Author: Carey Nieuwhof

Low Expectations: A Key to Christmas Happiness

Expectations rarely run higher than they do at Christmas. From what to give to what to serve to the pressure to host well, expectations hover just beyond reach of achievability for most of us. A few years ago I was listening to a speaker who was talking about something I can’t remember anymore, but I do remember this.  As a complete aside, he stopped his main talk and said to the audience: “You know what the secret to happiness is, right?”  — Pause.  —  “Low expectations.” The secret to happiness is low expectations. Click To Tweet It’s all I remember about...

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Why Your Kids Need Five Other Adults in Their Lives

I have something like 1,300 contacts in my phone. No doubt, 1,300 is a crazy number. You might have double that, or half that. It’s just the world we live in. But even if you only had 100, you wouldn’t really know each of them well. Not deeply. Not personally. You couldn’t. Our relational span just isn’t that big. But there’s also a “favorites list” on my phone, as there probably is one on yours. On that list are the people who are one touch-of-the-screen away from a call or a text. My favorites list is much shorter. In fact, there...

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How to Talk to Your Kids About Tragedy

The news is heartbreaking enough to take in as a parent. Terrorist attacks. Mass killings. Planes blowing up. Beheadings. I know…please just stop right there. Add to that the political chaos that seems to dominate the headlines, climate change, job losses and more. It’s just too much to take some days, even for us adults. So as a parent, how do you even begin to engage these topics with your kids? Well, for starters, you can try to shield them, and that will work for a while. But shielding a child from life won’t actually prepare a child for...

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Because, One Day, Your Kids Stop Bugging You (Really)

You may have a toddler right now who won’t leave your side. You know the kind. The kid who’s glued to your leg, velcroed to your arm, who keeps wanting you to read the same story again, and again, and again. It’s driving you nuts some days, isn’t it? Hard to believe, but one day, they’re going to withdraw. Ask any parent who has middle schoolers. Or teenagers. It happens…they withdraw. And you know what happens to most parents? Most parents have no idea what to do. So they do this: When their kids withdraw, they withdraw. Why wouldn’t you? I...

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How to NOT Become the Distant Dad

So what do you do when your pre-teen or teen doesn’t want to hang out with you as a parent anymore? That can be a hard question to answer. In fact, while there’s a mountain of advice for parents of infants, often parents of pre-teens and teens can end up feeling more than isolated. When my friend Reggie Joiner and I were writing Parenting Beyond Your Capacity a few years ago, we went to a bookstore to check out the parenting section. What we found surprised us. We noticed there was a sea of books for parents (particularly moms)...

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