Parenting – educating parents on the skills needed to successfully raise children of all ages: birth through adulthood. Parents will learn their child’s developmental and emotional needs, and learn how to structure their parenting style to best suit the child.

Parenting Essentials

Parenting is a great responsibility and blessing. There’s probably no other role you will play in your life that puts you on such an emotional rollercoaster as being a parent.  My wife and I were just talking about the memory of coming home with our first-born child from the hospital and staring at each other with a look that said “What are we supposed to do now?”.  With three children raised and out of the house, I can confidently substantiate the following claim from child development research:  Children need love, guidance, and limits.  Think of these three concepts as legs
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Categories: Children, Family, and Parenting.

Help! My Child is Anxious (and So Am I)

Don’t worry, be happy In every life we have some trouble But when you worry, you make it double Don’t worry, be happy ~Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry Be Happy” 1988 If you start singing this song to someone who is in the middle of a panic attack, be prepared to be punched in the face.  If we could stop worrying, and just be happy, wouldn’t that be awesome?  If we could just instantly change our emotional state, don’t you think we would have done it already? In the midst of a strong emotion, we often lose awareness of the tools
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Family, Mental Health, Parenting, and Stress.

Are you a Bystander or an Upstander?

Most of us know the story of The Good Samaritan that can be found in the Christian New Testament book of Luke chapter 10.  Jesus tells a story of a Jewish man that was mugged and left for dead along the road.  A devout Jewish man, and then a Jewish priest both passed on by without helping the injured man.  A third man passed by who was a Samaritan.  Samaritans as a group did not like Jews, and Jews didn’t like Samaritans.  However, it was this Samaritan who stopped and came to the aid of the victim along the road. 
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Categories: Faith issues, Family, Parenting, Personal Growth, and School.

There’s More Than One Grinch Out There

The Big Grinch of 2020 brought with him several Little Grinches.  These other grinches have always been around, but the Big Grinch has really paved the way for them to infiltrate our homes, relationships, and personal lives in new and devious ways.  These Little Grinches are fear, addiction, loneliness, confusion, apathy and mistrust.   I’ve seen an unprecedented level of fear and anxiety in 2020.  Of course there are more issues that have been worrisome this year; the election, the spread of a serious virus, economic uncertainty and plenty of civil unrest.  Many people have dealt with the anxiety by
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Categories: COVID, Family, Holidays, Mental Health, and Parenting.

Keep it Boring

Airplane pilots describe flying as a mostly boring activity interspersed with moments of panic.  When you are in the air and dependent on the flying machine, you want it to stay boring!  Unless you are an acrobatic pilot.   Daily life can reflect this situation, especially now during the COVID 19 restricted life we are living.  Pilots have a flight plan that they follow as best as they can, and this allows them to get to their next destination as safely and predictably as possible.  Using this as a metaphor for life, what is your flight plan?  Where are you
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Categories: Children, COVID, Family, Parenting, Personal Growth, and Relationships.

Family on Purpose

“Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.” This is rule 7 in Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life”.  It is a strong recommendation to build your life on principles instead of just doing what is easy for the moment.  There are two general ways to go through life; directionally, or directionless.  We can either punch a destination into the GPS, or just see where the road takes us.  Henry David Thorough is quoted “In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.”  I agree.  If you aim your life
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Categories: Children, Faith issues, Family, Parenting, and Relationships.

Strong or Safe?

Anxiety is increasing in the developed world, and I believe that we can blame this on our ever-growing dependency on technology. The more technologically connected we are, the more alone we feel in reality. The American Psychiatric Association ran a poll in 2017 and discovered that millennials are the most anxious population in the U.S. I wonder how much of this anxiety is due to kids being too plugged in without limits, and how much is due to parents’ efforts to create the perfect childhood for their kids? Its an indicator that “safe” has been given preference over “strong.”
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Categories: Childhood Disorders, Children, Family, Parenting, and Stress.

Should I Let My Child Have Social Media?

Here’s my answer. Growing up in the digital age is something most parents today know nothing about.  We have no direct experience of what going through middle school in the era of social media is really like.  We can, however, observe the impact of social media on our children.   I want to emphasize that we must not underestimate its impact on our children.  I believe that our middle schoolers are the most vulnerable to social media’s influence.   The reason I say this is based on child development theory.  Erik Erickson developed the “Psychosocial” stages of development.  He believed
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Categories: Children, Faith issues, Family, Managing Media, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships, School, and Transitions / Change.

What is More Important Than a Red Balloon?

I just watched the movie “Christopher Robin” in which we see Winnie the Pooh and friends rescue an older Christopher Robin from himself.  As a child, Christopher Robin played and spent long hours exploring the Hundred Acre Wood with his stuffed animal friends.  He used his imagination to create stories that most of us heard about as children in the Pooh books by A.A. Milne.   Some wise sayings from Pooh are heard again in the movie.  Specifically, there are a couple of observations Pooh has about doing nothing.  The first is “Doing nothing often leads to the very best
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Categories: Children, Family, Managing Media, Marriage, Parenting, Personal Growth, and Stress.