April Fools—to prank or not to prank? What does your family do?

calendar and joke box with happy face over white background. april fools day concept. colorful design. vector illustration
As March tiptoes out like a lamb, April 1st looms large for many people. In some homes, April Fool’s Day is the ultimate excuse to have a little fun playing jokes on loved ones or pranking the neighbors. For teachers and others in authority over children, the day is mostly dreaded, since kids tend to…

Will you take your children to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’?

Gaston LaFou
The live-action film of the beloved Disney story is finally (almost) here. Families have been eagerly awaiting Emma Watson as Belle, the gorgeous soundtrack, and luminous special effects. But last week the film’s director revealed that Gaston’s foolish friend, LaFou, would be confused about his feeling for Gaston and have a “gay moment.” This revelation…

How do you celebrate Lent in your family?

The Days of Easter Word Cloud Concept
Typically considered a liturgical church tradition, the season of Lent has made a comeback among evangelical churches in the last few years. More Protestants are finding value in using the six weeks prior to Easter as a time to reflect, repent, and rest before the celebration of the Resurrection. If your family participates in Lenten…

How can you help your children celebrate Valentine’s Day?

love-heart-hand-romantic
It’s coming, that day when your children must bring 20-something pre-made love notes to class so that no one feels left out. When they talk about love and hearts and eat all the sweet things. Valentine’s Day also means husbands and wives must put a little extra effort into showing their romantic side. But with…

How do you help your children reject fear and put on love instead?

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.39.52 AM
Only one month past the holidays, times are stressful in our nation, in our schools, and probably in our homes to some degree. When parents react strongly to current events and social changes, children pick up on their emotions but often do not have the capacity to deal with them in a healthy way. What…

How do you help your “out-of-the-box” child thrive?

Special Education word cloud on Green Background
Does your child come with an “alphabet soup” behind his or her name? You know, labels like ADD, ADHD, OCD, and more? If so, you know the challenges inherent to helping such a child thrive in school and in life. What strategies have you employed? How have you (and your spouse) worked to encourage and…

Do your kids make New Year resolutions?

popular new year goals or resolutions - colorful sticky notes on a blackboard
With the new year come resolutions, promises, and goals.  Parents are more apt to consider health, vocation, and relationships when they make resolutions, but what sorts of goals might children set? Have you encouraged your child to think about the upcoming year and write down a few goals or wishes for it? Or maybe your…

When the rude, ungrateful child . . . is yours.

Didn't get his toy, his gift, or maybe no time with family but he is upset
“I didn’t want this present! I wanted that one!” “But I don’t like (this gift)! Why didn’t Grandma get me (this other thing)?” Parent, whispering: “Say ‘thank you’!” Child: Grunts and turns head. While our first instinct is to duck or cringe and hide, parents aren’t really allowed to do that when our child is…

How do you emphasize to your children that Jesus is the central focus of Christmas?

Closeup view of decorative celbrating Christmas and Jesus birth figurines of holy vergin Mary Josepd newborn child with few white sheeps standing on wooden background, horizontal picture
I think most American Christian parents struggle with this issue to some degree. Amidst our cultural fixation on consumerism during the holidays, the birth of Jesus—the very reason Christmas exists!—gets lost. Many kids don’t even know the basic elements of the Nativity. Who were Jesus’ parents, where was he born, why there, what happened to…

Share your favorite family Christmas traditions.

Cookies and milk for Santa Claus in front of a Christmas tree
Some families cook (a lot!) for the holidays, some anticipate new pajamas for everyone on Christmas Eve, others know they will be serving meals to the homebound or wrapping shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse. Often children look for a sneaky elf or gaze wide-eyed out the car window at all the light displays or hope…