Mark is a devoted Christ follower. He is husband to Ellen, father to a son and three daughters, and grandfather to 9. He holds a Masters of Education in school leadership and has been a teacher and school principal. He has served on Church staffs working with parents and children. His ministry spans over 30 years.
This is one mom's experience when her son tested as having a low percentage chance of achieving "school success." Through her determination and dedication the outcome was totally unexpected! It took 20 years, but you won't believe how this one turned out.
Please note: This mom has requested to stay anonymous. Her and her husband were close friends of my wife and me when our sons were young and did activities together.
My heart sank. Panic set in.
The test results showed “poor chance for success in school.” The principal kindly encouraged me but I heard nothing. My husband, a tenured professor and I a post-grad library media specialist had a child that had, in my thinking at that moment, NO FUTURE!
As a children’s minister, elementary school teacher and school administrator for 30 years, I loved special, fun days. I love costumes. I have dressed up for spirit days, for reading incentives (yes, even dressing up as Junie B. Jones) and more.
I also love a party. I love when children are excited and having a great time. So from my personal perspective, Halloween has so much going for it. Fun and anticipation, kids dressing up in adorable costumes, parents spending time with their kids, candy everywhere – what is not to like about this great party? But, try as I may, I just can’t get myself to like this holliday. Honestly, I have tried. I read and thought through some articles on Focus on the Family and other Christian parenting sites. I read the articles by oddly dressed Youth Ministers telling me how Christians have to be relevant and should take the good of Halloween and if some of this holiday offends you, then leave out the bad. (If it offends me – not if it is offensive to God?) But in the end all their arguments could not drowned out the Scriptures that just keep coming back to my mind. Continue reading Do You Struggle with Celebrating Halloween?
Do you secretly wonder if your parenting abilities are stacking up? When you look over the fence to see the breathtaking, pinterest inspired birthday party do you feel inferior? When your nephew wows everyone at Thanksgiving with his violin while your kids are falling off their chairs do you wonder about your parental adequacy? After working with families for over 30 years, I have noticed that parents are often looking at the wrong measurements.
Don’t fret or worry. Junior may not get the most creative birthday party or be an expert in anything, but he may still have great parents. “What does it take to be a great parent” you ask? If you are wondering how you stack up as a parent then here are three questions to ask yourself which should shed light on what really matters. So read below to see if you are a great, good, or need to improve parent. Continue reading Are You A Great Christian Parent? These 3 Questions Will Reveal If You Are
According to WebMD, 70% of children have trouble falling asleep. So then if you are facing nightly bedtime battles you are with the majority of parents. I may be wrong, but I bet knowing you are in the majority is no consolation. Most likely you just want your child to sleep without the nightly war. You want to sleep without interruptions. So what is a parent to do?
Many parents are turning to medications, supplements or over the counter solutions including melatonin and magnesium, as well as devices such as weighted blankets, noise machines, even aromatherapy using calming scents such as lavender.
While some of these methods work, experts are worried that the issues behind the sleep problem are not being addressed. Others are concerned that the child will become dependent on the medications and supplements or devices possibly causing issues of dependency.
Have you ever wondered if you were the only one who had to say some outrageous things? I have. Nathan Ripperger is a videographer and graphic designer who lives with his wife and five boys in Iowa. He has put together a book of statements he has made over the years.
I am nearly certain I have said one or more of these which are posted as examples from his facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thingsivesaid): Continue reading You Are Not Alone
Maybe it was the bloody nose, the torn skirt, the vomit on the bed or the bowl of cereal that crashed to the floor. Come to think of it, it could have been the tenth time he peed his pants, or the day she cut her beautiful hair. How about the bloody knee complete with horrific screaming or the endless boogers from the worst cold you have ever seen? Was it his experiment to see if chocolate bars really worked on the wall like a marker? Or the week you did not sleep because one by one all three kids got sick and needed you – all – night – long! Yeah, it could be the fighting between siblings or the refusal to do homework. Actually it could even be the daily whining about what is for dinner or the evening you run out of pullups and because she has been dry for a week you go for it only to find a wet bed in the morning when you are already a few days behind on the laundry. Who knows what it was, but somehow, some way this whole parenting thing became a chore. Not just any chore, but a very big, demanding, exhausting chore. Continue reading Return to the Joy of Parenting
Memorial day we had one of my wife’s coworkers and her children over to use our pool. I was inside working with one of our international students. Twice I looked outside to see how everyone was doing and by chance both times the preschooler had no clothes on. Later that evening we were at the house of the coworker and I flippantly teased her asking her if her kids were skinny dipping since both times I looked out I saw bare bottoms.
I love to hike. But occasionally I notice some sudden changes. The path does not look right, markings are no longer visible, etc. It is in those times that I need to assess where I am to make sure I did not get off the trail. When children get off the trail of proper development and growth it is often marked with sudden changes. Sudden changes or major steps backwards in our child’s development can be alarming. Continue reading Uncomfortable Questions You Need to Ask Your Kids
Last week I enjoyed helping Delaware County Christian School (DCCS.org) with their LOVE, American Experience camp for 30 Chinese middle school students. My wife and I hosted 3 girls and I was with the group for 3 and a half days taking pictures. In that time many of the kids in this group touched my heart.
I had an incident with two boys. One was 13 year old Leon, a pleasant, heavyset child. He seemed to be misplaced. Not being mature enough to hang out with the older boys who were more his size he hung out with the younger boys and stuck out physically. One of those younger boys was 12 year old Legend, tall, very thin and athletically gifted. Continue reading Why They Won’t Listen