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Why You Should Pray Like a Six Year Old Boy

It was a proud moment in the Ericksen household. The five of us sat down for lunch and my six-year-old Boy said, Let’s pray. This is every pastor’s dream. Usually I have to coerce people into prayer. Now my Boy is offering to pray. With great pride and a smile on my face I said, Yes my Son. Will you lead us in prayer? He took a pensive moment and agreed. We bowed our heads, closed our eyes, and then … this ...

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God of Carnage: From the Schoolyard to the Killing Fields

What’s the connection between a suburban schoolyard brawl in which an eleven year old boy gets two teeth knocked out and the Darfur genocide? That’s the question raised by the play, God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza. In its current excellent staging at AstonRep in Chicago, the intimate theater with a thirty seat capacity brings the audience right into the living room of the play where two polite, middle-class ...

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Parenting Dilemma: Two Brothers and One Girlfriend

A fascinating thing happened as I drove my children home last night. Brayden, my 5 year old, teased Gavin, my 4 year old. Okay. I’ll admit that’s not fascinating. Children – especially my own! – tease each other all the time. But I swear something fascinating did happen. And the story starts like this: As we entered our driveway, my children noticed “Ba-Ba” pulling weeds from her yard. “Ba-Ba” is what they ...

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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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Parenting: Power Struggles, Detox, and Flying Applesauce

Seriously. An elephant wearing shades. That shirt exudes awesomeness. What five year old boy wouldn’t want to wear it? My five year old Boy. During the last two weeks the Boy, the Wife, and I have developed a morning ritual. The Wife picks out clothes for the Boy. Then She leaves for work. I proceed to get the Children dressed, at which point the Boy refuses to put on his awesome-elephant-with-shades-t-shir ...

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Who’s Your Daddy? In Search of Identity

It’s a long flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Atlanta, Georgia. About 16 hours. And I still wasn’t done. Another flight stared me down. And I stared right back. Confident that I could take the hour-and-a-half flight from Atlanta to Chicago, I boarded the plane and soon arrived home. Just in time for Father’s Day. My wife and three children picked me up at O’Hare. I gotta say, there is nothing more f ...

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Parenting Advice to Prevent A.D.D.

Do you have or know a child with an attention deficit disorder diagnosis? Then you are probably aware that the standard approach to diagnosing and treating A.D.D. is being seriously challenged by long term studies and neuroscientific discoveries. If you have been doing your best to cope with an A.D.D. child, this news may trigger a complicated range of emotions, everything from joy that there might be new h ...

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Parenting FAIL: Power Struggles

The Wife left.  She left and I was all alone … with our two Boys … NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Okay.  They might look like angels in their Christmas shirt and tie, but you know there’s gonna be trouble whenever a Dad (especially this Dad) is left with his two Boys. The Wife had to leave early this morning for a business trip.  She was out the door by 7:15 with hugs, kisses, and goodbyes.  Then the door shut.  I walked ...

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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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