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Parenting

Has Your Teenager OutGrown Having a “Lights-Out” Time?

By | Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
Has your teenager outgrown having a “lights-out” time? In a word, “no.”

Of course, as your kid starts becoming an adult, it might seem “not cool” to set bedtime guidelines.  But, let’s face it, most of us have given up on being a “cool” parent some time ago.

Here’s why you should care about your 15-year-old’s bedtime routines:

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Wise, Foolish, and Evil People – How Can You Tell the Difference?

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Years ago, Dr. Henry Cloud introduced me to the idea that there are three kinds of people in this world: wise, foolish, and evil. I love that observation! It comes straight from the book of Proverbs where the Bible outlines the difference between each of these life paths. The wise person is headed for a bright and exciting future, the fool a life of hardship and frustration, and the evil person a fittingly disastrous and tragic end.

This is very important for those of us who parent, coach, lead teams, supervise, hire, fire, or are in any other type of authority role. We need to be able to quickly recognize the difference between these life patterns, because they massively impact the future of our families, teams, and organizations. Read More

the “Believer”

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Henry Ford changed the world.  He didn’t invent the automobile, but he figured out how to design, build, and mass-produce one that America could afford and wanted to drive.

He was undeniably brilliant, with a mind that seemed to be custom-built for the industrial age.  He was at once an inventor, designer, and production engineer.  If he hadn’t been a dreamer as well, he might have ended up just another cog in the fast-growing machine of industry.  But in the early days of Ford’s adult life, he did have a dream.  A big one.

When not at work, he spent endless hours in a little garage in which he and a few friends endlessly tinkered and experimented with the technologies they believed could combine to create a working prototype vehicle.  In those days, Ford was just another hobbyist, playing around with the dream of building a car.  He was not the billionaire captain of industry that we now think of when we think of Ford.  He was not internationally respected as a pioneer of mechanics.  He was just a man spending his evening hours mucking around in oil and grease, trying out ideas that might or might not lead to something. Read More

But Dad Said…

By | Authors and Books, Communication, Conflict, Kids, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Little Suzy asks her mother if she can have an ice cream sandwich before dinner.  Her mother says no.  In her motherly wisdom, she intuits that ice cream before dinner equals a child with no appetite for steamed broccoli.  Little Suzy is not happy with mom’s response, so she finds dad, who is in the middle of watching Monday night football.

She asks her dad if she can have the ice cream sandwich.  He, not being quite as aware of the potential nutritional apocalypse, and trying not to be distracted from the play action, says yes. Read More

What I Learned About Parenting from an Invisible Gorilla

By | Communication, Conflict, Kids, Life Challenges, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | 2 Comments
I was watching TV the other night, paying attention to a documentary on a subject that I don’t even really care about, when my wife stepped between me and the big screen.  “Jonathan, Cheyenne’s been trying to get your attention… she’s called you twice.”

It turns out that my daughter had gone to her room, retrieved a craft that she had completed earlier in the day, brought it upstairs where I was watching TV, stood well within my line of site, said “Hey dad…” two times, and the truth is I didn’t hear her.  I didn’t even see her.  I was too absorbed in what I was watching. Read More

When You Can’t Afford a Full-Time Maid – A Better Approach to the Housework Fight

By | Conflict, Kids, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
So your wife suggests to you that you should maybe help with stacking the dishwasher or vacuuming the floor and you tell her you will.

Hours later you’re watching one of your favorite shows, having completely forgotten your promise to contribute to the household chores and you hear the ominous sound of the vacuum cleaner turning on.  You also hear the theme song from Jaws at the same time—but that might just be in your head.

You jump up and head for the dishwasher… at least if you stack that quickly, you will have kept 50% of your promise.  But, alas, she has stacked it already.  Oh yeah; she’s that good.

You know that there will be some tension now because of this.  “You aren’t helping”… whatever that means. Read More

Five Tips to Help Your Family Survive Social Media

By | Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
“Dear Facebook, I want my life back.”  I saw this post show up on my news feed a couple of years ago.  I honestly can’t remember who posted it, but it’s pretty profound, don’t you think?

I’m 33, which means I’m just old enough to have watched the social media craze evolve from a clumsy and somewhat disorganized venture to a multi-billion dollar, technically mind-boggling machine.  And perhaps, like me, you’re growing just a bit wary of what the long-term effects of this will be.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, I maintain pages on both Facebook and Twitter, but like any communication and entertainment platform, there are risks.  I could go into detail here, talking about the kinds of outcomes I’ve seen in those who’ve not set healthy limits with social media… outcomes like social media addiction, reduced work effectiveness, strained family relationships, diminished drive, disconnection from friends… and, of course, the list goes on.  But you already know this.  And I won’t bore you with more details and specifics.  The research is certainly out there if you’re interested.

The key question is: if you choose to engage with social media, as most of us will, how can you maintain healthy boundaries so that you don’t find yourself telling a computer you want your life back?  Here are a few thoughts about how you can do that. Read More