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Category Archives: Parenting Young Children


Meeting in the Middle

When children are born, marital conflict often escalates. Every marriage has conflict but when responsibility is added, such as a new baby, conflict often increases. In the excitement of a new baby we can forget that this stage of life is quite a transition. Apart from talking about the baby, we must continue to take care of our marriage and have open communication regarding role changes, the division of tasks, and financial concerns.

There are a few keys we need to remember when conflicts arise. Remember that tolerance, willingness to try new things, and not always winning or being right is highly important in resolving issues. Try to be considerate of the other and meet in the middle.  Be willing to be wrong even if you believe that you are right. Accept or give that touch of affection even when you don’t want to. Allow the other equal time to speak.

Conflict is inevitable. Though, how the conflict is handled is generally more impacting than the actual resolution. Be willing to take the time to handle it properly. Remember, the fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). When we let the Spirit grow these fruits in our lives, we can utilize them to diffuse conflict and keep communication open.

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New friendships are great! It is so much fun to find people we connect with almost instantly! A real friendship, however, is tested when there is a disagreement or an occurrence that results in one of us getting hurt. That moment is when we have to decide if we are going to hold onto offence or practice forgiveness.

Forgiveness is realizing that the relationship is more important than whatever the disagreement point was. We would need to lean into the relationship even if we don’t want to and determine to let go of any hurt we may be feeling. It is not always easy to let go of an offense, but with the Holy Spirit working in us every day, we get there.

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One of the best things in life is a great chat. We connect with people we love, share our days, our hopes and our dreams and enjoy life together. This gift of connection is from God and is cultivated from childhood. Parents who talk with their kids set them up for success. It can be easy in these times to reduce a chat to a quick text message or phone call, but as parents, we can go a step further! We can develop a healthy habit of communication in our family by simply talking. We can talk to our children about God, about life, school, friends, whatever we want. These simple and easy chats can build a strong foundation of not only communication skills but also of love and trust so that, when life gets tricky, our kids will feel comfortable coming to talk to us.

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(excerpt from Little Shakers)

As a pastor I watch people move from church to church for many different reasons. Some moves are worthwhile, such as relocations for career advancement. However, many moves are because of disappointment or bitterness toward the church. We all face these times of disappointment, and we do not want to instill these messages of bitterness or disillusionment into our children. Many parents would say that they want to raise children that love God and His church, but by moving from church to church they send a message to their children that church commitment really isn’t a priority. Their love becomes conditional and intolerant. They simply forget that the church is truly God’s people – His ecclesia – His called out ones who are not perfect, but human and flawed just like everyone else.

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Emotional Parenting

When our child is upset, we can want to do whatever we can to help them feel better. Emotions can skew our judgment, especially in regards to our children. My son Jake often wanted to quit something he had started because he was emotionally upset. He wasn’t that good at the sport he signed up for or he was struggling in a math class. His fear of failure would bring him to tears, and I, as his mom, would want to calm his fears and do what was best for him.

Parents can teach their children wisdom by making them finish what they started. Jake wanted to quit because it was too hard; we made him see his commitments to the end before deciding on what to do next. You see, emotions make it hard to make a rational decision. If I let my son quit because he was upset in the moment, he would not learn how to fulfill his commitments nor learn if he really needed to change or not.

Wisdom helps us to wait out our emotions and make a good decision. We will always encounter difficult times in life. How we handle our emotions in these moments can make or break us. We can teach our children to be successful by teaching them to move past their emotions. With Jake, it was having him finish what he started. Though it was hard—and we did determine that he needed to change to an easier math class—Jake felt the pride and self-satisfaction that comes with a job well done. His character was built because we, as his parents, did not allow him to live by his emotions alone.

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