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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Technology Tuesday: Kringl....A 'Won't Believe It 'til You See It' App This Christmas!

Okay…we’ll admit it.  Many of our Technology Tuesday’s are a little scary.  They’re filled with app alerts and statistics on all that your children are being exposed to.  They’re enough to make even Santa’s cheeks turn red.

But this one is different!  It’s one of our favorite Technology Tuesday’s to date!  We recently heard about an app called Kringl.  It’s free on the app store.  And it is one where you film your living room and this magical app sets Santa right in the middle of your video…


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

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Preparing for Re-entry... Back To The Real World

"The holidays were a huge setback.  All of the ground we had gained was lost.  It was something about the lack of structure that just seemed to make her melt down."

We hear this sentence and many like it a lot from parents in our offices.  The holidays come with lots of fun and very little structure.  They're often pretty chaotic.  And kids, as a result, can be overwhelmed.  We say often that structure and boundaries create security in kids.  We would add, in this season, even over the holidays.  Obviously, it can be fun to stay up late from time to time.  But your children will still need down time in these weeks off of school.  They will need time where they can process and reflect and play, without having to make conversations with family and have the appropriate response and timely smile.  And they will need help transitioning back into school mode. READ MORE

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Christmas List: Family Style

1)Watch a Christmas classic like White Christmas or Miracle on 34th Street together.

2)Choose a person in need and Christmas carol at their house with cookies or something the kids help you make for them.

3)When gathered around the table, come up with a wish list for what you WISH you could give each other...if money had nothing to do with it!

4)Have everyone choose someone meaningful to them and send them a personal Christmas card with a message or drawing of why they have made a difference...not just a family photo card (although those are great, too).

5)Think of someone who might be sad at Christmas time and make them a fun outside Christmas decoration (or you can buy one) and leave it outside their door late one night...all together...and go get hot chocolate or a treat on the way home!... READ MORE

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Swinging From The Christmas Lights: Part 3

At Christmas, who has time to stop for peace? We've got just a few ideas we'd like to share with you of how to do just that. Here's part 3 of our Christmas series...

Read Part 1  and Part 2 

#3 Rethink Christmas Morning

If the desire for each of us is that we could bring Christmas back to being about the birth of Christ, rethink how you structure that morning.  I love hearing families tell stories about re-ordering their morning to better reflect the meaning of that day.  One family crawled into bed together and read the Christmas story from the Bible before they stepped foot downstairs to see gifts or unwrap any presents.  Other families choose to only give 3 gifts the morning of Christmas to reflect the gifts of the Wise Men... READ MORE

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Swinging From The Christmas Lights: Part 2

At Christmas, who has time to stop for peace? We've got just a few ideas we'd like to share with you on how to do just that. Here's part 2 of our Christmas series...

#2 Make Giving The Focus.

I (Sissy) remember sitting with the Sears wish book every year and making my Christmas list to hand to my mom and dad.  Today’s kids are online creating their own lists on their ipods they can email to their parents.  Times have changed, but the hearts of kids haven’t.  “I want.”  You will hear that phrase more times than you would care to count in the next few weeks. 

If your child makes a Christmas list this year for what they’d like to get, help them make one for what they’d like to give, as well.  And come up with family gifts.  Be creative in ways you can make a difference as a family.  We’re all huge advocates for organizations like Angel Tree and Samaritan’s Purse that are giving to kids in need.  But you know families in need down the street, too.  Have your children be a part of the process.  Who are your friends or family members who are struggling financially?  Or maybe have suffered a loss emotionally? READ MORE...

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Swinging From The Christmas Lights: Part 1

Which Christmas movie best describes the scene in your home? 

Miracle on 34th Street?

 A Christmas Story? 

What about Christmas Vacation? 

Or maybe the season starts with the warmth and peacefulness of It’s a Wonderful Life and quickly disintegrates to the chaos of Home Alone?

Regardless of who is hanging (or swinging from) the Christmas lights at your house this moment, we’d like to help you get back to the peace, hope and joy that the season is meant to be about.  We’d like to help you enjoy the holidays... READ MORE

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