• Raising Countercultural Kids in the United States of Addiction (Part 2)

    Raising Countercultural Kids in the United States of Addiction (Part 2) In the previous post, we looked at how young people today are growing up in a culture which encourages extreme individuality. This individualistic lifestyle discourages healthy family life and social life, and it ultimately generates deep-down detachment and loneliness. This eventually creates chronic anxiety…

  • Raising Countercultural Kids in the United States of Addiction (Part 1)

    In the late 1990s, author J.K. Rowling invented the term “muggle” as a derogative term for the normal people of modern Britain. Muggles are all the ordinary human beings in Rowling’s wildly popular Harry Potter book series. Muggles do not have any magical powers or awareness of anything magical. They live for comfort, they conform…

  • 3 Skills + 1 Passion

    For young people to achieve success in their career, it is no longer enough to have a college degree. New college graduates feel like a successful, satisfying, and sustainable career is out of their reach. But there is good news for them that is not dependent on the whims of the labor market or the…

  • The Holidays Are a Magnifier

    The Holidays — the six weeks of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years — are a magnifier. In general, happy people get happier, sad people get sadder, lonely people get lonelier, etc. This is true for children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. For some, life is going pretty well, and the holidays are the most…

  • Parenting is Regulating

    Every parent should regulate their children’s behavior until they are ready to regulate their own. It will likely be a 20-year process, which starts with full regulatory control of the infant and ends with total release of all control at adulthood. What does it mean “to regulate?” In grammatical terms, it is a transitive verb,…

  • The Power of Kindness

    Josh was a normal teenager whose father died. His mother moved them from their home in the country to the city, with the hope that a fresh start would improve their lives. But Josh was ridiculed in his new school for no good reason. In fact, he was ridiculed for a horrible reason. Instead of…

  • Peace in the Parenting Journey

    Being a parent is overwhelming in mid-December, when everybody’s activities and pressures are multiplying. During the holidays, our expectation of family life is heightened along with our kids’ sense of entitlement and their frustrations with school. Arguments are common this time of year. Perhaps a few lumps of coal belong in some stockings. It’s a…

  • Kids in Cars Talking Life

    The car is where the best stories have a chance to run and really stretch out their legs freely. It’s where sarcasm bursts up out of nowhere and cracks everyone up. It’s where kids break into tears after a horrible day at school. It’s where questions are posed, debates develop, and problems get solved. The…

  • Connect + Guide + Enjoy = Good Parenting

    You are never done parenting. There is never enough time, energy, money, or wisdom to do it all right. Parenting is incessant, and perfection is impossible. No professor will give you an A for all that you did for your children this semester. No counselor will tell you that you can now celebrate because you…

  • Look Up

    Perhaps this video is a bit of an overstatement. It oversimplifies the problem, but I like the main theme. Train yourself (and your kids) to live beyond the net. Don’t overuse your phone. Video by Gary Turk.  

  • Ordinary Parenting

    Parenting is messy. It’s often a blender full of emotions, tasks, and conflicts. That why we so often feel pureed by our family life. Parenting is mundane. It requires incessant planning, cleaning, cooking, driving, laundry, arguing, more driving, phone calls, filling in forms, more driving, more cleaning, on and on. But parenting is also a…

  • Families Should Be Tough

    My wife is kind and compassionate, but she is one of the toughest people I have ever known. She does not have a mean bone in her body, but she is strong. She will tell you like it is and somehow make you feel like she is on your side. And when it comes to…

  • The Peril of Productionism

      My wife and I struggle with what I call productionism. It is a variation of perfectionism. It is the belief that a man’s value comes from his ability to accomplish or produce something, or that a woman’s worth is found in the amount that she can get done in a day. In other words,…

  • Connect With Your Young Teen

    First Connect, Then Guide The best parents are the ones who are deeply connected with their children and offer support and guidance all along the path of life. They’re the ones who care enough to say, “No, you can’t do that, because I love you too much to let you settle for that.” And their…

  • Pep Talk for Teachers and Students

    Thanks, Soul Pancake and Kid President for another share-worthy video.

  • Ten Ways to Help Someone in Personal Crisis

    Our family has been going through rough waters related to some serious medical issues, and we have only been making it with the help from family and friends. People keep asking what they can do to help us. They want to help, but they don’t know exactly how. We have been very specific with them,…

  • Storm Preparation

    A Creeping Crisis Some crises develop gradually. Some are excruciatingly slow. Perhaps it is the approaching death of a parent with terminal cancer. Or it is the military dad/son/husband who will be deployed to an overseas conflict. Or it may be a huge financial crisis, which will likely take away the family’s savings and home.…

  • Preparing for the Storm

    If you have ever sat with a weather radio in a dark basement or closet during a tornado warning, or if you have ever hastily prepared for an oncoming hurricane, you know the anxiety that an approaching storm can bring. As a native Midwesterner with friends and relatives scattered about “tornado alley” and with a…

  • The Sacred Honor of Being a Parent

    A Unique Relationship Parenting is a unique relationship, wherein the parent is authorized by law and by God to protect, provide, nurture, and discipline. Ultimately, the parent must somehow control self and child enough to train for independent success. Parenting is a special relationship, one in which the parent is fully responsible for the children…

  • Embracing Parenting

    Here is a sample from my latest project. It’s a chapter from my not-even-close-to-being-finished book. Feel free to give me some feedback. Be the Parent I believe that there is neither “The Way” nor “God’s Way” to raise children. There is no formula for success. But that does not mean that there are not good…

  • Mister Rogers

    I’m a huge Fred Rogers fan, so I was skeptical when I heard about the video remix recently done about him. I expected something satirical and mean-spirited, so I watched with my guard up. Instead, we have this. “There are so many things to learn about in this world and so many people who can…

  • Protecting Kids From the Inside Out

    Unlike consumer products, parenting comes without instructions or guarantees. We all want our children to grow up happy, healthy, successful, and involved with positive-minded family and friends. However, our children live in a broken world, and it has a way of breaking young people, sooner or later, one way or another. But there is real…

  • Disappointing Birth Brings Hope

    By Julie Kerckhoff Mary and Joseph had just survived an untimely, government-mandated trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Mary “great with child.” Mary, who was chosen by God to have His son, had undergone six months of ridicule for being an unfaithful fiancé. By Jewish law, Joseph could have stoned her or at least dismissed…

  • Stop, Look, Listen

    Our kids, no matter the age, need us to be with them, explaining what makes one thing beautiful and another ugly, why one thing is important and the other trivial, and why this is quite right and that is all wrong. A relationship such as this is what makes the world a better place, one…

  • Loving Grandpa

    One of my favorite 7th grade essays ever is this memoir about a grandfather. Ashley Aucker, is now a 25 year old, wife, mother, singer, and songwriter. She was a sweet, quiet little 12 year old in my 7th grade English class many years ago when she wrote this essay. It blew me away then,…

  • Raising Boys to be Real Men

    Boys are misunderstood.  Too often, they are disciplined and shamed by their teachers, parents, or grandparents because it is falsely assumed that good boys should act just like good girls. Raising boys is a topic of numerous books, but one that stands out is Raising Cain, by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson.  I had the…

  • Middle School: Top Ten Things to Know

    The following is an open letter from my boss, Steve Hall, Head of Middle School at Westminster Christian Academy, to our parents. It’s one of my favorite pieces about teaching and parenting young teens. ——————————————————————————————————- Dear Parents, The middle school years are a unique time of life.  It is crazy, wonderful, exciting and baffling. As a…

  • Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

    Anne Lamott says that in her experience the two most powerful prayers are “Help me, help me, help me.” and “Thank you, thank, you, thank you.” We are so grateful for our recent trip to Laguna Beach, California.  The Dream Factory granted our family a first-class vacation that would suit the special needs and wishes…

  • Powerful Blessings

    There are countless ways that an adult can bless a young person.  In Trent & Smalley’s book, The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance, dozens of specific examples are given by people who were greatly blessed by their parents.  Here are a few of those testimonies.  Surely there is something here which…

  • The Race to Nowhere

    The Race to Nowhere is a film that will make you think deeply about what a good education looks like.  It will challenge your beliefs about the nature of homework, AP classes, and college preparation.  You will re-think what a “successful kid” should do in middle school, high school, and college because, in many ways,…

Start a Blog at WordPress.com.