Hey, it’s not too late to enter to win a FREE copy of “Sons of Grace!”  Comment on Friday’s post to get entered!

Here we are, the topic that really inspired this whole series on parenting for me.

See, my wife and I have sat in the waiting rooms where people go when nature needs some help making babies.  And there’s always these helpful pamphlets sitting around offering all kinds of “counseling.”

Counseling?  Sounds helpful!  Though I just can’t decipher what “genetic counseling” means.  But it looks so promising.  Look at those happy couples in the pamphlet with their perfect baby.  And there are hundreds of tests that we can opt for, before and during pregnancy, which promise to help us make “informed” decisions.

And look at that, the pamphlet even promises that we can wipe out Down’s Syndrome, through the magic of science!

What prospective parent would choose to be uninformed?  And what parent would choose for their kid to have Down’s Syndrome?  It sounds so promising, but maybe in a George Orwell dystopian nightmare kind of way.

The pamphlets and tests and medical advice are so commonplace, I don’t really know what to do.  So I asked for some help to sort things out.

Continue Reading…

Happy Friday everyone.

Today, we’re taking a short break from Parenting Month to bring you the chance to win a free copy of a great book, Sons of Grace.  It’s made up of the stories of ten tough men who found Jesus.  There are some incredibly redemptive stories here, like the guy who went from an abusive home to being an “enforcer” in a bike gang, to finding Christ.  There’s a sniper, a cancer patient, and even the author himself, Mark Hughes, an obsessive career ladder climber (read: corporate tool).

Yes, there are some tough, gut-wrenching stories and language.  But they are all true and need to be shared.  And none of the situations you will read about are tougher than the grace of God.  The book perfectly illustrates how God still penetrates the toughest hearts.  You need to read this book.

Fortunately for you, I’ve got a great Q and A with Mark Hughes, who has generously provided ten copies for giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered to win!

Continue Reading…

Parenting Month: Role Models

February 22, 2012

Kids need heroes.  They need role models.

And our culture has no shortage of role models.  I don’t think there’s an application to fill out or an interview process to become some kid’s role model.  There’s no certificate.  You just become one.

The problem with that system is that all kinds of people are running around, being role models, who have absolutely no business being looked up to by young children.

Simple question today: who is your kid’s hero?  You probably won’t like the answer.

Continue Reading…

The journey into parenting continues, and today we’re discussing a topic near and dear to me: education.  And it’s fitting, since there’s no school today.

I have a passion for teaching children and education’s power to change lives.  The problem is that education is America is failing.  Our kids are still kind of stupid when they graduate.

So it can be a daunting task for parents to decide (if they have a choice) where to send the kids to school.   To a public school, where they might lose their souls?  To private school, where you can break the bank?  Or to homeschool, where children will be socially handicapped forever?  Can a child thrive in any school environment if the parents don’t have any other options?

I got a few people who know a thing or two about education to help me out.  Turns out, maybe the choices aren’t all that grim.

Continue Reading…

Parenting Month: Story Time

February 17, 2012

If there’s one thing everyone likes, it’s a good story.

And if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s what is typically marketed to children as “literature” or “entertainment.”

Children’s literature and television are, for the most part, abysmal.  The average children’s cartoon is an assault to the senses composed of cheap animation, lousy voice acting, asinine writing and Elmo.  Most children’s books don’t fare any better.  To most people, the children’s market is an excuse to insult the customer with shoddy work.  Why?  Because kids “don’t know any better.”

I detest this, because kids deserve better.  I love authors who care enough to put love into something, even if it’s just for kids.  Put quality in front of kids, and they learn to recognize and appreciate it.  And working in a school and tutoring kids, I’ve always kept an eye out for the best books that should be on every kids’ bookshelf.

I’ve got my picks here (complete with handy Amazon links.)  Read through and tell me what else my future kids just have to read!

Continue Reading…

Today, I’m continuing my odyssey into parenting, and today, we’re exploring a very special kind of Mom and Dad.

Everyone knows the term “helicopter parent.”

Those are the Mommies and Daddies that hover around the baby birdies constantly.  They have a reputation for being…overprotective, to put it mildly.  They were first noticed by teachers several years ago, and their pervasive habit of making teachers’ jobs miserable with constant phone calls and conferences.  But people thought they would grow out of it when the kids turned 18 and went to college.

They didn’t.  The hovering parents followed their kids to college, calling up professors, making demands, and generally being a huge pain.  But it was okay, because everyone thought the parents would grow out of it when their kids graduated college and got jobs.

They didn’t.

Grab your blankies and read on.  Tell me if you think it’s time the helicopter parents finally grew up.

Continue Reading…