Posts belonging to Category Family

10 Family Facts for Father’s Day

Joe Carter from the Evangelical Outpost has gathered the following family facts relating to a father’s influence on his children.

  1. Fathers’ religiosity is linked to higher quality of parent-child relationships.
  2. Fathers who regularly attend religious services are more likely to be engaged in one-on-one activities with their children.
  3. Civically active fathers are more likely to participate in youth-related activities.
  4. Fathers’ engagement in their children’s activities was linked to higher academic performance.
  5. Among adolescent boys, those who receive more parenting from their fathers are less likely to exhibit anti-social and delinquent behaviors.
  6. Among adolescent girls, those who have a strong relationship with their fathers are less likely to report experiencing depression.
  7. Close father-adolescent bonds protect against the negative influence of peer drug use.
  8. Adolescent girls who have a close relationship with their fathers are more likely to delay sexual activity.
  9. Adolescent girls whose fathers were present during their childhood are less likely to become pregnant.
  10. Adolescent males who report a close relationship with their fathers are more likely to anticipate having a stable marriage in the future.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. Please know how important you are to your children.

Note: All of these facts come from the Heritage Foundation’s Family Facts page, where you can find much more research on family, society, and religion. You can visit Joe’s page here for links to sources for each of the specific facts cited above.

8 Great Family Rules to Help Any Home

Every home should have its own set of family rules. Family rules simplify explanations, clarify expectations, and create a safe environment for your children and their friends. We have our list of family rules taped to the refrigerator. I copied this list down a long time ago from somewhere, and these rules have served our family well over the years.


1. Tell the truth.

2. Treat each other with respect.

  • no yelling
  • no hitting
  • no kicking
  • no name-calling
  • no put-downs

3. No arguing with parents.

  • We want and value your input and ideas, but arguing means you have made your points more than once.

4. Respect each other’s property.

  • Ask permission to use something that doesn’t belong to you.

5. Do what Mom and Dad say the first time.

  • without complaining or throwing a fit!

6. Ask permission before you go somewhere.

7. Put things away that you take out.

8. Look for ways to be kind and helpful to each other.

We have also made it clear to our children that the family rules follow them wherever they go. These are not just rules for them to follow at our house. They are family rules. Our children represent our family wherever they go, and we expect them to behave accordingly.

(Updated 12/26/2008: Thanks to commenter G.H. below, I have located the source for this list. It comes from the book New Skills for Frazzled Parents: The Instruction Manual That Should Have Come With Your Child, by Daniel G. Amen, p. 67.)


What do you think about having a list of family rules? Do you have a similar list in your home? How has having such a list been helpful to you (or not)?

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Related post: To Spank or Not To Spank

What the World Eats – A Photo Essay on the Family Dinner Table from around the World

Last week I linked to Christianity Today’s photo essay on church hymnals from around the world. This week let me recommend Time Magazine’s photo essay: What the Word Eats (“What’s on family dinner tables in fifteen different homes around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book Hungry Planet”).

Each photo in the essay features a different family from around the world with one week’s worth of groceries spread out on the table. The captions tell you how much the food cost and highlight some of the family’s favorite foods . For example, this is the Casales family of Cuernavaca, Mexico. Their food expenditure for one week is 1,862.78 Mexican pesos or $189.09. Their favorite foods are pizza, crab, pasta, and chicken.

The Casales family of Cuernavaca

Weekly food expenditures ran from as high as $500.07 for the Melander family in Germany to as low as $1.23 for the Aboubakar family in Chad (who also had much less food to eat). The photos show families and food from the following countries: Japan, Italy, Chad, Kuwait, United States, Mexico, China, Poland, Egypt, Ecuador, United States (again), Mongolia, Great Britain, Bhutan, and Germany.

HT: Between Two Worlds

A Mother’s Day Quote from the President’s Mother

Here is a quote by Barbara Bush, the mother of president George W. Bush, from her commencement address to Wellesley College Graduates in 1990.

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent. Fathers and mothers, if you have children … they must come first. You must read to your children, you must hug your children, you must love your children. Your success as a family … our success as a society … depends not on what happens at the White House, but on what happens inside your house.

Children – Pollutants, Products or a Blessing?

I ran across a couple of articles discussing children over the weekend. First up, an article from The Australian reporting on a paper from the Optimum Population Trust arguing that children are bad for the environment. The OPT paper suggests that “having large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags.” According to John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London,

The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.

Meanwhile, Josh Sowin at Fire and Knowledge excerpts some paragraphs from Bill McKibben’s book, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age. McKibben warns that genetic engineering in the future could cause some parents to begin viewing their children as products rather than people.

[Genetically engineered] children will, in effect, be assigned a goal by their programmers: “intelligence,” “even temper,” “athleticism.”

… Now two possibilities arise. Perhaps the programming doesn’t work very well, and your kid spells poorly, or turns moody, or can’t hit the inside fastball. In the present world, you just tell yourself that’s who he is. But in the coming world, he’ll be, in essence, a defective product. Do you still accept him unconditionally? …

The other outcome—that the genetic engineering works just as you had hoped—seems at least as bad. Now your child is a product … And what can she take pride in? Her good grades? She may have worked hard, but she’ll always know that she was specced for good grades. Her kindness to others? Well, yes, it’s good to be kind—but perhaps it’s not much of an accomplishment once the various genes with some link to sociability have been catalogued and manipulated.

I like God’s perspective on all this so much better. According to the Bible, children are neither pollutants to be controlled nor products to be evaluated; rather, children are a blessing from the Lord to be loved, cared for and raised to know God.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. (Psalm 127:3,5)

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Letter to James on his Thirteenth Birthday

Elle, at A Complete Thought, has written two very moving posts about her firstborn son, James, who died at age 2 1/2 after two years of illness and extended hospital stays. James was born on April 3, Easter Sunday, 1994.

The first post is a letter written to her son this year on what would have been his thirteenth birthday. In the second post, written on Easter of this year, Elle shares openly about her own struggle with faith following James’ death, along with the added difficulty of learning how to celebrate Easter once again, which now represented not only the resurrection of her Lord but also the birthday of the son she had lost.

I pray that these two posts will minister to others who have lost children as well as deepen the hearts and understanding of those who have never experienced such a loss. Thank you, Elle, for sharing personally and from your heart. May God continue to comfort you and your husband with his strong hand of love.

Last Day to Take the TV Survey

Today is the last day to take the TV survey (for Christian parents). It is free, it is easy, it only takes a few minutes of your time, it will help out a graduate student with her research, and there are cool prizes involved. Plus, the graduate student just happens to be my niece. So if you have not already done so, click here for more information and take the survey today.

Survey on the Television Viewing Habits of Christian Families

My niece, Kathryn Post, is a graduate student at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where she is currently conducting research for her masters thesis. Kathryn is studying the television perspectives of Christian parents and needs Christian parents to volunteer to take a brief survey online.

By taking part in her study, you will be supporting Christian research and helping a graduate student. As a thank you for participating, you will be entered in a drawing for one of four $25.00 gift cards.

The survey can be completed between now and May 1st. Click this link to go to the survey: Parent Survey

Thank you for your support!

Teens, Religion and Sex

The Dallas Morning News recently conducted a Q&A with Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas in Austin. Regnerus helped lead a multi-year research project on teens, religion and sex, the results of which appear in his new book, Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teens.

Here are some excerpts:

One of the arguments in your book is that religion makes a difference in the lives of American teens. What difference does religion make?

Simply being Presbyterian or Catholic or evangelical is not as important as internalizing the faith. Kids for whom Christianity is a central identity – not just another aspect of their lives – tend to make more thoughtful and mature decisions about sex. But this is rarer than most people think: Less than 10 percent of all youth do this.

In the book, you write about surprising findings concerning evangelical teens. What were they?

Evangelical teens express conservative attitudes about sex, but they are very average in their actual behavior. Why? Because evangelical kids live in two worlds. The new world tells them to value career, self-fulfillment, happiness and entertainment – and this is what adults and parents model for them. But the old world – to which evangelicals still pay deference – values keeping commitments, God, marriage and delaying pleasure.

Most American kids only live in the new world. Evangelicals still inhabit both. The result is conflict and compromise: old world values but new world actions.

Parents and adults, did you get that? Unless we model what we believe, our teens are less likely to follow through on what they believe. We teach with our lives as much if not more than with our words.

HT: The Evangelical Outpost

Online Christian Radio Station for Kids

Here is a neat online Christian radio station for kids at Great music and format. They even offer a Wi-Fi Family Radio and Media Player for listening around the house.

Visiting Fathers

This is a must-read post from Joe Carter on the subject of visiting fathers. Dads, if you are thinking of leaving your family or even in the midst of divorce proceedings, you need to stop and read this article. Thank you, Joe, for sharing honestly from your experience and from your heart.

Here is a clip from the post, but I encourage you to visit Joe’s site and read the whole thing.

Over the past twelve years I’ve learned being a part-time dad is not enough. Our children always need more.

That is why I want to address a specific, narrow audience with the rest of this post. I want to address those fathers who are on the verge of leaving their families.

I want to start with a basic premise: When your first child is born, your life stops being about what you want and starts being about what they need. If you disagree, then you can stop reading now. The rest of what I say will only make sense to those who understand that this is the foundation of fatherhood . . . [Your children] need you at home. If you’re a man and aspire to being a dad, that is all you need to know . . .

I couldn’t ask for a more thoughtful, accommodating woman to be my former spouse. But as hard as we work to make it easier on our daughter, everything we can do is not enough. At the end of the day, my child lives in a house where one of her parents is missing. Divorce doesn’t just end a marriage, it ends a family.

My Three Sons

My wife, Rose, lives in a house full of men. So, when I saw this article, The Daughter I Never Had, I immediately thought of her. Honestly, I don’t know how she puts up with us at times. Even one of our dogs is a boy.

Of course, I would love to have a daughter. But I would not trade our family of three boys. Neither would Rose. Our family of all boys is full of high energy, lots of laughter, lots of Star Wars, lots of competition, lots of fun.

There is something special about every family – whether it is all boys, all girls, one child, or any mixture of the two. As someone once said to me when Rose was expecting, “It doesn’t matter if it is a boy or a girl, as long as it’s wealthy!”

What is your family like? Do you have any thoughts on the makeup of different families?