Home

Stay Connected to important parenting topics

Join the Conversation!

  • Back to Blahs, Blues, and Bullies Too

    young-kids-sticking-tongues-playing
    Back to school advice is often about returning to an earlier schedule, adjusting to new classes, and breaking in new shoes. Once school has started and the new has worn off, a few other issues can emerge. Besides family, school is usually your child’s largest time commitment. We drop our children at the door of…
  • The Certain Uncertainty of Pregnancy

    Wes nursery
    It’s been the strangest thing really, trying to prepare for something you could never really be prepared for. You can deep clean, buy everything you need, stock up on essentials and meal prep to make everything as easy and smooth as is within your control. But some things are simply out of your control, period.…
  • How Pregnancy Frees Me from Body Image Obsession

    Pregnancy yoga exercise - pregnant woman doing yoga asana Virabhadrasana warrior pose outdoors on grass in summer
    Still a couple months shy of delivering my first child, I’m well aware that I know nothing about being a mother. However, what I’ve learned over the last seven months of being a pregnant fitness and nutrition coach has cast a new light on my purpose. It’s all about exalting God. My hope is that what…
  • Encouraging Teachers with a Back-to-School Surprise

    TeacherSurprise1
    Does your child know that she can encourage her teacher(s)? 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Encourage one another and built each other up.” Why not have your kiddo help create a back-to-school surprise for each of her teachers? Here’s what we came up with and have enjoyed doing for several years: We found these cute people magnets at Mardel in store or online for just $1.50 each (price…
  • The Prodigal Returns—to School

    little cute boy with young teacher in classroom studying at blackboard smiling
    It was my first day to teach school and the other teachers had decided it was best if I figured it out myself. I’m not sure they got that right, but I think God did. I lined up my class to walk them down to the cafeteria and out of the corner of my eye,…
  • Parenting Through a Child’s Depression

    teen-girl-school-locker-stressed-worried
    Something happens to kids between elementary and middle school. You know, besides all that biology. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s also science. You hear about it. You’re given heads-up about it. But you don’t really “get it” until it happens to you. I thought for sure I’d prepared my…

Discussions

  • Raising Our Kids to Be Disciples

    children brother and sister, boy and girl reading a book at home
    Yesterday we drove almost two hours up to Tulsa to see a neurologist for my seven-year-old. Our son developed a tic last month, and the appointment was a sobering reminder that we are powerless as parents to control everything that goes on in the lives of our children. The good news, the doctor told us,…
  • A Back to School Prayer [Video]

    The first day of school can be bittersweet. It means freedom for mom, but it also means another year has come and gone. In this video, the Skitzy Chicks share a prayer for our kids as they head back to school.  
  • Back-to-School Advice from a Former Teacher

    Teen student, back to school
       New shoes, new backpacks, new teachers—same attitude? Most kids are excited about returning to school, even if they don’t want to admit it. Each year has a unique set of accomplishments and challenges. I used to teach school, and I well remember the first day of the year. Some of the kindergarten kids were…
    • Back to School Tips from a Finished Mom

      Father and son playing at the park at the sunset time. People having fun on the field. Concept of the kid is ready to go to school.
      For the first time in approximately 3700 years, I realized last fall that I did not have to care about when school started. Or ended. Or did basically anything at any time, except as it pertained to driving through school zones. I was done. Three kids more-or-less-successfully shepherded through school with a complicated combo of…
    • Give Your Kids a Morning Makeover

      stuffed-Backpack
      I love a good makeover show. A couple buys a run-down house with good “bones.” They gawk at the paneling and turn up their noses at the overgrown yard. The keys to the house go to a capable team of contractors and designers. By the end of the show, the couple stands slack-jawed during the…
    • Ten Heart Skills for New College Students

      teens-young-adults-studying-talking
      My firstborn graduated from high school earlier this year. Having a child graduate began a new journey for me. It started back in August with the first day of school. From that moment it was a year of “lasts.” You know—the “last first day,” the “last homecoming,” the “last prom,” etc. I went through all…
      • All Mom Wants for Back to School [Video]

        Carrie and Melinda reflect on the bittersweet feelings of sending your kids back to school. But sometimes, those special times with our families over the summer months aren’t as perfect as we plan them to be.
      • Along the Way with Your Daughter

        happy mother and daughter on the walk on summer field. Family spending vacation outdoor, lifestyle capture, cozy mood.
        Imagine strolling along a country road on a cool evening with your daughter. The sun warms your back and a brook zigzags along beside you. Your conversation is easy and you both wear contented smiles. Now imagine the two of you are on the same road, but it’s noon. You can smell the manure being…
      • The Underestimated Value of Present Fathers

        Father carrying daughter piggyback and being truly happy
        I had an interesting experience at a church service recently. One of those moments when “a little child shall lead them.” During the closing songs, as I had my hands up in the air, my younger daughter decided she wanted to be held, so she climbed up and I held her with my left arm. She…
        • Why Does Life Have to Be So Hard? [Excerpt]

          ItsNotFair cover
          My oldest (and newest) daughter, Ana, is upbeat and energetic most of the time. Early in the morning, late at night, she invented perky. And she’s gone through more in her ten little years than most people would experience in ten lifetimes. Maybe someday she’ll write a book of her own, but for now, she’s…
        • Politics and Parenting

          3D illustration map of US on an American flag with the word election 2016 written on the top.
          I saw a video of a three-year-old holding his growling dinosaur. When he was asked the name of his toy he responded with, “Donal Twump.” Our kids are noticing, hearing, and processing a lot more news than we realize. Do you protect your children from politics or include them in the process? There is value…
        • How to Grow Your Child’s Conscience

          young-boy-sad-face
          Have you ever noticed, some parents think their kids can do no wrong? Others think their children can do no right. Well, there are elements in both statements that have some truth in them. We are made in God’s image. And we have all sinned. I guess we are all perfectly imperfect. Our kids need parental…
          • ‘For Better or For Kids’: Giving 100 Percent Together

            for better for kids cover
            I (Patrick) can’t say that I hadn’t been warned about what marriage and parenting would require. I remember sitting in a Chicago park with my mentor while attending Moody Bible Institute. It was Sunday night, and we were meeting to talk about relationships. I don’t recall most of what he said that night. However, one…
          • How to Serve Someone with Parenting Challenges

            Sad mother with baby. Depressed woman, fatigue worries. Sleeping child. Headache
            I have some real challenges in my parenting reality. The extent of which I did not even fully understand until about a year ago. But those challenges have been a part of my life every single day for a long time.  And in the midst of navigating them over the years, I have felt eyes on…
          • Favorite Children’s Books and Devotionals [Video]

            What books are your kids loving? Being a Christian parent to young kids, I love being able to read to my children and give them inspiration, while teaching them the enjoyment of reading! Here is the list of our family’s current favorite books and daily devotionals for toddlers and children. My name is Jaimie & I’m…
            • 3 Ways to Help Our Kids Process Racial Injustice

              A Chicago city policeman standing on the road on a sunny day wearing a bullet proof vest mentioning Police on his body. On the background, cars and tall buildings are seen.
              The shooting deaths—and subsequent reactions—of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are a reflection of how deeply broken our nation really is. Following those shootings, many of us woke up to the news of five police officers being gunned down—and several others injured—after a protest in Dallas had ended. This morning, I write as a grieving father . .…
            • Create Fun Bible Theme Weeks for Kids

              Bible-theme-week
              Creating a “theme for the week” during the summer months makes memorable moments for your whole family and encourages engagement and creativity. In the next few weeks, I want to give you some ideas to use for Theme Weeks with your kids. You can build a theme around anything—Water Week, Bug Week, Cooking Week, Sports…
            • The Day the Fridge Died

              The hand of a young man is opening a freezer door
              Yesterday I found myself in a bit of an odd situation. It was mid-afternoon when I found myself sitting on the kitchen floor, surrounded by scattered condiments and salad dressing and a random jar of maraschino cherries. Looking back, I’m thinking I should’ve just tossed them out then and there. After all, I couldn’t recall…
              • Talking to Kids About Tragedy

                A close shot of a Police Officer sounding taps at the funeral of a fallen officer.
                We all want to protect our children from the things they hear in the news. We want them to feel like tragedy couldn’t happen to them, because we, as parents, will protect them. The problem with assuring your children that they are safe is not the whole truth. You will do your best to keep…
              • Kids, Summer, Screens, and Keeping the Peace

                mom-work-home-kids-schoolwork
                A Facebook SOS went out this week from my friend Missy (mom of 4 tween/teens): I need some help setting up guidelines and restrictions with screens during the summer with my 4 kids. (Screens=tv, computer, phone, video games, etc). Help! It’s especially an issue with all my boys. Any ideas welcome. (I am not super…
              • Stop Seeking Your Kids’ Happiness

                patient-mom-upset-young-girl
                “I just want to see my child be happy, Dr. Myers. Is that too much to ask?” I’ve heard some form of this statement time and again in my counseling practice. The parents are earnest and well-meaning, but I try to gently break it to them that seeking their child’s happiness is a shallow goal.…
                • How to Talk to Kids When Bad Things Happen

                  Male therapist listening to his patients after family tragedy
                  Whether it’s a mass shooting or a bomb in the crowd, no doubt your children are affected. I feel it’s important that we help our kids process hard information. Often we focus on praying for the victims or talk about what the next move for the government should be, forgetting that little eyes are watching…
                • Celebrate July Fourth with Scripture and the Grand Old Flag

                  toddler-boy-draped-american-flag-4th-of-july
                  Celebrate July 4th beyond the burgers and fireworks by using the thirteen strips of the Grand Old Flag as prayer points or Scripture strips for our nation. Display this project in your home as a reminder to continue to pray for our nation. Start by making or printing out a picture of a flag to use for either the version…
                • A Mother–Daughter Conversation about Words [Excerpt]

                  Between-Us-Girls
                  An excerpt from Between Us Girls by Trish Donohue It’s hard not to giggle at someone repeating a tongue twister. Her mouth contorts, and her words clog up like cars in a traffic jam. Let’s try one: “toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat.” Go ahead, say it. Now say it faster.…
                  • Invite the World into Your Home [Excerpt]

                    givechildworld book cover
                    An excerpt from chapter 2 of Give Your Child the World, by Jamie C. Martin  (Zondervan). You can nurture a larger vision in your family—transforming it into a place where it’s just as common for your kids to think of the world beyond your borders as it is for them to ask what’s for dinner.…
                  • Parenting Cats

                    Four main coon cittens in a row isolated on a white background
                    Four teenagers. Yep that’s right — four independence-seeking, hormonally challenged, brains-not-fully-developed teenagers. All at one time! What were we thinking? We personally are dog people. But it was written somewhere that teenagers are like cats: They don’t turn their heads when you call. They never walk around with you in public. Whatever you do for them…
                  • 9 Books to Prepare You and Your Child for Middle School

                    petite fille lisant dans l'herbe
                    My family embarked on the middle school adventure last year with some trepidation. We were already riding the emotional roller coaster of adolescence at home. I feared the prospect of adding middle school drama into the mix. Memories of my own sixth-grade awkwardness, self-doubt, and tumultuous friendships fed my apprehensions. My go-to anecdote for fear…
                    • Four Ways the SCOTUS Decision Should Affect Our Parenting

                      mom-sitting-daughter-bench
                      I was not even remotely surprised by the SCOTUS decision to strike down the Texas abortion law. Saddened? Yes. Disheartened by the newsfeed showing group after group of women cheering and raising the pro-choice banner high while claiming “victory for women’s ‘health?’” Tremendously so. But surprised? Not at all. Here in America, there are approximately…
                    • Politics and Your Child

                      Portrait of adorable little girl sitting at living and holding in her hands a remote control while watching tv.
                      A five-year-old walked past the television set and paused to listen. The news was playing segments from the two political candidates. Each candidate shouted, pointed fingers, and made slanderous statements against the other. The five-year-old turned to ask, “Who are they?” The answer: the people who are trying to be president of our country. The…
                    • #Doesn’tPlayWellWithOthers and Other Myths  

                      Young family together outside of their home
                      Jairus’s daughter. John Updike. Condoleezza Rice. Cary Grant. Chelsea Clinton. My grandmother. And my mother. Do you think “most selfish people in the world” when you hear these names and labels? Neither do I. But they were or are all only children. And the stereotype of only children is that they refuse to share, act…
                      • Dear Mom With the Difficult Kid

                        Portrait of unhappy, upset , crying child boy
                        Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” When He had…
                      • Why God Needs Fathers

                        dad-toddler-son-shaving
                        A father came home from work to find his little girl brushing the dog’s teeth with his toothbrush. He was horrified and asked her what she was doing. She said, “Oh, don’t worry, daddy, I’ll put it back like I always do.” Fathers deserve a day. You’ve heard the bad news about men and fathers:…
                      • Nine Signs You are Parenting Teenagers

                        Teenage Boy Checking Freshness Of Clothes In Wardrobe
                        Yesterday they were a squishy ball of Johnson and Johnson’s scented newborn perfection, setting off the “need-to-have-a-baby-right-now pheromones” of women within a hundred miles. And now, just ten minutes later, they’ve become one of those eye-rolling, eternally oversleeping monsters called a teenager. Here are nine signs you’re raising one of them. You go through a…
                        • Calling Strong Fathers [Book Excerpt]

                          Strong Fathers-Daughters COVER 5-16-16
                          The glory of children is their fathers. —Proverbs 17:6 I don’t know why you picked up this book. Maybe someone recommended it, or perhaps your wife or a friend gave it to you. I don’t know if you’re examining it in a bookstore or skimming it while riding on a commuter train. But if you…