Carrying Groceries Is Important

by Hal and Melanie Young | 5/17/2014 | 0 comments

There’s just something about doing things that matter that really motivates boys. They want to contribute. They want to do real things. What do your guys do to help the family?

May 10th, 2014

Q: My 6 Year Old Is Obsessed with “Spooky” Things

by Hal | 2 comments

I have a question.. my boy is 5, 6 in two weeks and has an obsession with all things spooky. I allow him to do pirates and we read up on ancient Egypt and use the Horrible Histories series to fuel this ‘addiction’ (because it really does feel like that), but it isn’t diluting his passion. He knows we don’t do Halloween yet he feels frustrated about it and makes a huge issue over it. I allow him to watch SOME kids’ TV but not certain things like vampires, magic, or wizards/witches, etc). He questions my decision constantly, whines and gets really frustrated like I’m punishing him for no reason. I’ve explained why and he loves Jesus with all his little heart… but I can’t tell if this is a rebellion issue or some strange desire for darkness!! Thoughts please!

Q&A Six Year Old Obsessed with Spooky Things

Boys love adrenalin! Well, at least most of them do at some time or another. They love excitement and engagement. They love debating and arguing. They love to try their strength against the world. They love explosions and destruction (at least it seems so). They love to take risks. Sometimes they even like to be scared.

Why? It sure doesn’t make much sense to their moms! Our mantra is “Be Careful,” right?

But, God made them that way. He made them adventurous. Here’s the way we put it in our book:


The trick is to get them to adulthood without scarred minds or bodies! And sometimes, that’s not easy! We’ll talk about keeping their bodies safe another time (or you can get our book here), but your question is about taking care of his mind – and soul. You’re right to make sure that his desire for adventure follows that God-honoring course. Here’s what we’d do:

Remember that God is concerned about our hearts. We hear people say all the time, “It’s just pretend!” but when we read the verses about lust in the heart being adultery and hate in the heart being murder, we realize that’s a pretty thin excuse. What matters is what we’re thinking. We can’t play with evil: “Fools mock at sin.” Proverbs 14:9

Explain that as interesting or exciting as something may be, if it’s displeasing to God it’s got to go. There’s no substitute for the Word of God here – it can reach our children’s hearts in a way our words can’t, so use it to show him that most of those “spooky” things like witchcraft, ghosts, demons, and obsession with death celebrate things which are clearly evil and unhealthy. This article gives you the references you’ll need.

Point him to the the right kind of adventure. Stories of explorers, warriors, and missionaries can fill that desire for thrills and excitement while showing him what risk-taking was made for. We especially like missionary stories because they “show them it’s not the sinners that have the best adventures.” (Raising Real Men, p41)

Stay strong. These things pass, they really do, especially if you’re firm and redirect it. Usually when children are running this kind of constant campaign, it’s because the parents aren’t confident what they’re doing is right, so the kids sense the uncertainty and think “maybe if I try a little harder…” Looking into what the Word says about things can help you, too.

For more on both adventurousness and giving our boys a taste for good media, get our book, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys. It’s the book we couldn’t find in raising our six boys — and it was Christian Small Publishers Book of the Year!

Hal and Melanie SugarLoaf Web (c)2009Yours in the battle,

Hal & Melanie




May 2nd, 2014

May 2014 Travel Plans

by Hal | 0 comments

May 2014


We’re on the road again in May and if you’d like to have us stop over and speak for your support group, church, or any other gathering, CLICK HERE and let us know!

Planned Events:
May 22-25 – Orlando, Florida - Florida Parent Educators Association

States We May Visit:
Alabama – Georgia – Florida – North & South Carolina

May 1st, 2014

June 2014 Travel Plans

by Hal | 1 comment

June 2014In June, we could visit 29 states!

Planned Events

June 13-14 – Hartford, CT – The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers (TEACH)
June 26-28 – Dallas, TX – Teach Them Diligently

Places We Might Visit

Week of June 8 – Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and New England States
Week of June 15 – States East of the Mississippi
Week of June 22 – Midwest and Plains States
Week of June 29 – Plains States and Southeast

April 28th, 2014

Q: My Two Sons Claim They Don’t Hear My Directions …

by Hal | 3 comments

A reader says their family dynamics get “tough” over this:

I have two sons who tend “not to hear” my direction/instruction. I often wonder if I’m the voice of one calling out in an empty desert. *sigh* Any ideas on how to direct/instruct and remain calm when I’m trying to get down to only saying it once?

Boys Dont Hear Directions

We share your concern that kids sometimes seem intent on disregarding our directions. It’s dangerous to them, it is an inconvenience and frustration to us, and if it’s a matter of disobedience, it’s sin. Children are specifically commanded by God to obey their parents, and willful disobedience is a very serious matter in the eyes of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3). Continue reading »

April 26th, 2014

Q. How Can I Get Any Work Done with My Little Ones Around?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Having  toddlers and preschoolers in the house while you’re trying to get anything else done isn’t easy. It’s really one of the hardest times of life. I remember people telling me, “Just wait ’til they’re teens! You think it’s hard now…” I felt sick. I couldn’t take any harder than it was right then. Even going to the store was a two hour production by the time I got everyone dressed, found all the shoes, changed the baby’s diaper, fed the baby, changed the baby’s diaper again – and his clothes. You know how it goes! It’s hard! Incredibly sweet and precious, but hard!

So, how to do you cope? How do you get anything done?

Work and Little Ones

Corral them! Continue reading »

April 24th, 2014

Fun for Boys: A Lego Rube Goldberg Machine – and a Real Life One!

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

God made us in His image and one part of that is the desire to create, to build, to bring order. Most boys love building sets. After raising six sons and having literal decades of birthdays and Christmases, there are more Legos in our house than at Wal-Mart! Lots more. All over the place. Ouch!

RRM Lego


Here’s an amazing video your boys are going to love. This Rube Goldberg contraction was made entirely of Legos and took 600 hours to build. I hope someone paid him to do it! Continue reading »

April 23rd, 2014

A Review: Character Badges

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

I was so excited to see that Caroline Allen’s new Character Badges curriculum was a part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! I’ve heard Caroline talking about it and I’ve been wanting to take a look at it.


Continue reading »

April 16th, 2014

Q: My Son Blames Everyone But Himself …

by Hal | 3 comments

The message started, “[I] desperately need advice …”

… My almost six year old always blames me or someone else for his behavior. We are very big on teaching our children accountability. It can be small and big things. Yesterday, I told him he had to put on a coat to go outside. He preceded to says “Okay, it’s your fault I am going to be hot.” I said, “Well, put on a coat or don’t go outside, your choice.” So the tears and disrespect and bad attitude started. And it was all my fault. And this lasted the rest of the day. Today it was because he had to clean up his toys. Is this normal behavior? 

My Son Blames Everyone

Continue reading »

April 14th, 2014

Goldtown Adventures by Susan K. Marlow – FREE!

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

TEMP Goldtown Adventures Giveaway RecOur children, boys and girls, have really enjoyed the books written by our friend, Susan K. Marlow. We were first introduced to her when she donated a short story in her Circle C Adventures series to a Facebook Party we had. Our daughter loved the story, so we decided to buy her the books for Christmas that year. They were a big hit, so when Susan asked us if we’d like to see her new series focusing on boys, we said, “Sure!”

The Goldtown Adventures follow Jem Coulter, a twelve year old boy, during the waning days of the California Gold Rush. Jem’s father is sheriff, which is a challenging job in the 1860s in the West! These books are full of just the kind of things boys love – excitement, adventure, doing real things, making do.

I recommend you read these, too. Continue reading »

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