Family Life

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What is Your Relationship with Technology?

One of our local television stations runs a morning show in which I occasionally participate. Usually I speak about mental health issues or how people are affected by local or national events. On this particular morning, I was asked to speak about the effects of technology. I brought along a basket full of family devices [...]

Finding Gratitude in Moments of Inconvenience

Susan walked in the door from work, looking forward to nothing more than putting her feet up and petting the dog. No sooner had she hung up her coat than her middle schooler entered the family room with a look of consternation and guilt on his face. What now? she thought, feeling her moment of [...]

The Concrete Recall of Boys

Boys are concrete recallers.  Girls tend to attach much more emotional sensory detail to their memories, thus making the feelings associated with those memories come alive.  Boys remember what happened but are not as tied to how they felt when it happened.  This doesn't mean boys don't have feelings when things happen -- just that [...]

Teens: Why Do I Care What Other People Think?

I can just hear some of you insisting, “I don’t care what other people think!  I do whatever I want!”  There is a strong urge in adolescence to declare your independence and say you only care about your own opinion.  But be honest -- don’t you care what certain people think?  Most kids have a [...]

Being an Alert and Vigilant Parent

Teens live amid such tumultuous waters, it can be hard to detect if something is just an adolescent squall or if there's a real storm brewing.  As a parent, you're caught between a rock and a hard place.  You don't want to be perceived as a meddling parent.  You want your teenager to learn how [...]

When Teenagers Ask “Who Am I?”

One of the most important questions that teenagers grapple with during the time of adolescence is, “Who am I?”  Then, as they are answering the question, they also have to decide, “Do I love who I am?” Self-esteem during adolescence, as we all know, can take a pretty substantial beating.  I believe everyone, whether a [...]

What Does the Word “Support” Look Like in Your Family?

The secret to healthy kids can be found through a whole-person approach to the needs of your child.  By addressing the emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual needs of children, parents are able to provide a balanced, caring environment that contributes to lifelong happiness and health. I call this helping a child to SOAR.  As parents, [...]

How to Recognize if Your Son is Overwhelmed

I'll never forget a time one of my sons lost a football game.  He was in middle school, and I was the resident taxi, driving back and forth to practices and games.  Usually, these drive times were great bonding times for us, but after this particular loss, my son was completely shut down. Instead of [...]

Helping Children Make Healthy Choices with Technology

The American Association of Pediatrics put out a statement about how parents should interact with media, or what we call technology. Read the list of suggestions from the AAP, and determine when you are going to implement each one. Number each item in the order you want to incorporate them into your family routine. Consider [...]

Mentor and Monitor Your Child’s Relationships

As your child grows, he or she will come into contact with more and more people outside your family and circle of friends. They will meet coaches, teachers, other parents, other children, and other adults. They will encounter mentors and those they simply don’t like very well. In all of these relationships, your child is [...]