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Parenting

💡 🎄 Navigating the Holidays as an Adult Child of Divorce

💡 🎄 Navigating the Holidays as an Adult Child of Divorce

At Christmas, decisions for an adult child of divorce become especially difficult, with both parents vying for your loyalty and attention.
I never wanted a stepmom. And I certainly never wanted my kids to have a stepgrandmother.
But when my first daughter was 6 weeks old, my mom left my dad. It had been a long time coming. And from every professional’s advice, he certainly deserved it. No one faulted her for it.
I was glad they waited so long to end their marriage. …

💡 How Can I Let Go of the Mom Guilt?

💡 How Can I Let Go of the Mom Guilt?

Guilt doesn’t freshen us and give life—it suffocates us and takes more than we have to give.
I wanted to cry when I realized I forgot to send a snack with my kid to school. No, she isn’t in preschool or kindergarten, and she didn’t even seem to care. Honestly, the urge to cry was a bit ridiculous. But it was one more thing to add to that steaming pile of mom guilt in the corner of my mind. …

💡 Why Your Relationship With Your Child Matters

💡 Why Your Relationship With Your Child Matters

You have the privilege of growing a child who knows the love of God personally and knows how to love people well.
God’s first choice for receiving and experiencing love is the family. Warmly snuggled in this incubator, love nurtures life, feeds souls, and calls forth the blossoming flower of God’s unique individual design in every person He has created. Then love calls for love to be given in return.
Home is where a child takes the first tentative steps from receiving love to giving love. …

💡 🥦 🥕 15 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Better

💡 🥦 🥕 15 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Better

A nutritionist (and mom of 7-year-old triplets!) gives tried-and-true tips for getting your kids to eat vegetables, drink milk, try new foods, and more.
Every single day, I deal with picky eaters both big and small. I’m the mother of 7-year-old triplets, all of whom have very different eating habits; I’m also a dietitian who teaches the professional athletes on the Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls teams how to improve their diets. Although it’s tough to convince a towering basketball player or a 300-pound linebacker that junk food is bad for him, …

💡 Disciplining Your Children Is Challenging, but Vital

💡 Disciplining Your Children Is Challenging, but Vital

Seeing the fruit of correcting your children requires delayed gratification.
The last thing I (Jason) want to hear from my wife as I walk through the door at the end of a hard day are these words: “We have a situation. You need to deal with it.” But it happens.
I remember one evening when one of our sons was 7. I had given him a pocketknife, thinking he was ready to handle that kind of responsibility (in my defense, …

⚠️ Two Traps to Avoid: “If Only” and “What If?”

⚠️ Two Traps to Avoid: “If Only” and “What If?”

When these issues dominate my thoughts, I succumb to selfishness and fear.
In each season of my life, I’ve found myself falling into two mental traps which are not helpful. One is the “If only” syndrome, and the other is the “What if?” syndrome.
Here’s how “If only” might express itself:

“If only I had a husband.”
“If only I had more money.”
“If only my husband would act like…”
“If only my husband (or I) had a good job.”
“If only we had a different house.”
“If only my parents (or his) understood.”
“If only my child would sleep through the night.”
“If only I had a really close friend.”
“If only I didn’t come from such a wounded past.”
“If only I wasn’t stuck in this place.”
“If only I was free of this disease.”
“If only I knew how to handle my teen.”
“If only I didn’t have to do this.”
“If only I didn’t struggle with this.”

Can you identify? …

💡 10 Ways to Teach Children to Be Thankful for Each Other

💡 10 Ways to Teach Children to Be Thankful for Each Other

Long after my husband and I are gone, I want our kids to still have each other.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been diving into Scripture to prepare my heart for a season of thankfulness. I wish gratitude was something that came naturally to me, but it rarely feels that way.
One definition of gratitude I recently read was, “readiness to show appreciation for.” This definition suggests that gratitude is something I can prepare myself for, to get ready to show appreciation for the many blessings around me. …

💰 Investing Time With Your Children: The Challenge of 936 Pennies

💰 Investing Time With Your Children: The Challenge of 936 Pennies

The time we have with our children before they enter into adulthood is limited. We have a responsibility to use it well.
My teeth were clenched as I balanced our frantic toddler on my hip, discreetly stuffing animal crackers into his mouth. It was a desperate attempt to keep him focused and quiet, and it was failing. We had missed his nap-time window, and it was backfiring big-time.
Our 3-year-old stood next to my husband. He stared out into the crowd, …

💡 Your Most Important Job as a Parent

💡 Your Most Important Job as a Parent

Teachable moments are opportunities for us to imprint God’s values on the next generation.
I had just pitched my travel bag in the back of our Honda station wagon. I turned on the ignition and was about to back out of the garage to head off to the airport for a business trip when I saw my daughter Ashley had walked up to the driver’s side window. Rolling the window down, I smiled, and asked, “What’s up, Princess?”
Ashley’s eyes looked down. …

💡 2 Simple Ways to Teach Respect to Young Children

💡 2 Simple Ways to Teach Respect to Young Children

Training preschoolers can be overwhelming, but starting small will build a strong foundation for more lessons to come.
There are many important values that we need to teach our kids, but in my opinion one of the most challenging is teaching respect. Actually, it’s more than just teaching our children what respect is, it’s training them to be respectful … and that’s where the problem lies.
From the moment of birth, children are “me” centered. Their sole focus is on having their needs fulfilled—for food, …

💡 How to Overcome Jealousy

💡 How to Overcome Jealousy

Complex Old Testament families mirror modern day stepfamilies.
Michelle and Jackson called for an emergency premarital counseling session. “We’re getting married next month and I’m finally facing my jealousies,” Michelle said. “Jackson is very close to his 10-year-old daughter, as he should be, but it scares me. I don’t know why, but I’m jealous of her. I’m also jealous of the fact that when Jackson and I have a child together it will be my first, but not his. …

📱 My Child Was Addicted to a Smartphone

📱 My Child Was Addicted to a Smartphone

The patterns I saw in my child’s behavior opened my eyes to the damage my phone had done.
I bought my first smartphone about a year into my journey as a widow. At the time, it felt like a lifesaver.
I was a stay-at-home, single mom of two toddlers. My son, Ben, was 3 years old, and my daughter, Katherine, was around a year old. I had very little time away from my kids, and my social life consisted mainly of church activities. …

💡 Will Your Kids Be Ready for the Real World?

💡 Will Your Kids Be Ready for the Real World?

Youth entitlement seems to have reached epidemic proportions in both my family and society as a whole.
Driving down Preston Road, I was dutifully transporting children to school with my then-14-year-old son sitting shotgun, when I learned how this kid defines the American Dream. As is typical of this particular area in Dallas, we were surrounded by opulence: on our left was a Lexus, on our right a Porsche, and directly in front, a silver Maserati.
“Mom.” Abandoning his pose of boredom, …

😭 🙌 Watch This Beautiful Girl Get Surprised With Gift of Adoption [Tearjerker!]

😭 🙌 Watch This Beautiful Girl Get Surprised With Gift of Adoption [Tearjerker!]

Ten-year-old Ivey Zezulka learning that she’s going to be adopted by her foster family might be the most heartwarming thing you’ll see today.
Her foster parents Paige and Daniel recently surprised her with the news that they had finalized plans to adopt Ivey and her biological siblings Kai, 3, and Lita, 2, who had all spent years in foster care.
“She’s been living with a question mark of what will happen,” Ivey’s mom told ABC News. “We love her birth family and she loves them too, …

💡 How to Stop Overindulging Your Children

💡 How to Stop Overindulging Your Children

Advice on how to meet all their needs, but not all their wants.
What do your children really need from you? Love, guidance, shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and an education.
That’s it.
Everything else is a want, a luxury: video games, gadgets, phones, the latest fashion—whatever new item their friends have.
Today, far too many parents fall for the “nag factor.” They know their kids are bombarded by ads telling them to buy certain products and that many parents are buying those products for their children.  …

⛔ Your Child Is Not the Enemy

⛔ Your Child Is Not the Enemy

Here are eight ways we can fight for, not against, our children in their hard-to-handle moments.
When the days of mothering grow long and make a girl weary, and when what you really want to do is lock your child in a bedroom and throw away the key, it’s good to remember this: Your child is not your enemy.
Our goal for our children isn’t to create super kids, nor is it to strip them of all the quirks and traits that make up their personalities. …

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