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.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

10 Phrases Children of EVERY Age Like to Hear

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Some things never go out of style…and words of affirmation and encouragement from mom and dad are at the top of the list.  So whether they let you know it…

3 Ways to Use Technology to Connect with your Kids

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Parents have been struggling to connect and understand their children for generations. Your parents wondered why you did the things you did, pondered how to better relate to your interests,…

Eleven Ideas to Keep Your Kids Feeling Like a Valentine All Year

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Valentine’s day just passed, and I’m sure you did something for your child that made them feel a little extra special…like you do every year on February 14th.  Valentine’s day…

4 Ways to Get Through Grief

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It’s easy to convince ourselves that one day we’ll “get over it” when it comes to dealing with grieve. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Grief is a process.…

Five Reasons Your Teen and PreTeen Want You to Set Boundaries

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Does your preteen or teenager really want boundaries? While you will never hear your teens say to you, “Can you please add some more restrictions to my life?” they really do want to…

Win in Parenting

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As an NBA athlete, Kobe Bryant was the definition of winning. His 20-season career was peppered with championships, commendations, celebrations and more. It is still hard to believe that this…

6 Ways Busy Parents Can Connect to the Heart of a Child

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Let’s face it! We each have 24 hours in a day! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tasks and activities vying for our attention. But ultimately, we all have…

Kurt’s 10 Favorite Resources on Saddlebackparents.com

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The fact that you’re reading this blog post means you know this awesome website full of parenting resources exists. Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a world-class parent! …

10 Ways To Make Your Child Feel Awesome

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Among the general population of kids and teenagers, anxiety is at an all-time high and self-esteem is at an all-time low.  The reasons for this epidemic run deep and are…

Struggle Well

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It is an inevitable part of life and parenting, that there will be challenges. You will face a parenting struggle. Your child will struggle with a friend, coach, teacher or…

10 Way to be a Better Listener

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Let’s be honest…listening doesn’t always come easy.  Most parents are great talkers and not-so-great listeners.  The art of listening to your children is a skill worth learning because the return…

Goodbye Child, Welcome Son

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Little One, Okay, maybe you are not that little, standing at six feet tall. I do enjoy the man you are becoming, but there are moments when I whisk back…

THE Best

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Our children are undergoing massive amounts of stress and pressure, unlike ever before. Younger and younger kids are being signed up for sports and extracurriculars. And gone are the days…

True Confessions in Training Children Spiritually

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I’m a children’s minister; have been for the last almost 15 years. I’ve been a follower of Jesus for more than 20 years. Been through seminary classes and countless Bible…

Bullying and Cyberbullying

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Bullying is part of the cultural landscape for adolescents today, even as it has been in previous generations. Some teenagers are still bullied in person–a 2014 study found that while…

Sneaky Suspects: Teenagers and 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…

Understanding Apple’s “ScreenTime” App

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Since the launch of iOS 12, Apple mobile devices have gotten a significant upgrade in the area of parental controls.  Formerly known as, Restrictions, Apple has rebranded and revised the App to…

What if You Can’t FIX It?

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A human problem that many of us face…we want to FIX it. This does not just go for projects around the house but even the problems that our kids bring…

Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out

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Here is the principle: Unsolicited advice is usually taken as criticism. “But why does she need to go to Europe to find herself when I have all the answers for her…

8 Ways to Pray for your Child

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From the moment they are placed in our arms to the first post on Instagram to the driver’s license test to packing the last box for college, parents are inundated…

The Power of Forgiveness

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“If you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” —Mark 11:25 All marriage authorities say the same thing: A healthy…

It Takes a Village: You Need Community, and So Do Your Kids!

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By Julia Bernier My husband and I were married for 5 years when we were blessed with our first child. Our son had been the reason we had committed our…

A Lost Art or Not?

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We are facing a pandemic. A mass “eye infection”, if you will. Eye contact has become a lost art. Instead, our eyes are glued to screens, pages, and every possible…

5 Things To Remember As Your Child Heads Back To School

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  Your child is probably a combination of excited and nervous. A new school year brings new adventures and opportunities but it also brings back some of the old challenges…

Back to School Supplies for PARENTS

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While you are busy gathering together school supplies, loading up backpacks, and packing lunches…here are the top 10 essentials for your parenting backpack. Have these supplies ready before the first…

Can’t We Just Have FUN!?!?

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  It’s a glorious summer day. Kids are out of school and the sun is shining. Beach day is in order. Swimsuits are on, sunscreen lathered, car loaded with all…

Choosing A School

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Being in the middle of summer, it is hard to believe that we will be running to the local store soon to stock up on school supplies. It can be…

Having Fun and Making Memories Along the Way

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By Julia Bernier We celebrated our son and his new wife last year at their wedding. Of course, as the mother of the groom, we took the traditional whirl around…

Top 10 Ways To Make Father’s Day Fantastic

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For All You Dads Out There... 10. Eat a steak...then some chicken wings. 9. Take a nap or two or three. 8. Force the rest of the family to listen…

A Parents Guide to Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse

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Many, perhaps most, teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol. This doesn’t mean they will become addicts, but the experimental behavior that occurs at adolescence can quickly bring problems, even deadly…

In-laws, Step Families and The Blend: Five Tips to Navigate the Relationship

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As we work through the five tips that follow, keep in mind this principle: “Wear beige and keep your mouth shut.” It effectively summarizes the best approach to navigating and…

Adoption Talk

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Adoption is prevalent throughout the Bible, so one would surmise it would be easy to talk about. In reality, the topic still brings some conversations to a grinding halt. Education…

Some Summer Stuff

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  Summer is here! Hotter days, longer nights and way more free time for your kids. So, what can you do to help make the summer months memorable? Here are…

Practical Ideas for Influencing Your Grandkids

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There are so many practical ways to influence your grandkids. Here are several ideas to get you started: Be present. Be fun. Be generous. Your presence matters. I call this…

Smart Phone Safety, Survival and Sanity!

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  All throughout history, our advancements have also brought unintended side effects. And while the side effects rarely outweigh the benefits (for example, I’m not about to quit eating pizza…

Parent’s Guide: Giving Your Student a Cell Phone

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The milestone of giving your student their first cell phone may be the most significant milestone of their adolescence. The oldest of Generation Z (born 1997-2012) would have been ten…

Teaching Rules, Responsibility, and Respect

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Developing family rules, responsibility, and respect first begin with what we value. Pastor Rick Warren has told us many times that value depends on who owns something. The Bible tells…

The Power of a Pause Button

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I can still vividly remember the first time I saw a commercial for TiVo (the orginal DVR). My mind was blown. I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the idea…

The Art of Tension and Slack

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  For a minute, imagine yourself holding a rope. At the end of the rope is your child. Is the rope tight or full of slack? Most parents have a…

Pick Your Battles

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It can definitely feel like you are swimming upstream, against the current, when it comes to a clean and organized way of life. When one “mess” finally gets cleaned up,…

Catch Your Child Doing Something Right

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Over the course of my parenting journey I’ve become really good at something, and I’ve noticed that many other parents are equally skilled in this particular area, too. I’m great…

Saying Something You Soon Regret…and how to do it less frequently

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  “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless…

Pushing All the Wrong Buttons

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The other day I was looking at a VCR. I can hardly believe this is a relic of the past, an antique, something that makes me feel dated though it’s…

Parenting…a Series of Phases

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  Not long ago my wife and I experienced a milestone 24 years in the making…our youngest child moved out. We knew it would happen; it’s supposed to happen. We’ve…

Getting Over Over-parenting

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The headlines have been laden with the college admissions scandal. The lengths that parents went to gain entry into prestigious universities was and is seemingly endless. It is easy from…

“Because I Said So…” (6 Differences Between Command And Influence)

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The classic parent response to almost anything is “because I said so....” Why do I have to eat my broccoli? Because I said so! Why do I have to go…

Three Fabulously Flawed Phrases….and How to Avoid Them

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Let’s admit it, as parents we have a tendency to say things to our kids out of frustration, anger or habit that we shouldn’t. In this blog post I’d like…

6 Stats on How Social Media Affects Teens that Parents Need to Know

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Social media, just like many of the other major components of the Internet, started out simple enough; connect with friends and spend time together when you cannot be physically together.…

How Do I Select a Technology Monitoring Service?

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Teens and kids today are spending more and more time online through mobile devices. Simply seeing our kids’ actions and behavior in the physical world is no longer enough to…

5 Mom-Son Dates

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  Moms, date your sons. There is no greater model for how your boys can treat a future girlfriend and spouse than with their very own mom. And it is…

Dating Your Kids, Part 2: 5 Dad-Daughter Dates

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Dads, date your daughters. There is no greater model for how your daughters should expect to be treated by a future boyfriend and spouse than spending time with their very…

The Ruling is…Non-Guilty (Mom Guilt, Part 2)

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  If you didn’t read my blog on “(Mom) Guilty as Charged (Mom Guilt, Part 1)” please do so first so that this then makes better sense. Living with Mom…

(Mom) Guilty as Charged (Mom Guilt, Part 1)

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A little bit about myself. I work in full-time ministry. I am also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. These are my “paid” vocations but my full FULL time gig…

Five Reasons Your Teen and PreTeen Want You to Set Boundaries (sort of)

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Does your preteen or teenager really want boundaries? While you will never hear your teens say to you, “Can you please add some more restrictions to my life?” they really do want to…

2019…A Memory Each Month

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2019…A Memory Each Month As my children were growing up, I was often hesitant to do things with them that felt overly contrived, forced or unnatural just for the sake…

Preparing Your Kids for College

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If college is in your kid’s future, understand that there are many ways to pursue a college education without being subjected to a lifetime of debt. For your child, it…

TREND ALERT! November/December 2018

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Every couple of months or so, we will provide you with a list of current trends you may want to be aware of as a parent. Here is a list…