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, anything where they get to experience, not just hear the true meaning of Christmas. Continue Reading

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Gratitude

Research supports the benefits of gratitude.  We know it affects our happiness and our health.   Studies continue to link gratitude with life satisfaction.  How can we move our kids away from entitlement and more toward gratitude.  Here are three reminders to keep you moving in that direction.

1.     Model and Teach Gratitude.  Have a set aside time (dinner or bed-time) where family members share something from the day that they are grateful took place or are thankful to have.

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What We Wish We Had Known

In Raising Girls, we call early adolescence “The Narcissistic Years.”  They are, obviously, thinking about themselves and what other people are thinking about them pretty constantly.  I recently spent time with a group of kids who were emerging from those narcissistic years.  We had a conversation about things they wish someone had told them growing up.  (My secret guess is that someone did…they were just too narcissistic to hear.) Continue Reading

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Technology Tuesday: Apps & Websites for Teaching Kids about Empathy

We trust the folks over at Common Sense Media and here they’ve rated some apps and websites that help kids place themselves in the shoes of others.  We’ve long discussed the importance and benefits of teaching empathy.  Here are some creative ways we can use technology to help accomplish that goal.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/apps-and-websites-for-empathy  READ MORE

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Humble Confidence...Camp Hopetown: Boy's Week

The all boys’ camp started off with a familiar story…the story of a boy who wanted freedom and decided he knew better than his father from Luke 15.

Melissa introduced the story of the prodigal son by talking about the importance of humble confidence, something we all want to instill in our boys.  She asked the guys to identify where in the story the son had an arrogant confidence and where he had one that was born out of humility.  You can guess their answers:  his arrogance came out when he wanted his inheritance now, and the humility when he returned to his father.  She then asked them where in the story they found themselves…asking for their inheritance, wandering, returning, or even watching from a distance as the jealous, older brother. 

The boys’ responses were indicative of all of us, at times... READ MORE

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Kids & Gratitude

Teaching gratitude to our kids is a vital skill in helping children develop emotionally and socially.   Nurturing gratitude will not only benefit your child now, but down the road.  According to a study at the University of California at Davis, grateful people report higher levels of happiness and optimism, and lower levels of stress and depression.  

After studying thousands of individuals, researchers have identified the benefits of gratitude on our hearts, minds and bodies. 

Physical:

  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more rested upon waking

Psychological... READ MORE

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In Honor of the Olympics...Sportsmanship At It's Finest

As we gear up for the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics tonight, we prepare ourselves to watch evidence of remarkable talent from across the globe.  With athletic events, we dont always get to watch evidence of remarkable sportsmanship.  Here is an exception to the rule.  

If you missed this story on the news, it’s well worth a couple of minutes of your time.  If you caught it, it’s worth seeing again.  Be sure and share this clip with your kids.  It’s a great snapshot of humility, integrity and sportsmanship. READ MORE

 

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SUPERBOWL SPECIAL: Humility vs. Arrogance - Part 1

As a father to two sons, I talk often with my boys about humility and arrogance.  Sadly, we (as males) are prone to one over the other.  

More than talking with my sons about humility, I want to expose them to evidence of what humility can look like on a man.  Boys often confuse confidence and cockiness, humility and weakness.  Finding evidence of humility in the media can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack . . . particularly in the world of pop culture and professional sports.  Any time I stumble onto evidence, I love to park in front of the newspaper or computer screen with my guys, read articles, watch some footage and ask them questions about what they saw.  This experiment is not only about exposing them to evidence in our day and age, but wrapped in the hope of developing observant, thoughtful, critical thinkers.

As we are waste deep in Superbowl Season, consider showing your sons the following news story and brief interview with Seattle cornerback, Richard Sherman, following the NFC Championship Game. Take a look at this short interview with Sherman following the game, and after he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct... READ MORE

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Q&A Should I apologize to my children?

Every week we want to address a question that you might have about raising your boys and girls. Feel free to leave questions in the comments for us to pick from every week! Let's get started!

Is it important that I apologize to my children?

We would ask you the same question, another way?  Would you have wanted your parents to apologize to you.  In our parenting seminars, we talk about how we live in a culture where we teach children to succeed but not to fail.  This is a tragic omission because we know and they do, as well, or will soon--that we all fail.  As they move toward adolescents, they become even more keenly aware of your failures.  (They're actually even more aware of theirs, but they'd rather focus on yours so they don't have to feel bad about themselves).  In light of that, we would say a resounding yes... READ MORE

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