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Unless We Change: Children Lead the Way to Peace

"Unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom heaven." (Matt 18:3) Jesus spoke these words as a response to a question from his disciples. Which of us, they demanded to know, was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus must have been struck by the contrast between his rivalrous disciples, so-called friends bickering and vying for attention, and the children who were playin ...

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Mother’s Day Book Feature Friday: It Runs In The Family by Frida Berrigan

I am a stay-at-home mom, and I consider myself an aspiring peacemaker. It often feels like a strange, paradoxical life. At any given moment, when my mind is filled with the major challenges of the 21st-century world – a constant “war on terror,” environmental degradation, racism, sexism, and homophobia in all of their violent manifestations – my hands are filled with a squirming toddler demanding, and deser ...

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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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Parenting Confessions: God, Rivalry, and College Football

My family recently moved to Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is probably best known for the University of Oregon Ducks football team. Having moved from Chicago, I know that the Ducks are loved throughout the country for their high powered offense and flamboyant football jerseys. Here in Eugene people are obsessed with the Quack Attack. Nearly every car has a University of Oregon bumper sticker, almost everyone wears ...

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Book Feature Friday: Mickey Mouse, Mimetic Theory, and Saving a Villain

As a parent dedicated to mimetic theory, I know that the stories we tell our children pattern them in certain ways. Children have a remarkable capacity to learn not only reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also how to relate to others. Stories are particularly influential tools that teach children how to do just that. Of course, their learning potential can be patterned in relating to others in violent wa ...

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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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Why Rewards Backfire with Children: Advice for Teachers and Parents

What impact does grading or rewarding our children for their school work have on their motivation to learn? There’s a wide range of thought on whether or not external rewards motivate kids to do well. But I am a Montessori pre-school directress, and so I am firmly in the camp of those against using external rewards. Here are my reasons. According to Dr. Maria Montessori, children are born with an intrinsic ...

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The Hellish Dream of a Parent: Why CS Lewis Was Wrong about Hell and Free Will

At five years old, my middle child has developed a defiant pattern. A typical day runs like this: It’s time to get dressed. No. It’s time to put on your shoes. No. It’s time to go to school. No. It’s time to eat dinner. No. It’s time to go to bed. No. His defiance has apparently nestled its way into my subconscious because I dreamt about it last night. We were visiting my childhood house. My son was in our ...

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