Motivating Your Child to Try

As we head toward the fourth quarter of the school year, more times than I can count I have heard a frustrated parent say, “I know my child can do better, but he just doesn’t seem to try!” Parents want to know the answer to the same question: How do you motivate a child to do their best?   There are a few questions parents need to answer before they work on motivating the child.  As a parent, what is my motivation for motivating my child?  Do I want my child to do his best for me (the parent’s self-esteem) […]

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Lose the Bunny; Use the Eggs

The most significant holiday on the Christian calendar is once again upon us. This special day, however, is so clouded by cultural tradition, that many church attendees have forgotten what they are to celebrate. One woman went so far as to say to me, “I can’t possibly imagine getting up at the crack of dawn and coming to a sunrise service at a stadium, park or beach for an Easter service. I would not be able to get dressed up!” Generations of wearing the right clothes have worn down the meaning of Easter in the hearts of many. It is […]

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Teach Your Children About Love

By February, many of our families are back into the swing of the new year and all that entails. We are back into school rhythms, sports, homework, etc. This month offers another great opportunity for teaching and training our children. With so much focus this month on Valentine’s Day, why not seize this time to teach our children more about love. We can focus on sibling love, loving our neighbor, modeling romantic love and setting up some fun family traditions as well.   Speak into their hearts We can use this season to pour into our children emotionally. When our […]

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Avoiding The Ultimate Family Marathon

Have you ever felt like you are on a family reality show? That there are just too many family and parenting responsibilities, and it is impossible to get them all done? There must be a hidden camera somewhere in the house just waiting to film you as you crack under the pressure. In fact, by the way you hear your children talk to each other, it sounds as if they are about to vote each other off the island. “I can’t get my children to talk nicely to each other let alone take care of each other,” one mother confessed. […]

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My Best Christmas

My best Christmas recollection as a child actually began on summer vacation. I was about eight years old, and my dad and I were walking through the tourist village where we were vacationing. I saw a pair of red, knit slippers with fake leather soles and Indian beads on top. They were those ugly slippers that were basically thick socks with a sole sewn on so you could walk outside. I repeat, ugly! My Best Christmas When I saw them, I said to my dad, “I bet mom would like those,” thinking he would spend the eight dollars and get […]

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Are Family Traditions Important?

We are heading into a season of opportunity. For some families Thanksgiving and Christmas can help define who they are. For others these holidays are little more than eating and expense. Where do family traditions fit in? Traditions might just be the most important part of this holiday season. In fact, Tevye, in “Fiddler on the Roof,” kept singing that traditions were the signposts that kept a family going in difficult times. Where did our traditions go? For some reason many homes left the traditions at grandma’s house. Traditions are the repetitive activities that can help children feel as if […]

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It’s Not About the Election. It’s About Training Leaders!

As we head into the primaries every eye is on candidates. This is important!  The election of a leader is very important, and we should all be involved. Having said that let me also say that what is really important is not the next leader, but leadership. Training Leaders We need to be training leaders. We can’t elect and then sub-contract out the leadership of our future to an elected official. We need to be leaders, and we need to train tomorrow’s leaders. It’s the job of every parent to train their children to become leaders rather than followers. No […]

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Fall, All Things Pumpkin and Back to School

It’s no secret that fall is my absolute favorite season.  In college I had the opportunity to live in a state that experienced all the beautiful changes that fall brings with it.  It starts with a chill in the air at night, then you can see the leaves begin to turn.  In South Florida, we open the season by celebrating with all things pumpkin and enjoying the humidity starting to lift.  We love the opening of football season and focus on “back to school rhythms.”    Cycles So many areas of scripture point to the fact that God has created […]

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Self-Esteem: What Mirror Do You Hold Up?

When Torrey, my oldest child, began school, somehow I felt she no longer needed my approval as much as before. She was older and other people, like her teachers, were in charge. Because Daddy was so busy, I began to miss key events in her life, such as her kindergarten play.  Absent Parents Leads to Low Self-Esteem Not long after that, I was walking in my neighborhood and heard the shouts of six-year-olds playing soccer. I sat down to watch the game and noticed that of the thirty boys on the two teams, only four parents had taken the time […]

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Some Assembly Required

(Scroll down to leave a comment on the assembly process of parenting.) Recently I bought a piece of furniture—a large hardwood table. When it arrived, the table came in a box from another country and had 80 pieces to assemble. The package included a small wrench and a 28-page book of directions. The picture of the completed project looked great, but the process was overwhelming, especially for a guy who thinks “wrench” is something you do to your back. All along I kept wondering how much it would cost to hire someone else to assemble it. Yet I took my […]

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