Parenting

Category Archives: Parenting

Does parenthood trump marriage?

Marriage or parenthood? Which do you value more? Is it more worthwhile to work at marriage and being the best spouse you can be, or to be devoted to your kids and raising them to be the best they can be?

Obviously, a lot of us would say, “Do I have to choose?” But a Pew Research study found precisely that millennials (roughly those 18-29) value parenthood far more than marriage. What do we make of that?

What Our Kids Actually Need

Back in the days when our home was packed tight with teenagers, many a conversation was had around our dinner table concerning “needs.” Things like the latest iPhone upgrade, parent-funded automotive repairs, a Spring Break trip to Florida with friends (also parent-funded), a shopping spree worthy of the Kardashians…you know, needs as defined by many

In my own bed? Check. Dad awake? Check. Zzzzzzzzz.

Not too long after everyone in our home fell asleep on the evening of Feb. 28th, a fairly-impressive hailstorm hit mid-Missouri. Sometime after 11 p.m., the wind began blowing powerfully enough such that decent-sized chunks of ice began raining down on our rooftop and glass windows, creating a terrible racket and waking our entire family.

11 Observations in 11 Years of Parenting

erin-and-jackEleven years ago tomorrow, in a country far, far away, a baby just shy of seven pounds was born. This little baby was thrust into the arms of a 27-year-old girl, who although she had blissfully plowed through nine months of pregnancy, was unaware of all this parenting gig held. Day by day this young mom tried her best, sometimes getting things right, often making mistakes. Now eleven years have flown by and as she prepares to celebrate her son’s 11th birthday, she is more aware than ever how she has been changed, and is still being changed, through her role as mother. As she reflects back over these years, here are eleven observations* (in no particular order).

Beauty and the Bible – Part 2

This blog post follows on from last week’s post which discussed the heart of beauty. This week we look at three Bible verses for what we can learn about physical beauty and how Jesus models an approach for us.

1. Physical beauty is fleeting.

Bible Verse: Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. (1 Timothy 4:8)

Take Away: The Bible is clear that our physical bodies, in their current state, are only temporary. But do we live like that? Do we approach our physical bodies with more attention than they should deserve? How do we talk about our physical body with our kids and others? Questions to think through:

Damage, Beauty and Faithful Remembrance

One of the more astonishing passages, for me, in the account of John the Apostle is the rather-morbid moment when the doubts of the disciple Thomas are erased forever by his coming quite literally in contact with the torn-flesh wounds on the hands, feet and side of the risen Jesus. Most of the time, I

Beauty and the Bible – Part 1

unnamedEarly on in parenting, it became clear that my daughter wanted feedback on her looks. Simply put, she wanted to be pretty. At age 2, she would pick out beads, hair bows, and fluffy-ruffly skirts, and then prance through the kitchen and ask, “Me pretty, Mommy?” As she has gotten older her tastes have improved and she can now put together a pretty awesome outfit and a very articulate sentence, “Do I look pretty, Mom?”

I pause before answering, hearing my own voice and insecurities in her question. What is the question behind the question? Is she really asking, “Do you like me? Will others accept me? Will I fit in?” I don’t know. She is only six. But I do know I don’t want to miss the opportunity to answer her with advice that I want to fill her mind when she is sixteen and asking the same question (and that I want to fill my mind when I ask the same questions still at 38).

How do we talk to our little girls (and boys) about beauty? Emily’s excellent blog post last week rightfully encouraged us to think hard about what we teach our kids about what’s valuable. She critiqued a popular blog post which had discouraged talking about physical beauty in favor of building up the importance of being smart. Emily argued that pushing us away from physical beauty only to aim for intellectual beauty, just exchanges one fleeting idol for another. I couldn’t agree more. And it’s worth stopping and thinking more carefully about beauty itself so that we cultivate the right persepctive and not make it an idol.

Beauty is a very good thing, but like any good thing, it can be a bad thing if used in the wrong way or with the wrong priority. So as we aim to point our children to a right understanding of beauty, what are some things we can do, think, or say?

My Own Personal ‘Shepherd’s Staff’

For a few months now, I’ve been carrying around three small stones that I picked up on the coast of Maine while visiting family this past August. One of my favorite pastimes while oceanside is to walk the beach looking for unusually-colored or oddly-shaped stones thrown up on the shore by the waves. The East

A Way to Talk with Our Kids About Their Day

Rushing to get dinner on the table, thinking of what still needs to be done before the kids are tucked away for the night. We sit down at the table only to realize that we forgot silverware. Someone spills their drink. We rush through a prayer with one kid falling out of his chair and another picking his nose. We start to eat when a little voice pipes up and says, “Can we do high and low tonight?”

Better Stories for Helping Your Kids Get Along

07 Charles reading the spider book to JackHow do you help your kids get along with each other? That may feel like an overwhelming question. Bickering between brothers and sisters can feel like one of the hardest, most relentless parts of parenting. But it’s not just the fighting. It’s also the more subtle selfishness where each kid looks out only for themselves. It starts early on: you sit down to feed your newborn, and her two-year old sibling immediately begs to sit on your lap at that precise time, even though to that point he was happily playing on his own.

How do we encourage our kids to be selfless toward each other? Generous with each other? To want what’s best for their siblings? Simply put, how do we encourage our kids to be friends?