, bunnies and chicks are fun and festive, but Jesus triumphing over death to free humanity from sin?…
              • Hey Mom, why do they call it Good Friday?

                Crown of Thorns and Three Nails With Hammer on Wooden background
                Kids have a lot of questions about Easter. For that matter, so do most of their parents. The Easter story is a tough story to tell kids. I used to remind Jim, my preacher husband, to be aware of the little faces in front of him when he was preaching the events of Good Friday.…
                • My Problem With Online Grocery Shopping

                  Customer buying food at supermarket and making check out with cashdesk worker in store
                  When the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him. As He laid His hands on each one of them, He would heal them. —Luke 4:40 NIV For Lent, I decided to go beyond jumpstarting my diet or breaking a habit. This year I vowed to stop…
                • The Challenge of Parenting in Public

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                  Recently, I heard an advertisement for a restaurant that offers a “good child discount” for parents whose kids behave well during dinner. I laughed. I’m pretty sure there were some restaurants that would have paid my family to leave when our girls were young, but good child discount? Yeah, not really. One huge trigger for anger…
                • 5 Ways to Build Literacy and Faith

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                  As parents, “to do” lists often feel endless. Between soccer practice and ballet, church activities and chores, families tend to lead full and busy lives. So when someone suggests parents should also be “building literacy” or “building Biblical literacy” in addition to everything else they do, we may feel intimidated or overwhelmed. How can kids’…
                  • April Fools or Is God’s Word for Real?

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                    April Fool’s Day is a great time to introduce, discuss, or reinforce the inerrancy of God’s word with all ages. How? Here are some easy ideas and tips, broken down by age. Toddlers/Preschoolers/Young Children: There are a couple of ways I reinforce the concept of the inerrancy of the Bible on a child-like level each week I teach preschool Sunday…
                  • How Whispering Got My Kids’—and My—Attention

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                    My kids aren’t listening, and I’m worn out. Lately our habits (theirs and mine) have gotten pretty ugly. They don’t listen. I yell. It doesn’t help. I get mad. I yell more. They finally hear and give me the “what is your problem, crazy lady?” stare. I lecture. They try not to roll their eyes. We all…
                  • 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?

                      TALK cover
                      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

                      A young girl in a dark t-shirt combing Golden hair
                      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…
                      • 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…