By Joshua Straub, Ph.D.
Christi and I feel more like hostages of late than parents, confined to the beck and call of our two-year-old son and seven-month-old daughter. Yesterday, our two-year-old owned me. The CIA should hire him to train terrorist negotiators.
Bedtime has officially become a chore in the Straub household. Think delay tactics, manipulation, and even playing “lovey dovey” to get his way. Yes, our two-year-old can be a master manipulator.
We live in arguably the most individualistic culture in one of the most individualistic periods in history. The proof alone can be found in the 2013 Oxford University Press word of the year—“selfie.”
A friend of mine brought up an insightful thought the other day about the modern day greeting in America. In years past when somebody asked how you were doing, the most common response was, “I’m good.” More grammatically correct folks would say, “I’m well.”
Most people make New Year’s resolutions. Few ever stick to them. Christi and I decided to change that this year. We chose a resolve that requires we maintain it—lest we lose our sanity, or worse yet, our marriage.
Christi and I love working together (okay, most of the time). She’s a go-getter and drives what we do. I want to begin this week by honoring my wife for her persistence in coming up with a way to answer the most commonly asked question we receive, “How can we as parents set limits on technology in our home?” Asked another way, “How can I know I have my child’s heart more than the technology does?”
Cooler weather. Beautiful colors. Fall festivals. Pumpkin spice lattes. Thanksgiving. Football. And Christmas! Yes, it’s that time of year again.
A few weeks ago our family—my wife Christi, our two-year-old son and six-week-old daughter—all traveled to Pennsylvania to be with my dad as he had surgery. For two-and-a-half weeks this meant we were living with my mom and stepdad—or to put it another way, my wife’s in-laws.
I took my first trip today since our daughter was born three weeks ago. You would think being away by myself would be a welcomed reprieve. Maybe I’m being overly sentimental, but it was difficult saying goodbye.
I was exhausted, and quite honestly ready for bed. Yet, my wife was relentless.
"Honey, I really want to go out to one nice dinner with you before we leave town. Please, will you get dressed up?" she pleaded.
The impact technology is having on our relationships, brain wiring, and kids remains a topic I’m asked to write about and speak on quite often. The consequence of this is that many people wrongly assume I’m against technology.
I had a parenting moment the other day I know gave me more joy than it did my nearly two-year-old son. I introduced him to the nostalgia of my own childhood—something I’ll do in various ways for years to come, I know. In most cases, not for his sake, but for mine.
I want to begin by thanking each of you for your prayers for my dad the past few weeks. I don't say this lightly. I believe in a God who suffered more than I'll ever know so that I could experience a joy deeper than I ever deserve.
Last Sunday I received that phone call--the kind that leaves your legs weak and your stomach churning.
We’re getting ready to become new parents—for the second time. I think the single biggest lesson I learned from our initial journey into parenthood, is that trying to be a perfect parent is exhausting. So I quit.
Knowing about Jesus won’t get them to heaven or allow them to experience the joy of salvation. Knowing Jesus will.
I had the privilege of speaking at the International Marriage and Family Summit in San Diego.
One of the highlights of my week was being able to spend some time with one of the nation’s most recognized pediatricians, Dr. Meg Meeker. As we talked together about the state of 21st century parenting, she said something so simple, yet so profound.
By Christi Straub
The first thing I reach for the in morning. The last thing I say goodnight to before bed. Always within arms reach.
When we sit down as a family for dinner, we begin in prayer. Our 22-month-old son Landon is often the first to remind us, by holding out his little hands and repeating, “A-men, A-men, A-men.” Yesterday, at least five times throughout the meal, Landon held out his hands to pray. I finally had to say, “No, Landon, we’ve prayed enough.”
A few weeks ago, Christi and I were just entering the gate with our son when we passed a woman also pushing a stroller. Staring straight ahead in disgust, and with a screaming-at-the-top-of-his-lungs young boy out in front of her, she was on a mission to get that earsplitting child out the park as fast as she could. She looked miserable.
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"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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