August 15th, 2014
Boys have a love for adventure. The trick is to teach them to take reasonable risks. We want them to be bold and adventurous – without breaking both legs jumping off the roof! There’s a whole chapter about that in Raising Real Men.
August 8th, 2014
“How do I get my son to read???” is a common question when we speak about homeschooling boys. Here’s what we’ve done:
Be patient when you are teaching them to read. Earlier is not better when it comes to boys. The average boy five years old has the same developmental reading readiness as a girl of three and a half. Many boys who struggle because they just aren’t developmentally ready to read yet decide that they just aren’t any good at school. That’s sad because it’s not true. Continue reading »
August 4th, 2014
Help Us Celebrate Five Years!
Five years ago, our family set out on a new ministry and a new adventure – helping you
make Biblical family life practical
with useful, encouraging, real-world resources
to bring Scriptural principles to the 21st century family
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Continue reading »
August 1st, 2014
“I don’t know what to do, we hadn’t even talked to him about sexuality yet, he’s so young. I just found out he’s been watching pornography, though. What do I do?”
We’ve heard this from several moms – just this week! And the ages would break your heart. Seven, eight, and nine year olds being exposed to things no one should ever see.
The first thing we told them is that you need to get some kind of accountability on every single internet device in your home.
I gave that advice to a mom at a conference recently and she said, “I don’t need that stuff. We keep the computer in the kitchen.” I wondered if that was really the only internet available in her house. No smartphones? No work laptop? No Kindles or iPods or tablets? And even if not, does she sleep in the kitchen?
It’s a serious question. One mom this week told us her little boy, eight or nine, I think, was getting up in the middle of the night to look at porn on her iPad. Having the computer in a public area is no protection at night. Continue reading »
July 31st, 2014
I was floating in the lake in my “mama suit” with my hair going every which way when one of my sons looked over at me and said, “Mom, you’re beautiful!” A few months ago, I might have answered, “Oh, please! I look awful!” but I’ve learned better since then.
A few months ago I read a blog post that I found very convicting. A mom wrote of her realization that the things she said about her body impacted her daughter’s view of beauty and acceptance of her own body. Ouch. I have two daughters now and I want them to feel lovely and confident. I started thinking about what I said about myself and the message my self-criticism gave my girls. Now I’m thinking of the message those things give my boys, too. What I say about my body affects how my boys view women. (<–Tweet this)
This afternoon, I decided to join the children in the Lake. When I came out on the deck, they shouted, “There’s Mama – and she’s wearing her swimsuit! Hooray! Hooray! She’s coming in!” They didn’t see what I saw, a middle aged overweight woman in the kind of suit she said she’d never wear. They saw someone they enjoyed; someone they wanted to be with. They saw me through the eyes of love. Continue reading »
July 29th, 2014
A reader with four boys 8 and under called for help:
I feel like when I talk, no one hears me. So then I yell. My friends call me “The Drill Sergeant Mom“. I am so frustrated.
Wow, do we ever sympathize!
One time, we had a friend — a mother of several girls — tell us we shouldn’t have to raise our voices, ever. “Whisper!” she said. Our boys should learn to listen for the sound of their mother’s voice, and respond right away, she told us.
Right. Continue reading »
July 16th, 2014
We were setting up for a book fair last weekend and needed the lid to a plastic bin which is part of our display set up. I sent one of the boys to fetch it from the trailer. “It’s on the top shelf,” I said.
Understand: Our trailer only has three shelves, there was only one other thing on the shelf with this lid, and the object we needed was about three feet long and eighteen inches wide. It wasn’t small or hard to find.
Except when our son came back a few minutes later and reported, “I couldn’t find it, Dad.”
Sure enough, when I went out to the trailer myself, there it was – exactly as I’d described it.
Melanie has a theory of this: When she sends someone on a finding errand, if that person doesn’t really believe the object is there, it’s likely they won’t find it. On the other hand, if they approach the search with the expectation that they’ll find it, they’re much more likely to be successful. Skepticism seems to blind them.
Boys all seem to go through this phase (it looks like our girls are heading there now). What can we do to help them overcome it? Continue reading »
July 10th, 2014
One of our goals in raising our children was to help them learn not to be picky eaters. We’d both seen the extra work, turmoil, and frustration in a family when one of the children was picky, only to see those same children grow up to eat things they’d rejected at home. Hearing tales from missionary friends about the real offense being picky can cause when you’re trying to reach another culture sealed it for us.
That’s been a good thing. We’ve travel all over the place and are often guests at meals. We’d be in trouble if the children didn’t eat pretty much whatever they’re fed, sometimes there’s nothing else available! How do we manage it? Here are some things you can try:
Keep your own mouth shut. Hal’s a pretty picky eater. He raises an eyebrow at most raw fruits and veggies and even some cooked ones, too. Melanie has a few things she doesn’t like much, either. We decided early just not to talk about it. Whether we like it or not, we serve a small portion on our plates and push it around a bit if we can’t eat it. And we never complain about those foods. Sure, the children figure it out after awhile, but usually by that time, they love to eat it! Continue reading »
July 4th, 2014
We finally noticed a pattern. When one of our children got somewhere between nine and fourteen, they’d climb on an emotional rollercoaster and invite us all to join them. Wow, what a tough age to parent!
The first time we went through it, we questioned everything, “Is it us? Have we failed in parenting? Is it him? Is he rejecting everything we’ve taught him?” It was so hard. He seemed to blow up for no reason at all.
“I… Can’t… Stand… the Anger in Here!” one of our sons shouted in a family meeting.
We all looked around, completely bumfuzzled. “Son, there’s no one in here angry but you.”
After going through this seven times with our children and hearing how tons of other families dealt with it in our Boot Camp 9-12 webinars, we’ve realized that this is really a dangerous time in the parent-child relationship. It’s a time that a lot of those relationships are broken, making the next stage a huge challenge. On the other hand, it’s a time that if it’s handled well can lay the foundation for making the teen years great! Here’s what we’ve learned: Continue reading »