By Dr. Joshua Straub
As parents, we face emotionally intense moments with our kids. When your 6-month-old wakes every two hours through the night. When your 5-year-old kicks you in the shin because it’s bedtime. When your teenager disrespects you for setting limits on technology.
Our parenting journey has been anything but easy. I have to admit, I was completely caught off guard by the myriad of challenges we have faced in only three years of being parents. For example, my wife Christi was once introduced to a group of women at a hot yoga class as “the woman whose baby girl’s cry is the worst I’ve ever heard.”
When Christi and I got married, one of my wedding vows to her was that I would fight for her, and not with her. She played off our love for sports, vowing, “You are my teammate.” We did pretty well with these vows for the first few years.
Then, we had kids.
The Bible tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go.” Notice the verse emphasizes the way each child should go, not the way we want them to go.
When Moses laid out his plan for passing on the love and commands of God to our children he did so not by mentioning the great trips we take them on or the iPhone 6 we need to buy them. Instead, he gave us these four times to influence our children.
I learned a few years ago about a group of executives at Ebay, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Yahoo, and Google who send their kids to a nine-classroom school where technology is completely omitted. If these people are protecting their kids from the very devices they’re creating, I wondered, what do they know that we don’t?
By Dr. Joshua Straub
If you have time, I encourage you to read about how to experience the “joyful moments” that connect us with our children.
We were at dinner a few months back with our dear friends, Adam and Stephanie. They have a son, Aiden, only three months older than our son, Landon. These boys have been best buddies since the day they were born.
I remember walking out from dinner that night beside Adam who was carrying Aiden on his shoulders. Landon held my hand beside me. On our way through the parking lot I heard Adam ask, “Aiden, whose got it?” Aiden emphatically shouted, “God’s got it.”
“Sit up to the table in your chair, Landon. It’s time for dinner,” I said cheerfully.
Not a millisecond later came that boisterous and very powerful word from our defiant two-year-old, “No!”
What happened to the sweet innocent boy I used to rock to sleep?
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about how 7 seconds a day is changing our family. In it, I introduced our recently adopted cow. After receiving many hilarious potential names, we decided, thanks to Keisha’s suggestion, to name her “Holy.” Get it, “Holy Cow?!” Not only is “Holy” making us laugh, she’s teaching us quite a bit more about the character of God...
By Joshua Straub, Ph.D.
These are the books I most often pull from my shelf to read, and read again. I make it a habit to regularly pick up these 10 books to reread my highlights, numbers, and underlines.
Apart from the Bible, these are the books that have the most influence on my emotional and spiritual health and have dramatically impacted the way I choose to live my life.
As we put the boat in the water our hope was to catch a few fish—at least enough to keep us interested. That time of year, depending on the conditions, can be hit or miss for the smallmouth bass and walleye we typically fished. Mom and I decided the day together on the water was worth the shot, whether we caught anything or not.
If you’re White, it’s easy to misunderstand that underlying current. I walk around freely. I have Black friends my age and younger who don’t. I have no idea what it’s like to always be suspect.
Before I get to our inspiring story, it’s important to know that Christi and I tend to take life more seriously than we should. We’re both Type A, driven, task-oriented individuals whose life movie might reflect more of a contemplative adventure than a comedic storyline. If you’re a fan of the TV show Parenthood, I’m Adam, not Crosby.
As people helpers we sit across from the faint of heart. Men and women who struggle with a crisis of faith and ask us for the answers to their most perilous question: “Why would God allow this to happen?” “If God truly loves me why would He take my dad?” “My house?” “My job?” “If He truly cares, why? Why, God?”
Your spouse is on his/her phone while you’re together. YOU become annoyed.
Last week’s blog about whether stay-at-home moms or working moms have it better generated such a healthy and much needed discussion that it deserved a follow up.
A report came out last month from Child Trends showing the number of parents aggravated with their kids has more than doubled in the past decade.
The first secret to being more connected in your marriage and with your kids is respecting the power technology has on your life. I heard my friend and colleague, Dr. Diane Langberg, once say, “Anything you cannot fast from, owns you.” Relationally and emotionally connected families respect the powerful reward mechanisms and positive stimulation built into today’s technologies. They enjoy the rewards, but are not owned or controlled by them. In other words, they know when to shut them off.
The most common question I'm asked by parents is, "How can we balance technology and relationships in our home as a family?" If that's your question, this is your resource...
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Connect With Dr. Joshua Straub
Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, family advocate and professor of child psychology. He is the president and cofounder of The Connextion Group, a company designed to empower parents, spouses and families. Josh speaks and writes on emotionally safe parents and spouses and the influence of technology on today's family. He is the author of Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well and along with his wife, Christi, is the producer and co-author of the video curriculum The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st Century. For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.com and follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.
Josh and his Canadian wife Christi reside in Nashville, TN with their son, Landon, and daughter, Kennedy.
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