Technology Tuesday: New Year, New Media Plans for Your Family

The New Year has started and we’re gearing up for lots of things at Raising Boys and Girls.  We’ll be continuing our blog, with Technology Tuesdays and parenting tips.  We’re coming out on the road to hopefully get to meet YOU at one of our parenting events! We’re having lots of fun and giveaways on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.  We are most excited about the launch of our new book coming out NEXT WEEK...

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Facilitating Christmas

I am surprised every year as I talk to children of all ages around the holidays about how they do and don’t experience Christmas.  I’m surprised about the entitlement that has swept through the culture of children today.  But I’m not surprised about how the two correlate.

First of all, we believe it is very important for your family to be about giving this season.  We think it is a fantastic opportunity for kids to be a part of what Christmas looks like walked out…at soup kitchens, sponsoring and buying gifts for a family...

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Could My Child Have Anxiety?

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the anxiety so many kids were facing as they started back to school.  It’s no surprise to any of you, if you’ve read our blog before, how concerned we are about the prevalence of anxiety today among kids.  Fifteen years ago, we were only seeing a handful of kids with anxiety in our counseling offices.  Today, a majority of our sessions with school-age kids and their parents are over this very issue.  It’s considered the most common form of “mental illness” among children.  It’s also the most treatable.  And, as you may have noticed, we put quotes around mental illness. 

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Daystar Video

In 1985, Melissa started Daystar Counseling Ministries, when many people were not even aware of the need or purpose of counseling for kids.  It began in a small office with a handful of kids who wanted help and to help others.  Sissy joined the staff in 1993 and David in 1997.  Daystar now serves over 1300 families.  We are honored... to serve and grow alongside each child and family who walks through our doors.  Raising Boys and Girls—the books we get to write and the parenting seminars we get to offer are an extension of this great work we all three are honored to do in this “little yellow house that helps people.”  We wanted to share with you a little more of what goes on behind our walls...

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Fatherhood Changes a Man . . . Literally!

Men undergo hormonal changes as they prepare for fatherhood. Four to six weeks following the news of becoming a father, levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol, tend to spike and subside as the pregnancy continues.  Cortisol ignites a range of biological effects in response to stress to provide a state of balanced stability for our bodies and minds, needed for optimal functioning.  

Male hormones begin a seesaw effect as due date nears.  Roughly three weeks before the baby arrives, levels of testosterone in men, known as the “male hormone,” fall by roughly a third...

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Can Where the Wild Things Are Teach Kids Empathy?

"Kids who spend their early years lost in the imaginary worlds of children’s fiction — Where the Wild Things Are, Corduroy, Beatrix Potter’s stories of Peter Rabbit — may be getting more out of the stories than pure entertainment. Narrative fiction seems to make young children more empathetic, according to research presented at this weekend’s American Psychological Association convention in Washington, D.C. 

Fiction, of course, lets you see the world through another set of eyes, and that isn’t lost on young children...

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Family Experiment

I received an email a while back from my kids’ school, informing parents about an upcoming field trip.  It included the usual information - time, date, release form needing signature. But this time I found myself drawn farther into the explanation of the trip.  

The email explained how each student had selected a character trait to examine.  Part One was to define the character trait.  Part Two involved a set of interviews.  The first interview included the field trip to various assisted living facilities across the city.  Students would...

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A Cure for Entitlement

"Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."                Luke 6: 37-38,  The Message

When my daughter turned thirteen, she began to reveal greater and greater evidence that she was in the throws of adolescence.  Some mornings we’d wake to find the little girl we’d known since birth - kind, compassionate, responsive and delightful.  Other days, we’d wake to someone else.  This other person looked like my daughter, but..

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Heirlooms

Years ago I sat in an auditorium full of parents, grandparents, and elementary aged-children, cameras firing, videos recording, and little hands waving at family members in the audience.  It was Grandparent’s Day at my kids’ school – a day when grandparents walk in and out of classrooms admiring artwork, science projects, salt maps, and essays.  Each classroom displayed the work of diligent students, admired by doting parents and grandparents.  We then walked from their classrooms to an auditorium where our kids sang songs and shared stories. It’s a rare time where multiple generations are gathered in one space.  That year’s theme was Heirlooms.  Each child was invited to wear at least one heirloom during the program, something passed down from one generation to the next.  I surveyed these elementary students...

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An Evening in December Highlights

Although it's been called "One of Nashville's favorite Christmas events" by a local newspaper, Evening in December is more than just an event...It is a night for Daystar friends and special guests to come together in support of Daystar, have dinner, and listen to carols sung by their favorite artists... 

It was a beautiful night at the Loveless Barn.  This year we were thrilled to welcome Buddy GreeneAshley ClevelandTricia WalkerMusic City StringsDeana Carter, and other special guests to our stage!

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A Non-Anxious Stocking Stuffer

“I hide my stress ball in my coat for school and squeeze it whenever I get nervous.  It really does help.”  

A freshman in high school showed me the ball she had, literally up her sleeve, last week in counseling.  I told her she was brilliant.  As you may know, anxiety is a childhood epidemic in America today and we are seeing evidence of this daily in the families walking through our doors.  Anxiety is at an all time high and coping skills are at an all time low.  Kids just don’t have them.  And so we celebrate any opportunity to help kids find their way to things that can help alleviate their stress.  Stress balls is one…

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Expect Teens Part 2 (and Still for Teens)

As we talked about last week, we would say the words expect and respect have quite a bit to do with each other in the world of teenagers.

1) Expect them to speak to you civilly.  They will have an attitude.  They will roll their eyes from time to time.  And, often, teens don’t know how to express their frustration respectfully.  They need your help...

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Bio: Tommy Hart

As you are meeting more of the great folks we work alongside at Daystar, we would imagine you're getting a better picture of why we love what we do.  We get to be a part of this amazing place, to spend our days with kids and families, to bring our dogs to work, and to work alongside remarkable folks.  Meet Tommy Hart, a friend and trusted colleague, and one of the greatest discoveries for all 3 of us.  Tommy is going to tell you a bit about the work he does and let in on a hunger that resides in the heart of the boys we love.  Lean in to his words as Tommy reminds us of something important about the boys (young and old) in our lives...

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What We're Reading: The Connected Child

As counselors, we read a lot.  We read books for parents and books for kids.  We read books about parenting, about development, about eating disorders and attention issues and depression and a host of other topics we’re confronted by every day in our counseling offices.  (We also try to read a few fun books along the way, too!)  We often run across books we believe are must-reads…books that will help parents dealing with a specific issue, books that will help a child see from a new perspective, or books that we believe will really enrich the life of your family.  We want to start sharing those books with you.  So, from time to time, we’re going to post “What We’re Reading.”   This is our first installment, based on our go-to book on adoption, The Connected Child.

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Hopetown Highlights: Session 2

Psalm 103.

We have about 30,000 thoughts a day.  Most of those thoughts are shaped by past experiences.  Author Richard Rohr says that a majority of those thoughts are repetitive and negative.  Our mind likes to 1)go against something and 2)have something to criticize. 

But Psalm 103 says something different. 

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Hopetown Highlights—Session 1, 11th-12th Graders

Daystar’s version of a summer camp is Hopetown, on Kentucky Lake.  Picture Martha Stewart does camp…with 25 to 30 kids playing on the lake each week, cooking together, laughing together, and learning together what it looks like to pursue deep relationships with Christ and each other this side of heaven. 

This summer, we’ll be sharing with you again some of Melissa’s rich teaching from Hopetown on Thursday.  We’ll call them highlights from Hopetown.  And we’d love for you to grab your Bible, a comfy chair, and pretend you’re sitting right next to us at camp…

“There are two needs we all have:  to know and be known.”

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