Before becoming a parent I thought I would do best with having a teenager right off the bat. If I could skip the sleep deprivation and toddler tantrum-ing and bedwetting, I’d be good. I wanted to get right to the place where I could have a conversation and reason with...read more
I think it's kind of fun that God puts families into a little box called a home—where they bump into each other daily for years on end—and tells them to love each other. Nice experiment. It's always amazed me that many of us have a tendency to communicate least...read more
My oldest daughter is 10, and for the past year and a half, she spends most of her free time at the farm. She has always had a great affinity for horses. When she isn’t riding, she’s working at the farm—cleaning stalls, catching horses in the field, or bathing them....read more
I’m not exactly sure how to say this without it coming across like I’m bragging, so I’ll just come out and say it. I’m overly considerate. Before you nominate me for humanitarian of the year, let me rephrase that. I’m overly . . . conscious of inconveniencing anyone....read more
“Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.” That’s what Donovan sang way back in 1965. Sure—on the surface, it’s a sweet ode to his true love. But let’s be honest. He might as well have been singing about being a parent. I know I’ve felt that way about my own...read more
About 50,000 thoughts pass through our minds each day. FIFTY THOUSAND. I suspect that number is even higher for parents of preschoolers! It’s true that many of these thoughts are the equivalent of mental space junk— Add milk to the grocery list . . . This sippy cup is...read more
My wife and I worked with teenagers for many years, and one of the skills we learned was to ask great questions, which often lead to great conversations. Now we work with married people; but we get to practice those same skills on our own kids, who are teenagers now....read more
What's more important to you as a parent: How happy your kids are? How well your kids achieve? Or what about how kind they are to others? According to the Making Caring Common Project, 80% of youth in their study feel like their parents are more concerned with their...read more
Every parent wants influence, and while a parent is the greatest influence in a child’s life, that influence can wax and wane with the seasons. In fact, a lot of parents I know feel like they’re losing influence.
Influence is something to pay attention to no matter what stage of parenting you’re at, because ultimately every parent is on a journey from control to influence. We start out with almost complete control of a child’s life, but by the time our sons and daughters are 18 and ready to face life on their own, all we have left is influence.read more
Time flies fast from elementary to college age, so get ready to change your parenting habits. Every child seems to move in warp speed toward the teenage years.
I was caught by surprise when a new declaration of personal independence was automatically assumed the day my son got his driver’s license. It was as though I represented an oppressive and extremely unfair regime whenever I tried to enforce any rule. (Whenever I said no to one of my teenage daughters, she would go to her bedroom, close the door and play Britney Spears’ “Overprotected” over and over again for over an hour, loud enough for me and the whole house to hear.) I have to admit, it was difficult for me to transition from parenting children to parenting teenagers. I had worked with teenagers all of my life, but I had never actually had any living in my home. I am still a recovering parent of teens, but here are a few things I have recognized about this chapter of parenting:read more
If there was an essential oil to cure “the gimmees”—the incessant greed and want my kids have for something more—I would buy it, sell it and be an essential oil advocate like you’ve never seen before. Because I don’t know about you, but in our house, greediness shows...read more
I yelled at my little one the day after Christmas. Talk about a way to land the jolliest season, right? I know, I kind of jumped right into this thing, but it is our reality and the truth is my heart is still so sad about it. I could give you the full story and tell...read more