The Blog

Spend some time reading through these articles and blog posts to help you win in your parenting journey. We hope to build a library full of phase-specific and topic-based resources that will help you wherever you are at in your parenting journey.

Dads, Show Up Well

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Growing up (and still today), my dad played (and continues to play) a variety of roles. Throughout my life growing up he modeled many parenting do’s and don’ts. I am…

The Power of Living on Mission

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As the world slowly is coming out of the pandemic, we know that things will look so different. Heading out onto the mission field might not be possible in the…

Reflecting on Mother’s Day

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“Mom, this is one of two days out of the year that you get to be appreciated!” This statement came out of my child’s mouth and I immediately let her…

Herd Mentality

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What image comes to mind when you hear the words “herd mentality”? Here are just a few that popped up for me: Wildebeest in droves migrating across the Masaai Mara.…

Longest Wait EVER

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Guessing you OR your child has bemoaned this at some point and time. “This is the longest wait EVER!” I’m sure standing in line for an amusement park ride, an…

Not Only By Your Creator, But by Me Too

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Not only by your Creator, but by me. What we want to tell our kids: My sweet child, You are so loved. I would do anything to see you smile,…

Building Kids’ Confidence

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When our kids are little, it seems that they have all the confidence in the world. They can rock that Batman suit or tutu over jeans and mismatched socks like…

Talking about Finances with your Kids

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Finances are a tricky conversation for our kids, though it is something that should be discussed so it doesn’t feel taboo. I remember growing up and my parents always going…

Showing Sadness

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It’s ok to show emotions Everyone gets sad, it’s just a part of life in this broken world. So often, we find ourselves trying to protect our children from the…

Setting Vision With Your Kids

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On a crisp morning, we made, (emphasis on made) our daughter get out into nature for a hike. Slower than molasses we made our way through nature with a not…

Getting Through Conflict

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I will freely admit that being cooped up in the house doesn’t always make for boundless happiness in my heart and mind. The little things that our spouse or kids…

Sensory Ideas for Distance Learning

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Is my child the only one that finds hours after hours of Zooms and work at their desk tiresome and difficult? My son takes more breaks then a 9-month pregnant…
people walking on sidewalk during daytime

What Will They Remember?

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For so many of us, we have said, “These are crazy times” over and over. The truth is, it is. I was talking to a group of my friends awhile…
boy in green crew neck t-shirt sitting beside girl in white mask

Advocacy in Quarantine

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Have any of you felt the need to fight a little harder for our kids while in quarantine? Have you asked yours, “How much more can they take away from…

Thanksgiving Is Not Cancelled

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  This Thanksgiving is not quite how any of us were imagining it, in fact it seems that is the case for most things. However, let’s be clear, Thanksgiving is…

Nuclear Emotions

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The emotions are swirling inside your children whether they are staying locked in, leaking out or full-on exploding. Check out these four quick tips on how to respond if and…

Emotions Under the Behaviors

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There are always a mix of emotions underlying any behaviors in our children. Take tons of practical tips to help your child identify, express and explore the feelings. Parents, this…

How Are You?

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Guessing the typical response you get is, "Fine!" How do you dive deeper in connection and communication with your child, especially in this season that is anything but fine? Get…

Slow to Speak

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Think about all our kids are going through and how they're processing everything happening to and around them. When your kids come to you with more complex problems, what on…

We Were Coming to Church But Then…

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  How many times as a parent of a child with Special Needs have you started this sentence? You woke up Sunday morning and had the best intentions of making…

To Tell or Not to Tell

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by Amy Kendall Have you ever stopped yourself from telling a school teacher or a Sunday school leader that your child has a disability? I’ll be honest, I have done…

Financial Freedom Ministries

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No matter where you are in your relationship with money, we have a resource that can help you grow into the money-manager that God wants you to be. Designed to…

First Aid for Families, College Ministry

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Special guests Colton Harker and Mike Brook discuss the Saddleback Church’s college ministry with host Brandon Robinson. College students today are asking: “Who did God create me to be like?”…

First Aid for Families, High School Ministry

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We are fortunate to have High School Ministry leaders Jason Pogue and Emma Aungst join Jason Weiland in this special First Aid For Families podcast. With high school being such…

First Aid for Families, Junior High Ministry Podcast

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Katie Edwards described the junior high years with her kids as one of the best times with her student. She is joined by Brandon Robinson and Matt Heer to talk…

First Aid for Families, Saddleback Kids Podcast

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Staying connected and finding "normal" are challenges for parents of students today. In this episode of Doable Discipleship, Jason Weiland and head of Saddleback Kids, Shawn Hyde discuss the online…

The Living Water

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A guided time with God through prayer and reflection on Scripture. In this episode, put yourself in the shoes of the Hebrews, wandering the desert, needing water. What are you…

God, Give Me Eyes to See

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I wish I had eyes to see those in need. Can you imagine walking through Target and being able to see whose heart is hurting and needs some encouragement?  What…

I Hear You

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“You don’t understand Mom, you don’t know what it is like to be a kid.” After carefully doing my math to realize how long it had been since I was…

Do I Wait for the Storm to be Over?

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When is there a good time to step out in faith? Is it when the waters are calm? Is it when the storm is raging? The best time to step…

Hope Filled Approach to Suicide Prevention

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As we kick off National Suicide Prevention Week, I want you to hear from my good friend, Dan Adams, from Sources of Strength. Sources of Strength’s upstream approach to suicide…

Finding the Light

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By Jennifer Norton I have been finding it very interesting to watch my daughter grow and develop from a little girl into a pre-teen. It is such a pivotal age…

Help! I Feel Exhausted

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By Chris Reed As I’m typing this, the common energy drain in all our lives is coming from COVID-19. The response to and effects of the virus have caused many…

Hope for Mental Health Community | Back to School: Support for Families and Kids

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If you are a student, parent, educator, or love some who is, join us for our online Hope for Mental Health Community for practical support as you navigate the uncertainties…

Creating School Space At-Home

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Whether you live in a multi-million-dollar mansion or a studio apartment, the need for a space for your child to complete his/her distance learning is key. Your home no longer…

Involvement to Investment

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As I thought about having kids, I eagerly anticipated being an involved parent. After all, it was a natural transition from my lifelong overachievement as a Japanese American child into…

Messy Bun, But Getting Self-Care Done

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The COVID-19 at-home trends are all about comfy and cozy. Moms and daughters alike are sporting messy buns on the daily. Working parents are dressed for work…from the waistline up…

Navigating the Landscape of Learning

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The school year is upon us once again. The landscape is far different than what any of us expected and trying to navigate has proven to be nothing short of…

Practical Ideas for Spending Time with Your Children

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I’ve often said that “your children regard your presence as a sign of caring and connectedness.” Sometimes we get distracted and so preoccupied with the urgent that we miss the…

The Power of Believing in Your Kids

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Another important ingredient in parenting is expressing your belief in your kids. Most young people struggle with a poor or improper self-image. They play the comparison game and see that…

The Trends of Childhood Stress and Anxiety

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Kara Powell, a leader and research at Fuller Institute, shares a wealth of expertise and wisdom around the seeming increase in stress and anxiety in today's children. Tune in as…

Winning with Your Struggling Teen

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Mark at Amazon Saddleback Parents is joined by Mark Oestreicher, well-known trainer and leader of youth workers across America with almost 40 years of experience in student ministries. He shares…

Hope for Mental Health Community with Pastor Scott Sauls

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Join us for our Hope for Mental Health Community – a safe place for anyone living with or affected by mental illness. Our monthly gatherings are a time to connect…

Let’s Talk About Race

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By Julius Lester View at Amazon REVIEW: A beautifully written story about the story that each of us has to tell and are. Many things contribute to our story, race…

God’s Very Good Idea: A True Story About God’s Delightfully Different Family

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By Trillia Newbell View at Amazon REVIEW: Rightfully titled, this book takes us back to the beginning of “God’s Very Good Idea” in the creation of man and woman. Traversing…

The Skin You Live In

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By Michael Tyler View at Amazon REVIEW: This is a colorfully illustrated, sing-song rhyming book for younger kids in early elementary and below. It is a joyful appreciation of the…

The Other Side

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By Jacqueline Woodson View at Amazon REVIEW: There is power in simple friendships, a great message for school-age children from preschool through elementary, addressing the realities of our racially separated…

Pause

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Pause and breathe. You are covered in our prayers in this heavy time in life. Thankfully, Colossians 1:9-11 is full of practical and extremely applicable wisdom in this season of…

Black Is a Rainbow Color

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By Angela Joy View at Amazon REVIEW: Beautiful illustrations and eloquent words woven together bring this book to life. Best audience is elementary age for comprehension of its depth. “Black…

The Colors of Us

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  By Karen Katz View at Amazon REVIEW: This book, not intended, seems like a great follow-up to “Shades of People”. It takes the idea of shades of skin to…

Shades of People

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By Shelley Rotner & Sheila M. Kelly View at Amazon REVIEW: Toddlers up to early elementary will appreciate this simple reminder that people come in all sorts of shades. It…

Hope for Mental Health Community | Confronting Racism and Mental Health Disparities

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Our country is in the middle of two big crises right now: the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial injustices that have led to the tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud…

Parents, Teens & Screens

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Teenagers spend hours each day with their faces buried in screens jumping from app to app. Streaming, FaceTime, and Vlogs are normal things for the Generation Z teenager because technology…

Across the Alley

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By Richard Michelson View at Amazon REVIEW: What a beautifully illustrated story of friendship between two boys—one Jewish and one black. It is a great conversation starter for elementary-age children…

We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street)

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By Bobbi Jane Kates View at Amazon REVIEW: This is a great picture book for babies up to Kindergarten, maybe even early elementary. The beloved Sesame Street character present a…

The Power of Being There

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My mom died a few years ago. It wasn’t easy. Cancer had racked her body, and we spent most of a year watching her die. We had moved Mom home…

Parenting: Your Highest Calling

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Here are a few things I have learned about parenting over the years: Parenting isn’t easy. If you are having an easy go at it, then something is probably wrong. Parenting…

The Priority of Children

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Your job as a parent is a calling from God. It is more important than your vocation, bank account, education or even your own happiness. Besides your relationship with God…

Navigating Crisis as a Community

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By now, we’ve all grown weary of High School Musical’s hit number “We’re All in This Together!” (Don’t start singing it! Seriously, you’ll regret it for the rest of your…

6 Lessons in 6 Months of 2020

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To say that 2020 has been a whirlwind is an understatement. At least we’re halfway through the year…or wow we still have 6 months to go?!?!  No matter how you…

Speak Up With Your Kids

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My mind lies awake and restless at night—the endless posts, comments, videos and more dealing with every aspect and facet of the racial injustices pervading our country spin through my…

Let’s Be Honest

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Let’s be honest, if the recent events have not ignited an earnest time of heart check self-reflection, it’s not too late. You may have chosen to not click on the…

Pornography Can Take Down Your Teen

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Pornography is wreaking havoc on the minds and hearts of teenagers today. It’s definitely not a feel-good parenting topic, but it must be addressed and discussed with your teen. It’s…

Talking To Your Kids About Racism…A Conversation Between Two Friends

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Join two of our Pastors, Kurt Johnston and AC Crumbey as they share some thoughts and tips about talking to our kids about racism. They recorded this short conversation in…

In Memory of March 13, 2020

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The last day that our kids were in school. Who would have even known that March 13th would be the final day that our kids would see their friends, their…
four person hands wrap around shoulders while looking at sunset

Faith, Hope and Love in COVID-19

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The ramifications of this COVID-19 season have been extensive. Suicide rates. Domestic violence. Child abuse. Lives lost. Fears raised. The list could go on and on. One of the most…

Hope for Mental Health Community with Dr. Bruce Perry

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The stressful impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives is unprecedented, affecting our physical and mental health, our work, our finances, our communities, and our relationships.

Caregiver Burnout, Isolation, and Addiction

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Join us as we focus on caregiver burnout, substance use, addiction, and isolation with Dr. Glenda Wrenn. Dr. Wrenn is a practicing psychiatrist, mental health policy expert, and thought leader…

The Purity Code – Teaching Your Teen Healthy Sexuality

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It just sort of happened. I wasn’t planning on losing my virginity. He was cute and he told me he loved me. The next day he pretended like he didn’t…

Help for Raising Strong-Willed Children

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If you have been blessed with a strong-willed child, you know that parenting can be a difficult task. Unfortunately, there aren’t any ready-made formulas that apply to all kids when it comes…

Protecting Your Mental Health During COVID-19

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Your mental health, especially as a parent, is vital in this season. Take time to reflect on and protect your mental health.

Supporting Kids During COVID-19

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The kids in our lives have experienced a tremendous amount of change and loss due to COVID-19 – loss of school, the ability to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, art…

I’ve Got You

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Do you kids ever have one of those days where the clumsy gene sets in BIG time? Despite their best efforts, every and anything is causing them to trip, fall…

Drug Proof Your Kids

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“We never dreamed this would happen to our family.” Those were the exact words of Carol and Robert as they told me about their son who was a leader in…

Managing the Chaos

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Does stay-at-home time feel like managing a zoo? It's not too late to bring some order and consistency into the inconsistent uncertainty of life.

Don’t Miss Today Thinking About Tomorrow

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Is your angst increasing about the possibility of a "new normal"? What tomorrow holds can be overwhelming. Don't get lost in tomorrow at the cost of today.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

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You are probably doing a good or even great job in managing this norm. But, you don't have to keep it all together all the time. It's okay to not…

How To Handle Emotional Pain During The COVID-19 Crisis

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With COVID-19, the quarantine, and the economic turmoil, our intake of information has increased, and with it, comes the news of pain around the world. It can be a simple scroll…

Growing Spiritually as a Couple While Raising Kids

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It’s a common surprise: parents think that once their children get past the exhausting toddler years and become more independent, life will slow down and the couple will have more…

10 Facts About Adolescence (How to Survive the At-Home Quarantine)

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Teenagers are being asked by the government to socially distance themselves from friends, meaning they are trapped at home with parents and siblings. Can you see the eye rolls? How many parents are quoting…

Ending the Homework Hassle

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Any time parents of teenagers or pre-teens are in a room together, the subject of homework and education seems to be on their lips. My experience is that most of…

Having Faith Conversations with Your Family During the Quarantine

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It’s such a crazy time for all of us. Families are feeling the stress and yet, for many of us, we have more time to have meaningful conversations. I wanted…

Make the Most of This Time

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About a month ago, many of us were complaining that we were too busy, that life was moving too quickly, and that we wished we had more time to spend…

Farewell What Should Have Been

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While I know this is our new norm, honestly, reality hasn’t fully set in. The statewide reports and letters announcing the closures of schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020…

The Process

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By: Kinsey Hunting There’s a lot to process through with all of the drastic changes that have happened in our society over the last few weeks. This pandemic has created…

Before COVID-19

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  By: Laleanne Stanbery Before COVID-19 we filled our lives with... Busyness School Work Sports Extra-curriculars Bible Studies Lunches Meetings, meetings, and more meetings The occasional, penciled into the empty…

Temperature Goes Up

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  By: Shawn Hyde If you’re feeling a bit more exhausted than usual, you’re in good company! Each of us has had to make some big adjustments in our daily…

Running on Empty

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In this episode of Parent Pit Stop, Kurt talks about making sure you find time to do the things that fill your tank.

The Short & Long-Term

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The uncertainty of tomorrow, next week and next month can be overwhelming. Be reminded about how to live in the short-term, day-to-day, while keeping a long-term, bigger picture vision in…

Connection in Social Distancing

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As someone who thrives off of in-person connections and relationships, social distancing has been like my kryptonite. Guess that is why God blessed us with a high-energy household of kids…

Surviving At-Home

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There is no time like the present, in the “new norm” of being at-home for work, school, play, meals and more, to take an intentional pitstop. Get your at-home living…

How to Talk to Your Kids About Fears

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YOU’VE GOT THIS Most nights, our family gathers together for family time. Some nights we shoot baskets on the Over the Door basketball hoop. Other times we talk about school,…

The Juggle

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One of the most consistent compliments I get is my high capacity—multitasking juggler of many kids, jobs, roles and responsibilities. You would think that would be an asset in this…

Teaching Kids to Deal with Consequences

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“For every action, there is an equally powerful reaction.” What scientists have known for centuries many children seem to have difficulty understanding. Now, why is that? Well, I’m no scientist,…

Picture Perfect Parenting

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Homeschooling, two full-time jobs relocated, at-home sports, virtual friend dates…we are PICTURE perfect as you can see! Here is the key word in this…PICTURE. It is all a captured façade…

The Gospel in 5 Words

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The Gospel In 5 Words As parents and kids spend more time at home together during our current health crisis, there is certainly an increase in the amount of time…

Three Questions Parents Can (Should) Ask Their Students During Times of Uncertainty

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By Jason Pogue If your students are anything like mine, they spend a TON of time in their bedrooms. In fact, they typically only come out of their rooms for…

Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Tough Stuff

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We are navigating uncharted territory with the coronavirus and the closure of virtually everything “normal” in our day-to-day…schools, sports, extracurriculars, playdates, amusement parks, stores, and church. One thing is certain,…

Working From Home

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Our Friend Adam McLane is a parent who has worked from home for almost a decade,  and we think his insight might be helpful to those of you who may…

Dear, Coach

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As spring sports season is well underway, just wanted to take a moment to write to the “Coach” leading any and all youth sports Dear, Coach Thank you! We see…