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On Being a Good Dad: Mimetic Desire, Toys, and How Not to Love Your Neighbor

I consider myself to be a good dad. And that’s where the problem began. One of the main reasons that I consider myself to be a good dad is that I buy my children really cool toys…that I get to play with… Well, a few years ago I bought them a toy rocket with a launch pad. When I…err…I mean *they*…stomp on the pad the rocket launches 50 feet in the air! My status as a “good dad” increased last year when I bou ...

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Out of the Mouths of Babes: Sophie Saves God

“Teach your children well.” The words to this simple, beautiful song have been on a continuous loop in my head recently, perhaps due to my first-born daughter, Sophie, starting kindergarten! She’s growing up so fast! And like all parents, I sometimes wonder how well I am teaching her, how well I am preparing her for the challenges and transitions she will face in life. Most especially, I wonder and ponder a ...

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Rock, Paper, Scissors … GOD! – Children and a Nonviolent Reading of the Bible

Last April, my family moved to Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is located in Linn County. This is all you need to know that important fact: Linn County is the “Grass Seed Capital of the [FREAKIN] World.” Guess who is allergic grass seed? Yeah, that’s right. Me. My face has been a hideous mess of goopy sludge emanating from my nose and eyes. I’ve tried everything soothe my pain. Claritin. Allegra. Zyrtec. Nothing wor ...

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Everything You Need to Know About God You Learned from “Jesus Loves Me”

Preschoolers are cute. That’s my self-evident, undeniable thesis. Churches know this is true better than anyone else. Some churches even have a children’s sermon, where kids run up to the front of the sanctuary and the pastor asks them questions about faith. A discussion ensues and we are amazed at the darndest theological observations that children will make. We don’t have a children’s sermon at my church. ...

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Saved from Violence Part 1: A response to the Newtown tragedy

“Guns are why we’re free in this country, and people lose sight of that when tragedies like this happen.” Scott Ostrosky, Newtown resident, owner of informal shooting range, as quoted in the New York Times. “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.” President Obama, speaking at a Newtown, CT prayer vigil In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, CT on Friday, w ...

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How Praise Fails Your Child

Madeline Levine’s article in this week’s New York Times Sunday Magazine “Raising Successful Children” about the risks of overparenting is incredibly insightful and I’d like to offer a supporting anecdote from my days as a Montessori preschool teacher. In my teacher training course, the instructor gave this odd bit of advice: do not praise the children. Don’t praise them when they show you their artwork or c ...

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Good Friday, Superheroes, and Blueberry Stains

The Boys at breakfast. That's a blueberry stained face. As breakfast continued, so did the stain, as you will see below. It’s Holy Week, so I thought that when the opportunity presented itself, I’d talk with the Boys (ages 5 and 3) about Good Friday and the death of Jesus. Opportunity came this morning at breakfast. “Dad.” Began the oldest Boy. “What days do we have school this week?” “Every day except for ...

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Praying Santa

  This video is for parents looking for a positive way to connect Santa Claus to the Christmas story. If your child is young enough to believe in Santa Claus, this video will help you handle Santa's naughty or nice list and your child's Christmas present wish list. Santa can be a wonderful example of what the love and joy of Christmas is all about. ...

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Parenting Matters – No! I Want That Batman!!!

“Why are you fighting?” I asked as I ran into their room. The Youngest replied, “He's not sharing!” The Oldest exclaimed, “I had it first!” “Why do you want it?” I asked the Youngest. “Because he has it!” Silly, isn’t it?  They just woke up and already were in a fight.  This time it was over the tiny Batman toy shown above.  I’ll be honest with you – I’ve seen a lot of toys in my 32 years, and this is one o ...

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