Kids & Consequences

Nothing seems to work as far as consequences for my kids.  Help!

Consequences with girls are tricky.  First of all, girls are manipulative.  Second, they’re smart.  And third, they’re manipulative.  They’ll find any way to beat the system, if they can…especially girls that are later in the birth order.  When it comes to consequences, I believe the three most important ideas are...

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Technology Tuesday: The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast - Healthy Parenting

David recently had the privilege of being a guest on The Open Door Sisterhood podcast with “longtime friends and authors” Krista Gilbert and Alexandra Kuykendall. Here’s what they had to say about the episode.

“Is parenting in this day and age difficult? Well, let’s start with the statistic that, currently, in the U.S. we have the highest numbers of anxiety in kids than any other time in history. Anxiety, along with depression are at a peak point. According to the CDC, the suicide rate is triple what it was in 2000. Substance abuse? Loneliness? All on the rise...

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How Can I Help My Son or Daughter Find Balance?

How do I help my daughter find balance?

Psychologist Leonard Sax says, “More and more boys are developing an epicurean ability to enjoy themselves—to enjoy video games, pornography, food and sleep—but they often don’t have the drive and motivation to succeed in the real world… outside their bedroom. More and more of their sisters have that drive and motivation in abundance—but they don’t know how to relax, have fun and enjoy life.”1

Girls feel a tremendous amount of pressure. They feel pressure to make good grades, to make good friends, to appear kind, and fun and strong and independent and responsible and brave, and pretty…all at the same time. And, what I hear in my office…

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Boundaries Part Two

Building Block #2: A Good Template

“I don’t know how to confront someone.” Girl after girl after girl has said these words to me in my counseling office. Girls of all ages . . . women of all ages, in fact. I honestly don’t know how at times, either. But I have a friend who does. She confronts people who don’t even know they’ve been confronted. I’ve watched her do it over the years with friends, with her husband, and with anyone who crosses over the line of her strong, kind boundaries...

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Are My Kids on Track: Boys & Ownership

In parenting classes, we discuss that in the face of failure or disappointment, girls tend to blame themselves and boys tend to blame other people. I remain fascinated by how instinctive this process is for boys. I laugh to myself when my sons approach my wife with the question, “What did you do with my soccer cleats?”

Do you hear the blame within that question? It never occurred to them to say, “I have no idea where I left my cleats. Have you seen them?” It’s a knee-jerk reaction to assume it was someone else’s fault... 

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Are My Kids on Track: Girls and Reciprocity, Part 2

Building Block #1: Listening

Girls and listening can be a tricky combination . . . at every age. Last summer, I was sitting by a pool when I heard two young girls talking loudly next to me. “I have an idea,” one yelled excitedly. “Let’s pretend like we’re dolphins and swim all of the way across the pool!” The other one quickly shouted back, “I have an idea! Let’s act like we’re fish and swim to the other side!” Both girls basically had the same idea. But bossiness, aka competition, won the day, and neither girl listened to the other. Bossiness makes reciprocity particularly challenging for elementary school aged girls. But they are capable. They are in middle and high school, as well . . .

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How Can I Help My Kids Stop Lying?

“Honey, why are you sitting under the dining room table eating an entire cake?” a mom told me she had to ask her five year-old daughter in the middle of the night.  “Satan woke me up and told me to come eat it, Mommy!”

All children experiment at some point with lying.  Don’t worry, when yours does. She needs firm, consistent boundaries, no matter how cute she is or entertaining her lies are, like the girl in the previous story.  She needs consequences every time... 

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Technology Tuesday: #waituntil8th

We get asked at every parenting seminar, in every school and church where we speak.  “When is the right age to give kids a cell phone...?”  

We recently heard about a new trend that is sweeping the country, and will undoubtedly be a part of our answer from here on out.  It’s called #waituntil8th and is for parents who feel concerned about the effects of smartphones on the kids they love.  One such mom in Austin, TX started the movement...

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"Are My Kids on Track?" FALL Update

Pat yourself on the back.   Treat yourself to a fancy cup of coffee.  You did it!  

You made it past the first few weeks of school, and that’s not an easy feat.   For all the years we’ve been working with kids and families, we’ve consistently seen how difficult that transition can be for so many kids and parents.  A new teacher, new friends, new routine, new expectations...

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Are My Kids on Track: Boys & Emotions

For the next several weeks, we are excited to share some ideas from our upcoming book, Are My Kids on Track?   We'll be looking at some important emotional, social and spiritual milestones we want to help our kids progress toward.  We'll start today with a conversation about boys and emotions.   

It feels important to first dispel a myth about boys and emotions. The myth is girls have more emotions than boys. That couldn’t be farther from the truth... 

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Girls, Boys & Empathy

How can I help my kids learn to be more empathetic?

Girls can be, by nature, very empathetic.  They are highly intuitive and relational creatures.  When we were writing Raising Girls, we heard story after story of girls who were in tune and responsive to the needs of others around them.  You’ve seen it yourself.  Your daughter is running toward the soccer goal kicking the ball.  Her friend falls down behind her.  What does she do?  She forgets the ball and goes back to help her friend.  However, the closer they get toward adolescence, the more these girls also evolve into narcissistic creatures.

What can you do?  How can you help instill empathy now and maintain it through the turbulent teen years...

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Technology Tuesday: Raising a Balanced Child in a Tech-Savvy World

We live in an era where technology is literally everywhere, and while we all have to use screens in some capacity, it seems that some kids are strongly pulled to them more than others. In spite of us having firm rules on screen usage... (30 minutes of earned time a day, based upon completion of household chores prior to being able to play), our 6-year old talks about video games non stop. He’s involved in soccer and plays outside every day after school - and he’s doing just fine developmentally / academically, but he is totally fixated on the plots and characters of Mario Bros., etc. He asks multiple times a day if he can play...

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Teenage Brain 101

“You may be wondering what your son is thinking…The answer is, he’s not.”  David says often in our parenting seminar, Raising Boys and Girls.  You probably remember that stage with your son.  He would put marbles up his nose and try to flush a matchbox car down the toilet.  His lack of thinking ended him up in trouble quite often.  If you have a teenager, son or daughter, it can feel much the same.  

What is she thinking that she can text and drive at the same time and not have an accident?

What is he thinking that he doesn’t have to do any of his school work and he’ll be “fine"...

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Letting Go

As I write this, I’m seated at a corner table in a little coffee house.  Our city is home to a number of colleges and universities.  This coffeehouse sits squarely between two of the largest universities in our city.  It’s a mid-August morning and the place is filled with parents and college freshman, here for drop off weekend.  Families have traveled from all across the country, vehicles packed to capacity carrying clothes, comforters, microwaves, lamps and other various items designed to fill their young student’s dorm.  

I have a moment of remembering back to my own move-in-to-the-dorm weekend, but my mind is soon hijacked with thoughts of dropping off my own first born...

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Technology Tuesday: Social Media & Teens

NPR featured an important conversation about how social media is impacting the social and sexual lives of girls.

Listen to what one author discovered, after years of research, are differences between what girls and boys are posting, how girls are treated and how boys behave online, and some of the new (scary) trends in social media.

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Your Life Matters

For today’s blog, we wanted to share a letter that was emailed from Daystar this week following a tragic event this week in the Nashville community.  Our hope is that it can give you some hope, some direction, and some truth to share with your children:

Just this week a fifteen year-old girl told me she was thinking about ending her life.  She wasn’t only thinking about it.  She knew how... 

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