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 … [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 … [Read more...]

Fathers…Superheroes or Superzeroes

Dads

“Would you tell me about your dad?” That’s one of my favorite questions to ask another person. Few inquiries surface strong feelings quicker. I’ve had people respond by turning fifty shades of red. Some have sobbed with disappointment. Others have come alive inside, smiling ear to ear as they tell me stories of the strength and compassion of their "old man.” I’ve never had anyone respond weakly to that question. I love the response that Tim Harris gave to NPR Storycorps. … [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 … [Read more...]

Billboard ONLY Child Abuse Victims Can See

Aid To Children And Adolescents At Risk

This group makes me want to buy a Harley-Davidson and fill my closet with leather. Big, bad dudes all dressed up and ready to…protect children. Talk about an important & urgent cause! A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in our country. Approximately 3 million reports are filed every year in the U.S. These 3 million reports add up to about 6 million victims under the age of 18. These statistics, as shocking as they are, do not tell the entire story. Not even close. Most … [Read more...]

Driven By Dreams – Men Living Well

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Excerpt from Man on the Run: Dreaming is easy. The challenge lies in choosing the best dreams. In Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald recounts a conversation he had with his father. “Years ago my father suggested that one of the great tests of human character is found in making critical choices of selection and rejection amidst all of the opportunities that lurk in life’s path. ‘Your challenge,’ he told me, ‘will not be in separating out the good from the bad, but in … [Read more...]

Life Through A 3-Inch Screen

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Our family recently visited Washington, D.C. I had the privilege of opening the House of Representatives in prayer on Thursday, March 14. We stayed in the city for four days, visiting memorials and museums, and eating some phenomenal meals. I love our small town in “the center of it all,” but we don’t have many ethnic restaurants. The Piphers are foodies, so we scheduled our days in such a way that we’d end up near Peruvian chicken, Mongolian beef, or Turkish lamb during the dinner … [Read more...]

Boys to Men: Hip Bar Mitzvah Video

Aidan and his Labrador

I’ve got a 9-year old son who is itching on the inside to become a man. He tries to talk in a deep voice, give advice to everyone, including our pets, and volunteer for all the “heavy lifting” chores around the house. As his dad, I’m trying to think of ways to help him make the transition into manhood in his own mind, as well as in the eyes of our community. I’ve found quite a few ideas so far, such as the Brazilian tribe Satere-Mawe’s tradition of a young man sticking his hand … [Read more...]

“We’ll Pay You Cash For Well-Behaved Kids!”

Well Behaved Kids Discount

Think parenting is a thankless job? Well, think again. Or, better yet…stop thinking and go out to eat at Sogno di Vino, an Italian restaurant in Poulsbo, Washington. Laura and Chris King took their three children out to eat at an upscale Italian restaurant, and when they received their bill they'd been given a “Well Behaved Kids” discount. The restaurant took $4 off the total because they were impressed with the King children, and wanted to express their appreciation toward the … [Read more...]

Clicking Parties and Other Milestones

clicking party

Our youngest daughter, Claire, has had a hard time learning to read. Our first two children took to books like honeybees to flowers, but their sister has had a harder time locating the nectar. Awhile back, my wife, Jamie, told Claire: “If you stick with it and work hard, there will come a time that reading will just click for you.” That statement ignited hope in Claire, and clearly stuck in her mind all day – that night before bed, she said, “Mom, I can’t wait for that clicking … [Read more...]