What I’ve Learned About Intentional Parenting

When I arrived early at my daughter’s basketball game, I figured this might allow us some quality time together before everyone else arrived. Needless to say, teammates were already in the stadium and I was promptly directed to a lonely ‘parent bench’ on the other side of the court. It reminded me just how intentional our parenting impact needs to be in the small window of opportunity we are have before other influences seem to take over. What does this look like? Continue reading

Six Factors That Make Change Inevitable

The New York Times bestselling book, Influencer, presents Joseph Grenny’s helpful research into leading change in any community, church, club, workplace or family. The summary version is available via the 2017 Global Leadership Summit (which can be ordered along with the discounted book until stock runs out). Grenny states that successful influencers ‘overdetermine’ change by purposefully focusing on six factors that make it inevitable. Continue reading

How to Love People Just Like Mum Does

Does a mother have a favourite child? It has been said that she does: whichever child needs her the most at any one time. Mums are experts at making the world seem to stop for a child as they zone in on their needs, make their world a better place and love them unconditionally. This is all while managing a household, a job, other kids, or countless other priorities. Those who say there is no such thing as multi-tasking, only switch-tasking, clearly haven’t met many mothers in full flight. Our mums actually teach us a few important principles for better care of people we love in just about any area of life. Continue reading

Why Dads Matter to Kids’ Spirituality

Ross-Group-consider-a-trust-to-protect-your-assetsSome interesting Swiss research was published in 2000 (by Haug and Wanner) on the importance of men in their children’s spiritual journey. The take-home is timeless and its applicability is relevant in any country. The statistics clearly showed that it is the spiritual practice of a father that significantly predicts the church attendance of his children when they become adults, demonstrating this with actions which speak louder than words. Continue reading

Three Keys to Conquering Fear

FearSixteen years ago, the world was in a panic over the Y2K bug. Computer clocks were not going to be able to cope with the new millennial date and the resulting havoc would bring almost apocalyptic disaster in ‘the year two thousand’. It seems almost laughable now, but people were stockpiling groceries, water and fuel; all because a Pentium III couldn’t read! Fear so often rules our thought processes and decisions, but many of the larger than life concerns over what we think may happen to us need objectivity in the present and not just with the passage of time. Here are a few important steps to conquering fear. Continue reading

Sacrificing on the Altar of Family

helpinghands-1024x675Many a family has experienced the absent parent and latchkey kid phenomenon, albeit often out of necessity. In reality, many families seem to do life better today than ever, after recognising many past examples of distant, distracted or driven mums and dads. Many parents have now reduced extraneous commitments to spend quality and quantity time with their children. In some cases, though, there has been an overcorrection at the expense of volunteerism. Whereas people used to sacrifice family on the altar of serving, they now sacrifice serving on the altar of family. Continue reading

Totalitarian School Yards

Young kids are ready for school. Education, family, learningParents often feel the weight of their kids’ shrinking worlds. We have so many schools preaching more tolerance than ever before, whilst kids nevertheless feel the intolerance of their peers if in minority groups. These relate to opinions more than ethnicity, today; social conditioning (and social media) influences opinions more than we often care to admit. Continue reading

Cultivating Confidence – Part 2

confidentTo promote confidence in children needs us to avoid wrapping them in cotton wool. Instead, we want to shape some healthy people skills in an age-appropriate way. It is often helpful to have your children’s friends around (or to find ways of helping out at their school or sports club) so that you can hopefully see first-hand what they are facing. But that’s not always possible, so here are some more suggestions for what can be done at home to assist in making kids more resilient. Continue reading

Cultivating Confidence – Part 1

confidentOne of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is confidence. Though it often takes maturity to ensure this doesn’t become arrogance, it is incredibly important for children to be comfortable in their own skin and to have a healthy pride for who they are, along with the ability to defend or assert their rights without abrasion. Bullying often targets those who are least resilient in the face of life’s pressure moments. Here’s a few keys that I have found helpful for shaping resilience in children. Continue reading

‘Can-Do’ Spirituality with Kids

bible dadIt can often seem as if the task of providing spiritual leadership to children is daunting for Christian parents. When time-poor mums and dads are a little hazy on some classic stories of the Bible and feel ill-equipped to step up, it is simpler and less awkward to back off and then understandably hope that others will fill the gap. What I have found, though, is that self-imposed expectations of grand discipleship plans are not realistic or achievable, anyway. It is better to look at what we can do than to be side-tracked by what we can’t do. Here are a few tips that work for me. Continue reading