Are overprotective parents HURTING their children?

boy at adventure park

Last week, my 11-year old son asked if he could use my 18-inch chainsaw to clear dead trees out of our shelterbelt. In the deepest voice he could muster, he stated, “I’ve got that little hatchet you gave me, Dad... but it’s not quite cutting it.” (Not sure if the pun was intended.)One of the reasons we moved to "the farm" (2.39 acres) five years ago was so that our children could have a childhood outdoors, building forts, climbing trees, hunting rabbits, and reading books on blankets in the b … [Read more...]

Video of the aftermath of Heartland EFC’s fire

child firetruck

This past week, just five days after the fire, I met with a 5-year old girl to talk about the fire. Her room in the church was one of the places that burned, and she was having a hard time understanding how fire had permanently damaged that familiar space. We looked at photos of the room, and tried to help her express her feelings about the black smoke on her toy kitchen and the missing ceiling tiles.My own 9-year old daughter, three days after the fire, on the way back from a family dinner … [Read more...]

Clash of Clans and other portals of predation

ghostly lap top

My daughter recently learned the word "b*tch" from a stranger named John.Around 50,000 sexual predators are trolling the internet each day looking for a way to connect with our children. My kids were playing the popular video game Clash of Clans recently when a player named “John” requested to join their “clan,” or chat group. I had no idea that Clash of Clans had a chat feature. Not that my kids were being sneaky, they weren’t. This was a free game and I gave them permission to download it a … [Read more...]

Bored by too much to do

The girl with notebook

"I'm bored, Mom. Give me something to do!"The woman standing behind me at the checkout line of the hardware store handed her son her smartphone, and said, "Here...play with this."Children seem to be growing up bored today. And not because there is less to do, but because there are too many over-stimulating options. As a father (with a smartphone) of three kids (who all want smartphones), I think a lot about what I’m passing on to my children. A conversation with a friend recently drove t … [Read more...]

Can Saying “Yes” Create Bullies?

Young girl looking upset

I say no a lot as a parent. My son asked if he could watch the Broncos game with friends on Sunday. “Not tonight, Bud.” A few moments later, my 8-year-old daughter, the breadaholic, asked if she could have a third dinner roll. “Nope.” Later, all three of our kids asked if they could stay up late. “Not going to happen. Love you.”I'm not an ogre...I do also say yes quite a bit. The amount of requests I field every day gives me ample opportunities to employ both responses. But the point is: I’m … [Read more...]

Helping Children Through National Tragedies

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“Did you hear that children my age probably died in that tornado today, Daddy?”Those were the first words out of my eight-year-old daughter’s mouth when I got home from work last night.I can’t imagine what it must be like to grow up in a day so filled with tragedy AND instant media coverage. When I was eight, I felt stressed about parent-teacher conferences, a bully at my school named Curtis, and selling Babe Ruth candy bars to raise money for my baseball team. My children are growing up … [Read more...]


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