Do You Struggle with Celebrating Halloween?

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.

12088076_10153780549494866_8878506411140159675_nI 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?

Are You A Great Christian Parent? These 3 Questions Will Reveal If You Are

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.

DSC_1199Don’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

The Battle Over Sleep

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?

DSC_1909Many 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.

Here Is Advice From Experts

Continue reading The Battle Over Sleep

You Are Not Alone

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

My Apology To Moms

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 thought I was being funny. But my wife’s coworker did not laugh. Continue reading My Apology To Moms

Uncomfortable Questions You Need to Ask Your Kids

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

Why They Won’t Listen

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Leon and Legend (Not their real names.)

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

Are You Preparing Your Son?

Teaching a father/son class on growing from a boy to a man I described sexual intercourse to 10 year old boys. One boy raised his hand and to the horror of the Dads asked, “how will we remember to do this with our wives?” Not much later our boys no longer wonder and can’t seem to get sexual matters off their minds. We need to prepare our boys.

Yesterday I spent the day with a Middle School English Immersion camp with 30 kids from China. It was enjoyable. But being with many boys who are in the process of becoming a man I was reminded how important it is that we prepare our boys for what is coming. Continue reading Are You Preparing Your Son?

Prepare and Safeguard from Bullies

Parents, this was posted some time ago on Cyber Safety Seminar website. Recently Cecil the Lion has stirred up some very ugly behavior from adults. I got to thinking how our children must perceive this ugly behavior. Many “good” people are saying very nasty things, hoping harm on another and feeling justified making threats and more. All of this behavior, if it were occurring in children would clearly be called “bullying.”

Below you will see I list several kinds of bullies. The Retaliative Bully often will justify their bully actions as “justified” because they believe they are righting some wrong. Those wishing harm on others because of some “wrong” action, are sending a clear message to their children. But not a message of “righting a wrong” as much as a “bullying is OK.”

Here is the updated previous post: Continue reading Prepare and Safeguard from Bullies

Is Kindergarten Really a Prison for Some Kids?

DSC_0407 The  Washington Post ran an article on July 13 entitled “And Now Mandatory Summer School for Some Kindergarteners” (Washington Post Article Link)

It begins with

“It isn’t enough, apparently, that many kindergartners today are subjected to test after test, homework, little or no play, little or no rest time, and sometimes, no snack. Now, a Florida schools superintendent is recommending a new treat for kindergartners who are not reading as well as adults want them to be (even if they aren’t developmentally ready to): summer school. Where they can do even more academic work and get less time to be kids and play.”

It went on to say Continue reading Is Kindergarten Really a Prison for Some Kids?