Preparation and Safety Strategies for Raising Children

As parents, we need to be prepared and to prepare our children well for navigating the world around them. Despite what some may think, we don’t have 18 years to prepare them for the “real world”. They start encountering the real world as soon as they are born. Children may encounter unsafe situations with sexual predators, or teenagers may make reckless decisions to do things like text and drive. We can’t protect them from everything, but we can do our part to prepare and train them. This means we have to take certain precautions, help them develop common sense, and … Read more…

Preparing for Baby’s First Outing (Part Two of Encouragement for First-Time Moms)

The first time I took Rebekah out of the house was a big deal. At least for me. In addition to trying to figure out a carseat for the first time (I am challenged in this area), I had to decided how to dress her. Fortunately, we learned a lot about our daughter on night one. Most babies have a hard time regulating their temperature to stay warm enough. However, Rebekah overheated quickly in her footie pjs and small cap. She takes after her daddy and is often warm. Nonetheless, I remember how stressful those early outings were. I still … Read more…

Encouragement for First-Time Moms Part 1

Many of us dream of that day when we get to snuggle our beautiful, perfect newborn in our arms. And those moments are nothing short of bliss. Your eyes well up, your heart is full, and if you are breastfeeding–your milk comes in. However, there are a lot of hard times: cluster feedings in the middle of the night, sore nipples, unexplained crying and wailing, sleep strikes, flipping days and nights around, sickness, acid reflux/spit up, and worst of all the nagging fear that you are doing everything wrong and messing up your new child. If you are pregnant with … Read more…

I am NOT a parenting expert.

Mistake #1: Impulse buying an Oreo milkshake during Happy Hour from Steak N’ Shake. (It was hot outside and sounded good. I promise we are mostly healthy eaters . . . ) Mistake #2: Buying this milkshake right before grocery shopping at Walmart with my 15-month-old in tow. Bad idea all around . . .  Mistake #3: Letting my screaming 15-month-old have a sip. This sip then turned into several long–DON’T YOU TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME MOM BECAUSE I WILL SCREAM BLOODY MURDER–sips. Who knew she would like an Oreo milkshake so much! 😉 Mistake #4: Giving in and letting her suck down … Read more…

Connecting with Your Children Through Everyday Opportunities

For better or worse, there are many fears shared by parents around the world. Even before their child is born, mothers can go through all kinds of uncertainties. One worry that I find particularly prevalent is a fear that you’re not engaged enough in your children’s lives. This is a common qualm. But, be careful! Don’t let your fear turn into a negative self-talk and guilt complex. Instead, let it lead you toward intentionality and motivation to engage more fully with your children. If you really are drifting out of touch, don’t panic. There are various ways you can become … Read more…

When Your Child Asks “Why would someone do that?”

The "Why" question

I think one of the most intimidating (but healthy) questions a child can ask is why. Recently, a friend of mine mentioned how her young daughter came home from school, where they had talked about 9/11, and asked “Why would someone do that?” Why? I think we could jump into a discussion about how the terrorists believed false ideas of glory, how America was evil, etc. And historically, that is good to talk about if your children are old enough to understand it. But doesn’t why come down to hatred?  Whether you are Muslim, Christian, Atheist, or Buddhist, isn’t it hatred that causes … Read more…

5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Self-Esteem by Holly Doherty

1) Don’t praise them just for showing up. I know this statement flies in the face of conventional wisdom, in a world where every kid in the soccer league gets a trophy just for being on a team, and some leagues don’t even keep score lest they hurt a child’s supposedly fragile self-esteem. But life doesn’t give you a trophy just for showing up. Teach your kids to work hard, to take pride in their work, and to do their best. To praise them just for showing up breeds entitlement and an empty, false sense of self-worth. 2) Praise their … Read more…

Connecting Your Children to God: An Empty Pitcher Will Not Hydrate

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. – Deuteronomy 4:9 This verse always convicts me. Though I do not yet have children, this verse reminds me that if I do not keep my faith “active” through sharing with others what God has done in my life, then those things will fade from my heart. Satan actively attempts to lull us into a passive faith. I … Read more…

Knowing is Half the Battle

Saturday was a solace after a busy week. Friday, a group from our church went to the Diamond Back’s game and stayed for fireworks afterward. Even though we lost, it was a beautiful evening full of fellowship, baseball, kettle corn, hot dogs, and fireworks!   Friday was a whirlwind of fun, but I had a hard time knowing what to do with my Saturday “off”. There were so many things I wanted to do, like read all day. If I had a dream vacation, it would involve a cabin in the mountains, coffee, a notebook, and a suitcase of books. Then there were … Read more…