Let me tell you a little secret my son, Tyler, and I have together to help him battle fear. We started writing Tyler’s Brave Book. He has a notebook in his room where we record brave things Tyler does. When he went to sleep with just one nightlight on, we wrote it down. When he went downstairs to the dark kitchen to fill up his water bottle before bedtime without an adult, we wrote it down.read more
We’re miles apart connected through cell phones, but the smile I feel in her voice sinks into my bones. With me, through moves across the country, career changes, moments when I was feeling sorry for myself, and times I needed to celebrate, Sibyl always had the words...read more
We want our kids to understand how best to treat their neighbor, follow God, and trust Him no matter what. We could explain the facts of why they should, have them memorize the verses, or lecture them on what will happen if they don’t. Or we could tell them a...read more
At what age do you start caring about likes? It’s younger than you think. My daughter was 8 the first time she asked me about them. I had posted a photo of her on Instagram. The next morning she came downstairs and immediately said, “Dad, how many likes did that photo...read more
Carlos Whittaker gives a practical way to invite other adults to speak into the lives of your kids at critical times. OTHER PARENTING HACKS Date Your Kid’s Desires Change the Wi-Fi...read more
I’m going to guess you wish you had a little more courage as an adult, and maybe even as a parent. We all do. Fear isn’t just an emotion, it’s also a habit. Same with courage. Courage is a habit, and habits start young. Very young. So how do you raise a courageous child? There’s a difference between being courageous and being stupid (fear has a healthy side too). However, most kids today lose courage because fear creeps in early.read more
On Sundays when I was growing up, it didn’t matter if we were facing imminent danger or in the throes of a natural disaster, we were going to church. Literally, I can’t remember not hearing my mom’s alarm clock go off every Sunday morning at 8:00am—because, of course,...read more
You’ve probably heard the old expression, “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.” Basically, if you want to see what your kids will be like when they’re grown, just look in the mirror.read more
People tell me all the time how much my two boys looks like. They are both blonde with blue eyes, but other than that, they couldn’t look more different—to me. Asher, my oldest, has my jawline and smile, but his father’s eyes and brow. Pace, my youngest, has my eyes...read more
When my daughter was three years old, she hated going to her Wednesday night class at our church. I didn’t blame her; our church had a midweek program for girls that was like Girl Scouts with all the fun sucked out. The challenge was that I was the NextGen Pastor, so the midweek girls program fell under me. It wouldn’t look good if my daughter didn’t attend a program I oversaw. This dilemma came to a head one Wednesday night when my daughter refused to go into her classroom. She dug in her heels as only a three-year-old can and announced to everyone within two miles that she hated her class, her teacher, and her father, not necessarily in that order.read more
Licensed Counselor, Dr. Chinwe Williams, talks with authors Kristen Ivy and Carlos Whittaker about the benefits of families seeking counseling and how it’s especially effective as a preventive measure rather than waiting until something goes wrong.read more
Carlos Whittaker shares a life-changing tip for parents who need help motivating their kids to do their chores. You’ll never see them work so fast! Here is how you can change your wifi password easily: On the back or bottom of your wifi router is an ip address. ...read more
I’m a loose cannon at bedtime. I can be running through our upstairs hallway playing chase like Mary Poppins at 7:07pm, but as that clock creeps closer to 7:30 my screws begin to tighten and my inner Ms. Hannigan comes out. I might as well have a whistle and a megaphone because I start pacing through the halls like the short-shorts high school coach who you can tell enjoys the authority a little too much.read more
Last week, we celebrated my son’s 11th birthday.When my children were toddlers and preschoolers, I discovered the very real truth that it’s easier to celebrate one child’s birthday when all the children have something to do. And that was the catalyst for the Birthday Brother Tradition, whereupon the one with the unbirthday gets to open a present. (Or four.)
As my younger son opened a gift from my mom, he tore away the paper at the corner of the package to reveal a Lego project. And to my great horror, he said, “Yes! That’s what I was expecting!” Expecting? Hold up, cowboy. We’ve got some training to do.
There are plenty of things my husband and I would change about how we’ve parented over the last 20 years, but if we could go back in time, there are a few things we would do all over again. I’ve already shared how we are glad we chose to imagine the end and say words...read more
Your kids have likely screamed 862 different versions of “That’s not fair!!!!” from their small lungs before their fifth birthday. Whether it’s a hug you gave her sister but not her, why her friend could get a new Elsa doll but she...read more
We’ve all been there. We all have encountered struggles that felt bigger than us. And we all develop our own ways of managing emotional pain, shame, and regret. When faced with difficult circumstances, it is very normal to look for ways to cope.
Over the years, parents have verbalized their uncertainty with how best to assist their teen with effectively managing the ups and downs of life. There’s no simple response. Quite frankly, as a therapist who frequently works with adolescents, I get it. Being a teen today is tough. Teens face increasing expectations: managing multiple schedules, demanding academic loads, and competitive extracurricular activities. And above all, discovering who they are and how they fit in with their peer group and the larger world. All of which can and do cause internal pressure.
Carlos Whittaker gives a practical tip on how to parent on purpose and stay engaged with our children. When you date their desires, you can turn ordinary moments into monumental ones.read more
I can still picture my daughter Brittainy as a bright, talented sixth grader. She could figure out technology with lightening speed, dribble a ball like it was attached to her hand with a string, and never so much as flinch when a soccer ball came straight at her head. With her dark hair, she took after her dad. They spent hours watching the Women’s USA Soccer team and figuring out a way to build a guitar pedal instead of handing over hard-earned cash for it. I would try to chime in, but their conversation sometimes left me in the dark. Staying up with the newest point guard for the Houston Rockets just wasn’t in my wheelhouse.read more
A few weeks ago, I told my 10-year-old daughter that I would write her a story. I write for a living and I’m constantly reading about other authors who do that. On a whim, they write their kids a story and then voila, Harry Potter! I wasn’t going to write her the story because I thought it would turn into a book. I was going to write her a story because it’s fun. As soon as I told her that though, she said, “Sure you will. You’ll write two pages and then quit.” Body blow! No one hits as hard as your kids can hit.read more