Q&A Do You Do Halloween? It’s Just Pretend, Right?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 10/28/2015 | 6 comments

Readers ask us, “Do you guys celebrate Halloween?” We had a lot of discussion about this when we were first married. We went back and forth between the fun we’d had as kids and the opportunity to perhaps share the gospel with neighbors who came to the door, and our discomfort with the whole celebration…
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October 27th, 2015

The Write Time for A Novel Idea

by Hal | 1 comment

NaNoWriMoWe’ve always found boys like a challenge and some competition — who’s fastest, strongest, and scores the most points. Here’s a program which plays right into that trait: See how much you can write in a month.

Several years ago I ran across a peculiar little project. The National Novel Writing Month is a tongue-in-cheek challenge to everyone who has an idea for a story: take the month of November and see if you can pour out 50,000 words.

The sponsors of “NaNoWriMo”, as they call, it say the first job of a writer is writing, and most people get stuck at the first blank page. The challenge is meant to break that mental log jam, knowing very well that the result will be just an eruption of uncorrected, first draft material. The goal is not to write well, but to write a lot. Once you have something on paper, then you can decide to edit and revise it, or declare victory and move on. Continue reading »

October 27th, 2015

Q&A: Why Do My Boys (And My Husband) Like Such Dumb Entertainment?

by Hal | 1 comment

It’s one of those mysteries between the sexes – what makes our choices of entertainment so different?

Wives and mothers shake their heads over boys’ choices of movies, videos, books, and so on. To their thinking, so much of it is just stupid. And it’s not simply childishness – dads and husbands are laughing too.

Why is there such a thing as “guy humor”?

Q - Guy Humor

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October 24th, 2015

Q&A: What About A Boy Who’s A Slowpoke?

by Hal | 1 comment

Erin asked a great question on our Open Wall Friday post, “One of our sons (almost 6) is a “slow-ski”. He is far from the youngest and always the last to put on his shoes, coat, come to the table, walk into the grocery store, keep up with the group, get out of the van or buckle up. This doesn’t come from inability. Nagging and encouragement when he’s not the last isn’t helping the situation, and we would love to motivate him to do his best to show some initiative here. It gets to the point of danger when he’s always lagging behind our large group in parking lots and crossing streets, and we have to divert our attention to calling out his name to keep on task. Any thoughts or advice?”

Blog - Q - Slowpoke V

This is one of those personality quirks which can irritate others to the point of explosion!  We answered another question about an older son who didn’t manage his time well as a young adult. This sort of slowness goes beyond simple appointment keeping – it’s a whole lifestyle slowed to a crawl!

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October 22nd, 2015

Q&A: My Two-Year-Old Is Bright, Busy, and Destructive

by Hal | 0 comments

A friend on Facebook said,

“My 2-yr old son is driving me insane with his destructive behavior (mainly out of curiosity and inventiveness). He’s very bright and physically and verbally advanced. But I’m losing my mind. Spanking doesn’t seem to help since he repeats messing with everything and breaking things. … I can not reason with him.

Q - Smart and Destructive - V

Boys have a natural curiosity about their world, linked with a desire to control it and change it, and a self-confidence which frequently doesn’t match their ability or good judgment! Ask us how we know!

It’s harder when it’s a first child. Someone told us years ago that it’s easier owning two dogs than owning one, because they entertain each other. We found that’s true with both dogs and children — a lonely child will look to the nearest parent for entertainment, or get busy with the nearest objects … usually with undesirable results. If you’re in that situation, don’t feel bad if you feel a bit overwhelmed!

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October 19th, 2015

Q&A: How Do I Cope With My Really Emotional Boy?

by Hal | 0 comments

“My son, who is 9, seems so sad all the time, keeps to himself, cries a lot, even when we try to do stuff he likes or stuff he asks. He can’t seem to think of anything to do by himself, but gets upset when his brother bosses him around. So, he’s bored, I’m at a loss with him.”

RRM - Q - Really Emotional Boy - V

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October 18th, 2015

Q&A: How Can I Manage My Wiggle-Worm?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 1 comment

A mom asked, “How on earth do I manage my constantly wiggling six year old? This child won’t sit still! Family devotions are so stressful – and don’t even mention schoolwork or church. What can I do?”

I am so with you here! Our youngest, a girl(!) has been one of those churning and burning children from the beginning. With six boys, we’ve had our share of the wiggles, but some kiddos take it to the next level, don’t they?

Q-Wiggle Worm - V

Somehow we’ve got to get them to learn to sit still and focus. That’s one of the great things about homeschooling. We can make sure they sit when they have to, but we also have the freedom to keep those times short and doable and give them lots of activity, too. Here are some things we’ve found out:

Some children need some kind of stimulation to sit still. I’ve found brushing my daughter’s hair while we do family devotions keeps her calm and still. Stroking an arm or letting them use their hands to squeeze a ball or play with a small toy can help.

You can let them color or draw, too. This works especially well in church. We’ll often divide a piece of paper into big squares and tell our children to draw anything they understand from the sermon. Just ignore anyone who glares at you for letting them draw. It’s amazing what they will learn and understand while they do. One time one of ours drew every point of a sermon about the qualifications of elders/pastors. She was seven!

Using their big muscles before you expect them to be still helps, too. When we make stops when we’re driving, we try to stop at a rest area where there’s grass to throw a frisbee, run, or play football. When our guys start losing focus in school, we have them run up and down the stairs or jump on the mini-trampoline. That thing is a life-saver! Research shows boys actually do learn better after they’ve used their big muscles.

Q-Wiggle Worm - H

It’s a stretch for all of us. Learning to be still and quiet is a stretch for our wigglers, but learning to be patient with them is a stretch for me, too. It’s important that we keep our tempers and don’t blow up – even when they really get on our nerves! They usually don’t mean to be so frustrating. They’re just stuck in a body that wants to move when everyone else is saying, “Don’t!” It’s hard for them, too.

It’s hard for all of us, but it does get better! Some of those churners and burners of ours are grown men who really can sit still during meetings at work. (I’m not saying it’s easy, son. :-) ) They’ll learn self-control. Really, they will.

Your friend,Melanie Young Science Headshot 300px wide Close Crop





October 17th, 2015

Q&A: How Can I Help My Son Be On Time?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 2 comments

A reader asks, “How can we help our 17 year old care more about being on time? We have tried to explain that it’s selfish to make other people wait on him. He has never had a hurry “button.””

This is kind of hard. I know this is frustrating – and you’re no doubt worried about what will happen to him when he gets in the real world. Been there.

RRM My Son is Always Late V

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October 16th, 2015

Q&A What’s Up With My Air-Headed 8th Grader?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Nicole asks on our page, “I am looking for some practical ways to deal with my, for true lack of a better word, air-headed 8th grade man-child. I thought we were coming out of this stage, but lately if I tell him to clean the living room and vacuum, he will clean the living room and an hour later, I realize he hasn’t vacuumed. I remind him, he vacuums, then leaves the vacuum in the middle of the living room.

Everything is like this! We are getting ready to start our homeschool back and I am just not up for babysitting him anymore. It is high time for him to figure out completion, and time management. No matter how many times I say when we are walking out the door, it always comes as a surprise to him. It’s like he’s listening to a song in his head that no one else hears.”

RRM Air-Headed 8th Grader

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October 15th, 2015

Q&A: What if Your Kids Knew You Before You Were Christians?

by Hal | 0 comments

A member of one of our online programs asked, “What if you were parents before you were Christians, and your oldest son had to witness some terrible emotional events between family members?”

RRM Kids Knew Us Before Christian Vert

The most fundamental truth about mankind after Eden is that there is none righteous, no, not one … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:10,23)  None of us are perfect, and our kids are well aware of that. Of course you look back on your misdeeds and sinful behavior from before you were saved, and you probably cringe–especially if you think your actions shamed you in the eyes of your children.

But the fact is that when God applies Christ’s obedience and sacrifice to our account, He’s taken care of those things.  Continue reading »

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