Cribs and Cell Phones?

November 30, 2007

Al Mohler has another intriguing, and downright frightening, commentary today on preschoolers and technology. Apparently children as young as two years of age are asking, and getting, cell phones and laptops for Christmas….

Click here for entire commentary

Elves?

November 29, 2007

Click here to see the women that I work with at First Kids

Al Mohler’s blog features a fascinating article that was in TIME Magazine about atheists who send their children to “Sunday School.” More and more atheists, although they are dwindling in number, are trying to inoculate their children to self-centered and anti-God thinking by teaching them “atheist values.”

Click here for the article

Snippets:

“The Palo Alto Sunday family program uses music, art and discussion to encourage personal expression, intellectual curiosity and collaboration. One Sunday this fall found a dozen children up to age 6 and several parents playing percussion instruments and singing empowering anthems like I’m Unique and Unrepeatable, set to the tune of Ten Little Indians, instead of traditional Sunday-school songs like Jesus Loves Me. Rather than listen to a Bible story, the class read Stone Soup, a secular parable of a traveler who feeds a village by making a stew using one ingredient from each home.”

“Down the hall in the kitchen, older kids engaged in a Socratic conversation with class leader Bishop about the role persuasion plays in decision-making. He tried to get them to see that people who are coerced into renouncing their beliefs might not actually change their minds but could be acting out of self-preservation–an important lesson for young atheists who may feel pressure to say they believe in God.”

Flu Shot

November 27, 2007

041026_flushots_hmed_5phmedium.jpgMy son, Jackson, was diagnosed with the flu yesterday. Thankfully, he is already doing better. He did not have the flu shot but the doctor said that they have seen 5 babies this week who came down with the flu and had already RECEIVED the flu shot. Apparently, they guessed wrong on the way the virus would mutate this year.

Check out my wife’s blog for how she is treating it.

Who got flu shots this year?

Click here for part 2 in this great series

Snippets:

“In my experience, Christian women tend to fall into one of two patterns of wrong thinking. The first group of women have developed their idea of the Ideal Christian Woman, using their own talents and giftedness as the model. Then they secretly admire themselves because they keep this standard and subtly pressure their Christian sisters to maintain their standard of the Ideal Christian Woman. The second group of women have developed their idea of the Ideal Christian Woman not from their own strengths but from the Christian sisters they know that seem to have it all together. This second group of women keeps trying and failing to fully live up to this standard and feel constant frustration and condemnation within themselves because of it.”

“What is our identity in Jesus? Well, He is the Head and we are His Body. He is the Vine and we are His branches. We are supernaturally connected to Him and desperately dependent on Him for any hope of fruitful ministry at church, home, or the workplace.”

Never underestimate the value of reading the Bible, or Bible stories, with your children. Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, presents 10 suggestions for maximizing the reading experience for school-age children.

Click here to read his suggestions.

Here are a few of his suggestions that I really took to heart:

4. Place the story in its context within God’s plan and within the Bible. Help children to understand how every word of the Bible is fulfilled in Christ and finds its meaning within God’s plan to redeem His people from sin.

5. Recognize that many of the stories of the Bible teach a clear moral lesson — a lesson that children clearly need to learn and take to heart. At the same time, recognize that these accounts are never merely morality tales. Point your child to the big picture.

6. Never read down to your children, treating them as dull. Instead, give them a substantial story, lay out the narrative, and then trust that they will want to learn and to push themselves toward understanding. Then, be the human agent of that understanding by explaining the story with patience, creativity, and insight based in the fact that you know both the story and the child or children hearing it.

9. Ask older children to help with the reading and to grow accustomed both to reading for themselves and to reading aloud. There is much too little reading of the Bible aloud to the congregation in many churches. Let the recovery of reading aloud the Word of God begin in your home.

Why don’t you start a new family tradition tonight of reading the Scriptures to your children?

23207714.jpgTripp turns his attention in chapter seven to that of discarding unbiblical methods of discipline. He lists several unbiblical methods and discusses the problems inherent in each:

1. “I didn’t turn out so bad” – Some say, “My dad yelled at me. He knocked me around once in a while. I didn’t like it, but I turned out okay.” Many parents unuestioningly employ whatever method their parents employed, whether its biblical or not.

2. Pop Psychology – Some parents resort to bribery or even draw up contracts for their children. Tripp states, “The point of appeal in bribery is crass self-interest. Bribery latches on to evil in the child’s heart and uses it as motivation. The child is not taught to look out for the interests of others. The child learns nothing about being under authority because God is God and the parent is his agent…they are only concerned with the instances of behavior…the heart is not being trained in biblical motives or goals.” (Tripp, 61).

3. Behavior Modification – “Since the heart and behavior are so closely linked, whatever modifies behavior inevitably trains the heart. The heart is trained to greedy self-interest and obtaining rewards. The point of appeal is to Junior’s greed.” (Tripp, 61).

4. Emotionalism – “A young girl in my acquaintance is routinely shamed with threats about her actions spoiling her father’s reputation as a community leader. The appeal is not to obey for the glory of God. Rather, it is an emotion-laden shaming for putting her father’s credibility at risk by her unaccpetable behavior.” (Tripp, 63).

5. Punitive Correction – “Grounding is perhaps the most popular form of privation. Children are grounded from their bikes, the phone, from going outside, the TV, from other children…the problem here is that none of the issues that caused the poor behavior for which he is grounded are being addressed…grounding is not corrective. He is learning to cope with grounding, but his character flaws are not addressed…Grounding is easy…it does not require ongoing discussion. it does not assess what is going on inside the child. It does not require patient instruction and entreaty.” (Tripp, 64-65)

6. Eratic Eclecticism – This is trying a varity of approaches. All this does is confuse the parents and the child.

What direction does the Bile give us for dealing with these issues? The next chapter addresses those questions.