Parenting And Family Therapy Category

Teaching Kids: To Know God

Parents may at times feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of teaching their children about all there is to know about being a human being, no the less about being a Christian. There is teaching “about” and there is teaching “to blindly believe in; two different things.

When they seek guidance on the subject many just feel further swamped. Relatives and friends are often happy to pass on their suggestions, but is that the version of God you truly want to teach your children? When it comes directly from you the parent you’re more aware of your vocabulary and any innuendo being passed on.

The Bible, on the other hand, provides parents not only reliable counsel on what to teach their children but also direction on how to teach them.

Join us as we look at four Bible-based recommendations for parents to teach their children about God.




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Teaching Kids: To Pray

Teaching children to pray is a vital part of familiarizing them to Jesus and strengthening their relationship with God. Christ gave us prayer so we could connect with him directly. Making children comfortable with prayer helps them to understand that God is always close and available.

Part Two in our series on Teaching Kids: To.... Part One featured Teaching Kids: To Know God.

To listen:

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Back to School & Sleep Depression

Back to School and Sleep Deprivation

With many children returning back to school in the upcoming weeks, one battle that many parents will be facing is getting their children to bed at a decent hour, and waking them before the school bus arrives. Sleep deprivation, especially in children and teens is a serious matter, one that can lead to many short term and long term cognitive and health issues.

Harvard’s Women’s Health posted an article focusing on the six reasons why everyone needs a good nights sleep. (1)
1) Sleep helps the brain commit new knowledge to memory
2) Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and obesity. Children who sleep less than 10 hours a night are 3 times more likely to be overweight.
3) Sleep deprived people are more prone to clumsiness and accidents.
4) Sleep deprivation results in irritability, moodiness, and inability to concentrate.
5) Getting a good nights sleep helps boost the immune system, and may fight off diseases like cancer.
6) Sleep d...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 5

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part four of the series, we discussed ways to balance between short and long term goals in our parenting. In this last section we will examine the issue of our children’s development towards autonomy and ways we can effectively nurture this process.

5. Foster autonomy

• In the teen years it becomes more readily apparent that your kids are not going to be under your roof forever. Some of you are excited about this, and some are broken up about it. But either way, it has been what you have been actually working towards all along: to see your kids grow up.

• Autonomy is a big part of maturity. Autonomy means to be self governing, self directed. Not in the childish sense of – I want my way! But the maturity to make decisions about what is best based on sound principles. Autonomy goes best when paired with responsibility and wisdom.

• But, here’s the rub for most parents. I want my child to mature and become autonomous, but ...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 4

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part three of the series, we took on the difficult challenge of letting go of control. In this section, the topic is managing our short and long-term goals and how keeping these two in balance affects our approach in parenting.

4. Hold Onto Both Short and Long Term Goals

• We all have them: short-term goals, usually being what I want to accomplish right now or today or this week, and long-term goals, usually what I want to accomplish over the next few months or years. Some of these goals we are consciously aware of, and others lie in the back of our minds and surface periodically or when provoked into consciousness by obstacles to their fulfillment. But, whether or not we are aware of them, I believe we are generally purposeful people who are directed by our heart goals. However, sometimes our short-term goals run counter to our long-term ones, and we may not be mindful of how our efforts to address our short-term interests are interfering with our ...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 3

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part two we examined how to deal with negativity in one’s adolescent. Part three is about the parent’s need for control and how to make productive adjustments.
1. Give up Control
• Not many people would label themselves as ‘controlling’. Certainly not when they can put such acceptable and positive terms to it. “I would do anything to help my son”, “I’m just trying to make sure they don’t get into trouble”, “They never would do their homework or their chores if I didn’t remind them”. “They are so lazy”. “My daughter just won’t let up until I let her stay up late, have the newest this or that, etc.”
• Control is not always what you think. Sometimes it is the traditional kind, meaning I believe I am helping you by getting you to do or think what I think you should do or think. Sometimes the form of control is so insidious that it looks like the o...

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5 Tips on Parenting Adolescents: Part 2

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

In part 1, we looked at the influence of stress on our parenting and some ways to relieve and manage it. Here is tip number 2.

2. Examine how you handle negativity

• Here’s a shocking statement: adolescents can be negative sometimes. And dramatic. Or they could demonstrate this by going the other way and withdrawing. And when this happens, what do you usually do? Do you turn negative yourself, getting on their case about their negativity? How does that usually turn out?! Or do you throw up your hands internally and withdraw or avoid them? Most of us have a hard time being around negative people. They drag us down over time, and they resist being cheered up or redirected. So, what are some healthier options?

• First, go back to point one and address your self care and your stress level, so that you can be more present for the person you would like to help and invest in. After all, working with anyone just so you can feel better is a recipe f...

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5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 1

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

Life inherently contains many stressful situations. When you have kids, you multiply the number of stressful situations by a lot, and when they reach adolescence, the number usually goes through the roof. Besides, parenting can be more even challenging if you actually want to do well at it! Meaning you are probably trying hard at it (you are reading an article on parenting after all). You are to be commended. In light of the Olympics, there should be a medal for parenting these days. (In actuality, there is the medal of children who become honorable, virtuous adults). I’d like to offer five broad stroke perspectives that I believe are relevant and helpful for maneuvering through the jungle that is raising adolescents successfully. And successful does not mean just to “survive” it, although it may often feel like that. I know you long for it to be more than just that, and I believe it can be. I’ve broken down the five points into a five...

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I am Stressed About Being Stressed

Is stress causing your child to feel overwhelmed? Check out this review of Susan Kaiser Greenland’s The Mindful Child.

What is Mindfulness: Mindfulness can be described as paying attention to the moment. When I stop to take a break and become aware of my self, my thoughts, my feelings, and my surroundings, I am being mindful. Wikipedia describes mindfulness as a meditative practice that has gained worldwide popularity as a distinctive method to handle emotions. It is when we purposely bring awareness to our experience.

Mindfulness can help your family to not get too caught up in the past or future. It switches our attention to what’s happening in the present helping to reduce emotional reactions such as tantrums or panic. Learning mindfulness can help you or your child gain peacefulness and control as opposed to feeling stressed out.

Review of The Mindful Child: This book offers practical and applicable skills for parents to teach mindfulness to their children. It begins...

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5 Things to Think about When Considering Divorce

5 Things to Think about When Considering Divorce
By Nancy Fagan,

Considering leaving your spouse? You need a solid exit plan. Pre-divorce-planning involves carefully planning out often-overlooked aspects of your life before you announce you’re leaving. In 85 percent of divorces, it is the wife who initiates the divorce. Whether man or woman, if you are in this situation, starting a plan of action now is absolutely necessary. Just because your wife/husband wants everything, including the children, it does not necessarily mean that’s what has to happen. Learn how to get a fair settlement by playing smart and doing certain things that will help your situation tremendously.

Divorce planning is needed for both men and women. With that said, if you’re a woman, preparing in advance is even more important. In fact, most women are in a worse place financially after it’s all said and done. With this said, you don’t have to become a statistic. You have ...

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