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Parenting

๐Ÿ’ Dear Mom, Thanks…

๐Ÿ’ Dear Mom, Thanks…

Hereโ€™s to our mothers. Thanks for letting us see you struggle, ask for help, and never give up on the ones you love.
By the time I made my dazzling appearance into our freshly completed family, my mom already had her hands full with two little boysโ€”one 4, one only 16 months. And then there was me: a perfect little angel sent straight from heaven.
Actually, I think she told me I refused to sleep through the night for at least a year. …

๐Ÿ’ก How to Not Lose It on Your Kids After a Stressful Day

๐Ÿ’ก How to Not Lose It on Your Kids After a Stressful Day

I shudder at the times Iโ€™ve acted irritably toward my kids because I was still stressed from work. How do we come home as the loving parents we want to be?
Any working parent knows the struggle of bringing frustrations from work straight into the house at the end of the day. Most of us have been guilty of this.
Sliding from work to home carrying baggage is too easy to doโ€”itโ€™s the default mode of operation. I shudder thinking of the times Iโ€™ve acted irritably toward my daughters when it was really a work problem irking me. …

๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿšœ You Might Be a ‘Snowplow Parent’ If…

๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿšœ You Might Be a ‘Snowplow Parent’ If…

Many parents fall into the well-meaning mishap of clearing an easy path for their kids, regardless of the cost. Have you?
Recently my husband and I visited Minneapolis for a big event. Upon arrival, the locals warned us: ย a snowstorm was approaching. Not to worry, they said. Minnesotans take pride in the fact that they can make it anywhereโ€”even in the middle of a blizzard!
Our hotel window overlooked the Mall of Americaโ€™s huge parking lot. And sure enough, …

๐Ÿ’ก Creating Closer Relationships in Stepfamilies

๐Ÿ’ก Creating Closer Relationships in Stepfamilies

Strengthen bonds between kids and stepparents by going on a trip that doesnโ€™t fit into the status quo.
Karen was like many biological mothersโ€”she wanted her son and her new husband to have a quality relationship. They were cordial enough, but there was no real connection between them. She wrote:
I am looking for information on how to improve communication in stepfamilies.ย I was a single mom from the time my son was 3 years old until he was 15. …

๐Ÿ’ก 5 Ways I’d Like to Thank My Divorced Parents

๐Ÿ’ก 5 Ways I’d Like to Thank My Divorced Parents

Despite their decision to divorce, both of my parents made sacrifices along the way that kept my brother and me as their priorities.
When I was eight years old, a friend of mine whose parents had gotten a divorce told me how great it was to have two separate Christmases, one with each parent. Double the presents, double the fun, right? For an eight-year-old, most definitely.
But even at that age, I knew the significance of having only one Christmas. …

๐Ÿ’ก Teaching Our Kids Not to Be Bystanders to Bullying

๐Ÿ’ก Teaching Our Kids Not to Be Bystanders to Bullying

Most kids on todayโ€™s campuses probably fall into the category of โ€œbystander.โ€ They know they should probably do something, but they donโ€™t.
โ€œI feel guilty about it every day,โ€ he told the crowd, a little choked by his own words.
The church youth group was captivated by Blakeโ€™s vulnerability.
Blake seemed like a normal high school kid: decent grades, a soccer player, and from a good home. But this particular young man was obviously plagued with guilt.
โ€œI saw him being made fun of every day,โ€ he said, …

โค๏ธ Mom, Kind Is the New Skinny

โค๏ธ Mom, Kind Is the New Skinny

What if our generation of moms decided to love the mom bods weโ€™ve got? Motherhood puts a glow on any woman! Itโ€™s a look thatโ€™s well worth the wear.
Remember when you were expecting your first child? As your body changed, you hoped that eventually you could regain some resemblance of your pre-mom body. Many of us have been able to pull that off by opting for Chick-fil-A salads over nuggets, 5 a.m. sweat sessions over an extra hour of sleep, …

๐Ÿฐ ๐ŸŽ‰ When Everyone Gets Invited to the Birthday Party

๐Ÿฐ ๐ŸŽ‰ When Everyone Gets Invited to the Birthday Party

My kidโ€™s birthday party means I include and find commonalities with nearly total strangers. And itโ€™s a really beautiful thing.
Iโ€™m usually a mess the day of my kidโ€™s birthday party. Iโ€™m frazzled, frantic, and barely pulled together before showtime. Iโ€™ve fallen into the trap of making sure each of these occasions is a Pinterest-perfect event.
If the birthday party is at my house, I make sure every corner of the house is clean. I make sure I have enough food for all the invitees and more. …

๐Ÿ’ก Co-Parenting Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly

๐Ÿ’ก Co-Parenting Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly

When the world is telling you to blame your ex-spouse and embrace bitterness, you can work on turning your thoughts toward a peaceful working relationship.
After divorce you and your ex may not be husband and wife anymore, but you are still mom and dad to your kids. That means you have to learn a new way of parenting, which we refer to asย co-parenting. This is when you and your ex-spouse most need cooperation for the sake of your kids. …

โœŒ๏ธ Asking Forgiveness From My Kids…Again

โœŒ๏ธ Asking Forgiveness From My Kids…Again

My kids need to grow up with the knowledge that I require a Savior just as much as they do.
I yelled at my kids tonight.
It started before the mouthwash spilled all over the floor, my jeans, and my new shirt.
That I have an issue with anger and emotional control is not something Iโ€™ve kept secret. But itโ€™s still painfully destructive in my own home:
โ€œThe wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it downโ€ (Proverbs 14:1). …

๐Ÿ’ก Lose the Toxic, Not the Masculinity

๐Ÿ’ก Lose the Toxic, Not the Masculinity

If our hearts chafe at this whole line of thinking, our issue is with the gospel, not the cultural narrative.
Gillette recently released an ad aboutย toxic masculinity, an interesting phrase that until recently only referred to hyper-masculine boorishness. But now the national dialogue seems to have shifted to a point where toxic masculinity refers not to excess, but to all things masculine. This is a tragic loss of nuance in an otherwise important conversation.
Admittedly, I had already heard some radio commentary about the ad that preconditioned me to hate it before actually seeing it. …

๐Ÿ™ Is Prayer Your First Response?

๐Ÿ™ Is Prayer Your First Response?

We must train ourselves to make prayer a default reaction in all situations.
Emergency service people are calledย first responders. Their first response is to help. Police, fire fighters, and paramedics all race to respond when someone is in need. For many it comes naturally. For most, training is needed to be able to fly into action during an emergency. As a former police officer, my husband was trained to be a first responder.
As a Christian, I have a desire to speak to the Lord about things. …

๐Ÿ’ก Connecting With Your Spouse Through the Busy Parenting Years

๐Ÿ’ก Connecting With Your Spouse Through the Busy Parenting Years

When we became parents, our entire universe shifted. What happened to the couple we were?
Before kids, Josh and I went to movies not rated G and ate at restaurants not offering Styrofoam cups. We spent our weekends doing whatever we wanted, staying up late, and sleeping in later.
Then we became parents. And our entire universe shifted. Psychological thrillers were exchanged for films featuring talking animals. Those overpriced, chef-prepared meals turned into a quick drive-thru at Chick-fil-A. …

๐Ÿ“ฑ Smartphones for Smartfamilies

๐Ÿ“ฑ Smartphones for Smartfamilies

We advise against giving your children a phone if you are not ready to have a conversation with them about it multiple times a week for multiple years.

When I was in high school, I was eager to turn 16 so I could drive. To my advantage, my parents were equally eager to stop being my personal Uber. So as a family we began the process of getting my driverโ€™s license.
Getting a license can be a pretty intimidating process. …

๐Ÿ’ก ๐ŸŽ„ Navigating the Holidays as an Adult Child of Divorce

๐Ÿ’ก ๐ŸŽ„ 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 professionalโ€™s advice, he certainly deserved it. No one faulted her for it.
I was glad they waited so long to end their marriage. …

๐Ÿ’ก How Can I Let Go of the Mom Guilt?

๐Ÿ’ก How Can I Let Go of the Mom Guilt?

Guilt doesnโ€™t freshen us and give lifeโ€”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 isnโ€™t in preschool or kindergarten, and she didnโ€™t even seem to care. Honestly, the urge to cryย wasย a bit ridiculous. But it was one more thing to add to that steaming pile of mom guilt in the corner of my mind. …

๐Ÿ’ก Why Your Relationship With Your Child Matters

๐Ÿ’ก 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.
Godโ€™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 Godโ€™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. …

๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿฅฆ ๐Ÿฅ• 15 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Better

๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿฅฆ ๐Ÿฅ• 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 thatย junk foodย is bad for him, …

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