All posts tagged: Children

George Barna’s ‘four Ms’ for Christian parents

George Barna, who founded the Barna Group, one of America’s best known media research organizations, provided some vital information to Christian parents on how they can limit media’s influence on their children.

Children: COVID trauma vs COVID reality

We have bike paths near our home that I ride regularly. We are outdoors and don’t need to wear masks, and nobody wears them riding or walking the paths. Well almost nobody. The only ones I have seen wearing masks are children. Absolutely ridiculous. If you read the stats, children with no underlying health issues have nothing to fear of COVID. We have had 26,000 COVID deaths in Canada as of June 25, 2021, but only 13 of them were under the age of 19. Breakdown of COVID deaths by age group in Canada as of June 25, 2021: Those over 80 account for 65% of COVID deaths Those over 70 account for 85% of COVID deaths Those over 60 account for 94% of COVID deaths. Those over 50 account for 98% of COVID deaths Those under 50 account for 2% of COVID deaths So why are children so terrified of COVID? I am just guessing here, but I don’t think children are watching the late night news, so I suspect their fear of COVID …

Is Communist China our ‘Canary in a coal mine’?

The Book of Daniel provides an interesting perspective on the spiritual battle that took place between two godly angels and a demonic angel, known as the Prince of Persia, for control of this ancient kingdom (Daniel 10:13-14). As a result of this successful spiritual conflict, one of the Godly angels took a position beside the King of Persia: “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. (Daniel 11:1 ESV) Because of this, a godly angel was able to protect and influence the Persian Kings for the next several decades, leading to the passing of an edict allowing people taken into captivity by the Babylonians, including the Jews, to return to their homelands. But this story also provides another important detail. If the godly angel held a position of influence over the Persian government, this meant that prior to this the demonic Prince of Persia (called a territorial spirit) was in a position to influence Persian leaders. This is why the Apostle Paul calls …

Union leader basks in the sun as she opposes schools re-opening

Many of the teachers’ unions are battling any attempts to have kids returning to in person teaching. Of course, they are citing fears of the COVID-1984 pandemic as the reason. One of those leading the charge against reopening schools is a left-leaning leader of the Chicago Teachers Union. I completely understand why she is opposed. I mean who wants to be in blustery Chicago in mid winter, when you could be relaxing at a pool in Puerto Rico?

We Need What?

In this time of everybody being mad at everybody and certain politicians trying to divide and conquer us, it is important to note two things. First, God made us all with the exact same love and care. We are equal in his eyes. Second, we all want to be loved and we all love. I was with a group of mostly Indigenous women lately.  We chatted about what worries us. The number one worry was family. Children and grandchildren were on everyone’s list. No one listed Covid or discrimination in their worries I find this encouraging.  Not that they have family concerns and worries.  Encouraging because they are examples of living. All the crazy and restrictive rules and all the ways in which fear controls our world, and their worries remain the same.  Adult children and grandchildren still need prayers. Young children need support and love.  Families need to stick together. In the real world, there are people living their lives and still loving others.  For better or worse family members make decisions. Some are …

Credit: 19melissa68/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: 40% of children born outside of marriage in the US

According to a report recently released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), 4o% of child births in America are outside of marriage. Though this involves a significant number of single parents, according to this study the largest percentage involved couples who have chosen to live together versus getting married. However, data released by Pew Research in 2017, stated that the majority of unwed births (53%) involved single parents and the remaining 47% involved those living in a common law relationship. Though it reported that single parents were the majority, it also revealed the increasing trend of people choosing to live common law and having children because in 1968, 90% of unwed births were in single-parent families and only 10% involved couples living together. This falls in line with the growing number of people choosing to live together, which according to the US Census has increased from 14 million in 2007 to 18 million in 2016, with nearly half involving people under the age of 35. The number of people living common law has increased …

Credit: Natalie Downe/Flickr/Creative Commons

The millennial challenge

We often joke with our daughter about being a “millennial” because she and her generation have a strong sense of entitlement. I realize now we are actually demeaning them and putting them in a shame position that makes it harder for them to move into adulthood. Several nights ago, I saw a young boy running with his teammates during a football practice and he couldn’t keep up. He was embarrassed. It broke my heart to see him caught in the throes of obvious comparison and failure in the eyes of his team mates. I wondered if this was what he wanted to do? Or was he playing football because that is what his parents’ wanted? On our journey through the child and teenage years, my husband and I realized that many times we were living our hopes and unmet dreams through our children. This was a harsh reality for us. It took time to undo the damage in their lives, our son in particular. We had to apologize and say “sorry” more than once. Many …

Credit: Justine Sanderson/Flickr/Creative Commons

What impact will skyrocketing unwed pregnancies have on society?

A report written for the US Senate, entitled Love, Marriage and the Baby Carriage, states that 40% of births in America today are born out-of-wedlock. This means that a significant percentage of kids are now being raised in single-parent families and in most instances it means they are without a father. According to the report, at one point in American history, couples understood the responsibility of raising children. Stats showed that in the 1960s, 43% of couples married if the woman became pregnant. Today, only 9% are willing to do this. Some of this is due to the unwillingness of men to take responsibility for what has happened, and the other is women thinking it is fine to raise a child alone. You add to this percentage the number of children also living in single-parent homes due to divorce or separation and we must ask ourselves what kind of effect is this having on society. There have been a number of studies over the years that have looked at the impact that single-parent families (either …

Is divorce a violent act? Credit: --christophe--/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does divorce impact a child’s spirituality?

One of God’s clearest denunciations of divorce is found in the book of Malachi. Speaking on behalf of God, the Prophet thunders: “For, I hate divorce.” (Malachi 2:16 NASV) Then God declares divorce an act of violence. “and him who covers his garment with wrong, (literally violence)” When the Lord says that I don’t believe He is describing the acrimony that often occurs between a man and woman when they divorce. The couple divorcing could still be friends, but the act of divorce itself is inherently violent. In the previous verses we discover the reason: 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:14-15 NIV) In …

Credit: Chris Goldberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does this study confirm Proverbs 22:6?

In a report published in Psychological Science, researchers in a study associated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA have concluded a person’s home environment as a child has a profound affect on them over 60 years later. In this study, that has been ongoing for 78 years, researchers followed a group of people starting at adolescence into late life. It was a unique study as it required adding new team members to continue this multi-decade analysis. This particular aspect of the study started sixty years ago and involved 81 men, 50 whose family were connected with Harvard and 31 from an inner city area in Boston. During their early adolescent years, the selected members of the study group went through an in-depth interview, where earlier researchers gathered information on their home environment, relationship with their mom and dad and general family life. They also interviewed the parents. From this, the researchers created a profile of each person and a measurement of how nurturing their family life was. The research group interviewed these men throughout …

Photo: Giuseppe Milo /Flickr/Creative Commons

How unrealistic expectations trip up your child

One of the biggest regrets my husband and I have is the expectations we placed upon our kids especially our son in his younger years. None of the expectations had anything to do with him and everything to do with what we wanted and how we wanted to feel. Expectations are good. Unrealistic expectations are not and do not leave room for flexibility or change. Clinical Psychologist Selena Snow says,  “unrealistic expectations are potentially damaging because they set us and others up for failure.” It took awhile for us to realize that our expectations were unrealistic and taking a toll on our son. Life wasn’t fun for him anymore. He felt trapped and did not want to make a mistake for fear of losing our approval. Taking risks was no longer an option for him. When it comes to our family, our expectations must be placed in God, not our children. Putting our expectations upon our children especially at a young age can create all kinds of frustration, anger and resentment, not just for the …

Children playing in Thailand Photo: Khanh Hmoong/Flickr

What is the most important thing you can do for your child?

The Bible is full of advice on child-rearing. Experts in the field have written hundreds of books and I hate to even delve into this area. Admittedly what I will be sharing doesn’t receive the same press as many popular theories, nevertheless it may help your child develop a proper Biblical view of our Heavenly Father – that God loves us and only has our best interests at heart. To understand this principle, we must look at Genesis 1: 26, where God says, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” The word ‘image’ (Hebrew tselem) means to be a representative figure. It is used throughout the Old Testament to describe idols or as the King James version quaintly called them ‘graven images’ (cf. Isaiah 45:20). This means humans functioned as idols of God, not those cut from stone or hewed from wood. But the choice of “tselem” is curious because it begs the question — who were men and women supposed to represent God to? If we are all created in …

Wall of a kindergarten class in Nymegen, Holland. Photo: Bruno Casonato/Flickr

The gift of time

One of the big mistakes a parent can make is pushing their children ahead of their years. We want them in kindergarten at an earlier age and as a result they end up in school being the youngest child in their class. In these situations, children can often be diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and are prescribed medication to try to control it. However, the problem may simply be their age. Put them back a year, and they would completely fit in. A recent study by Stanford Graduate School of Education says holding a child back one year before entering kindergarten can “dramatically” improve a child’s self-control in later years. In the US, children traditionally enter kindergarten at age 5. The study was co-authored by Professor Thomas Dee of Stanford University and researcher Henrik Sievertsen from the Danish National Center for Social Research. They added that holding a child back one year in kindergarten can show beneficial results for a child up to the age of 11. It could even have positive benefits …

Is divorce a contributing factor to homelessness? Photo Ted McGrath/Flickr

The impact of divorce on adult children

I have posted two articles already on a 2001 report on the impact of divorce on children written by Rebecca O’Neill. In the previous articles I looked at how divorce negatively affects children and teens. In this post, I want to look at how divorce affects children as they become adults. At the time she wrote the report, Rebecca worked for the Institute for the Study of Civil Society based in London, England. In her paper, entitled Experiments in living: the Fatherless family, she compiled the statistics of many studies that analyzed the impact of absent fathers on children. While many of these studies looked at the consequence of divorce on children others simply researched the fallout of mothers raising children on their own — some being unwed mothers. Since divorce usually ends up with a mother raising a family alone, the consequences are often the same in both cases. In this last in my three-part series I look at how divorce negatively affects children once they become adults. In many instances the researchers tried …

When ‘cool’ kids lose their ‘cool’

When our children attend school parents are in immediate competition with the ‘cool’ kids for influence. It can be a tough battle. At other times, it is hard to watch your children facing the rejection that comes with not being part of the school’s ‘in’ group. A new study is showing that being ‘cool’ in school does not translate into success when you are older. The study conducted by Psychology professors Joseph Allen and Hugh Kelly from the University of Virginia found that kids perceived to be ‘cool‘ in their early teens lost much of their sheen by the time they reached their early 20s. In their study, published in the Journal of Child Development, the researchers followed 184 13-year-old teens (grades 7 and 8) for ten years until they were age 23. They found in the early teen years ‘cool’ kids gained their popularity by hanging around with the good-looking kids at the schools. The ‘cool’ kids also acted older than they really were, which their peers found strangely appealing.  This included earlier participation …

Divorce has a negative impact on children.

Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children

While the Old Testament Law provided for divorce, Jesus was adamant God only allowed it because of the hardness of people’s hearts (Mathew 19:7, 8). In the book of Malachi, the prophet expresses God’s true feelings on divorce: “‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘and him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the Lord of Hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously.’” (Malachi 2:16 NASV) This verse not only says God hates divorce, but explains one of its byproducts through the phrase “covers his garment with wrong.” The NASV translated the Hebrew word “chamas” as wrong, but the word actually means violence and by implication wrong. A garment was an idiom used to describe the covering and protection the husband provided the family. Through divorce this covering turned from one of protection to one of violence. We see further evidence of this in the Hebrew word for divorce ‘keritut” or more specifically its root “Karat” which means: “to cut off part of the …

Who has the most worthwhile job? Believe it or not, survey says stay-at-home moms

[by Dean Smith] Years ago, I attended a political meeting, when a young stay-at-home mom nervously approached a mike in an open session to address the several politicians, including the party leader, sitting at the front. She expressed her desire to be at home looking after her young children. She believed it was an important job, but government policies including higher taxation rates were making it increasingly difficult for her family to do this. It seemed everyone, in this largely conservative gathering, applauded her statement. Well, everyone I guess, except one.

The long-term effects of divorce on children

[by Dean Smith] A 25-year study by sociologist Judith Wallerstein from the University of Berkley discovered the problems children encounter when their parents’ divorce often don’t show up until later — when the children are between 20 and 30 years of age. In her study entitled, The unexpected legacy of divorce: A 25 year landmark study, Wallerstein followed 100 children over a 25-years period commencing in 1971 when California liberalized its divorce legislation. Wallerstein stated the results surprised her. It was clear the delayed, negative impact of divorce on children was more far-reaching than first anticipated.

Study says if you are looking for gore and horror turn on a children’s show

[by Dean Smith] If you are looking for films with a bit of death and gore, you may find exactly what you want in the cartoons set aside for your children. According to a report released in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this past December, children’s cartoons and movies are full of death often surpassing levels found in adult dramas. The research team, led by Ian Colman, associate professor of epidemiology at Canada’s University of Ottawa, used a “Kaplan-Meler survival analysis” to compare when the first death occurred in a group of top 135 grossing movies — 45 considered children’s entertainment and 90 adult-themed.

Report: By age 17, 83% of black children are living in broken homes

According to two reports released by the Family Research Council, (FRC) by age 17, 83% of Black children are living in broken homes. By the same age, 46% of white children are no longer living with both biological parents. Over the last 60 years, the problem has steadily worsened with an increasing number of children being affected by broken families. Between 1950 and 2012, the number of black teens aged 15 to 17, who lived in a family made up of both biological parents had declined by 21%. For white children, the decrease was 13%. Part of this breakdown is due to divorce. There was a time when parents stayed together for their children’s sake. However, that notion is now considered outdated and children are experiencing the rejection that comes with the family breakdown, often with devastating consequences. The FRC said: “The American family is in crisis. Our nation’s children, especially our black children, are being robbed of their married biological parents. However, another contributing factor was the number of children who from birth grow …

Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance should encourage parents to pray for their children

[by Dean Smith] I am sure the Christian parents of mega-pop star Katy Perry have struggled as they watched their daughter climb the heights of stardom while seemingly walking away from her faith. Katy’s parents, Keith and Mary Hudson, are Pentecostal pastors now based in Santa Barbara, CA. They minister through the US preaching the Gospel. Katy grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian school and for a time even sang Gospel music. But as her popularity grew, she walked away from her faith. In a 2013 interview with a woman’s magazine, Marie Claire, Katy stated she no longer “believes in an old man sitting on a throne” and certainly her lifestyle would back up that statement. But things are never as cut and dried as they seem and this applies to all children of Christian parents.