Helping Overly-Connected Kids Live in the Real World

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contected teens

Our children live in a screen-driven world.

In some ways, it’s been this way for a long time. Since the 1950s, television and children have gone together like cereal and milk.

Who doesn’t remember Saturday morning cartoons?

The advent of video games and the proliferation of smart phones and tablets in the past decade have only served to add to a child’s “screen time.” Walk through a mall or an airport and you’ll see that many children seem perpetually “connected” to an electronic device.

Fresh Truths to Encourage Parents

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Family sitting on sofa

Psalm 127 provides invaluable insight into God’s heart for families. They are familiar verses most Christian parents have heard or read countless times:

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.

3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.

Adrian Peterson: A Good Parent?

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Man in thought

Adrian Peterson was back in court yesterday, but the USA Today headline from last week jumped out at me:

“Associates of Adrian Peterson only see evidence of ‘a good parent’”

The embattled former Minnesota Vikings star running back was indefinitely suspended last month after charges of child abuse against him were made public. He’s admitted to disciplining his son with a switch, although he suggests he never intended to harm the boy.

The pictures of the bruises suggests a much different and sordid story.

“The Cosby Show” versus “Modern Family”

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Silhouette of Happy Family and Dog

As you know, the term “rose-colored glasses” is used to describe someone who sees the world in an optimistic fashion. It provides a good word-picture because the lens we use to see the world certainly impacts how we perceive it.

In the same way, our worldview influences how we see culture and life around us.

In today’s broadcast, we’re featuring a conversation I recently had with John Stonestreet, who works as the executive director of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

Parenting a “Glorious Act of Chaos”

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Most parents can agree with the following two statements:

We love our kids
Our kids can test our patience

Part of it is simply the paradoxical nature of the role. Busy lives, hectic schedules, strong personalities colliding – it all works together to make parenting a “glorious act of chaos,” as Bill Farrel, one of today’s broadcast guests, aptly described it.

Yet, we also know that, without clear leadership and a plan, home life can spiral out of control and become crazier than it needs to be.

The Four Best Places to Raise Your Kids

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Family home

MONEY magazine recently released its list of “Best Places to Live in America” for 2014, and Castle Rock, Colo., a town just north of Colorado Springs, was number four on the list.

How do they determine which cities make the top ten?

MONEY starts with 781 cities and whittles down the list by looking at factors such as median family income, racial diversity, quality of education, economic opportunity, and even the residents’ level of happiness.

That got me to thinking.

Talking to Your Daughter About Puberty

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Preteen girl

I have two boys, Trent and Troy. It was challenging enough for me as a dad to have “the talk” with them (and all the other related conversations along the way), so I admit that I cringe a bit when I think about the parents who have to broach these subjects with their girls. For some reason, it seems like a conversation on puberty might be a bit more complicated with a daughter.

For example, girls have to deal with the unrealistic expectations placed on them to look a certain way.

Guest Post: Is Spanking Child Abuse?

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Upset toddler boy

It seems like, more and more, the use of spanking as a form of child discipline is being questioned by parents. Focus on the Family recently had an opportunity to address the issue in TIME Ideas. Dr. Jared Pingleton, the director for our counseling department, wrote the piece. –JD

Spanking Can Be an Appropriate Form of Child Discipline

NFL running back Adrian Peterson’s recent arrest for allegedly abusing his 4-year-old son has once again sparked the debate over whether spanking is an appropriate form of discipline.

How to Overcome the Potty-Training Woes

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It’s one of those lighthearted list-type articles that make for fun reading:

NPR’s recent “Global Parenting Habits That Haven’t Caught On In the U.S.” shows just how much culture impacts childrearing. I can only imagine that most American parents’ jaws will drop at the second item on the list – a claim that Vietnamese parents potty-train their babies by 9 months.

9 months?

Pretty hard to believe, yes? Apparently the secret lies in the Pavlov-like trick of whistling when the baby starts going to the bathroom.

Are Youth Sports Coddling Our Kids?

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Two children watching a sports practice

You’ve likely seen the nostalgia-laced posts comparing life as a kid “back then” to life today, from school to the playground and everywhere in between.

For example, a recent list contrasted a 1970s school lunch with the typical fare of a child in 2014:

1970s: “Spread yellow mustard on bread. Slap baloney on bread. Unwrap American cheese slices and put on top of baloney. Put top on sandwich and wrap sandwich in tin foil or wax paper.