Marriage Matters – Dads and Their Daughters

I have been working with families since the mid-seventies. Over this period, I have met with many women whose stories break my heart. They tell of an absent father either by physical absence or emotional absence.

In a recent publication on current statistics it is noted that 92% of the children in our inner cities do not have a father involved in their lives. We blame all the violence in our inner cities on many things but fail to address this very sad statistic.

Let’s look at the basics of the Father Daughter relationship.

  • The father relationship with his daughter is crucial for her health.
  • Not only is a father the most important man in her life, but to every girl her dad is her first love.

The unique dynamic:

  • There is a love and protectiveness that a dad feels towards his daughter that is different from what he feels toward his son.
  • There is tenderness in the father-daughter relationship.
  • There is a respect that a girl is meant to have from her father from the very beginning of her life.

Her Hero:

  • A daughter perceives her dad to be her hero.
  • What does your daughter look for in you that causes you to be her hero?

Time: Special moments with just the two of you. How about a date night with your daughter?

Eye Contact: Face to face when connecting.

Availability: Even when your busy, take time to be available. (They grow up fast!)

A Listening Ear: Women need to be heard and listened to. This starts at a very early age. If a little girl feels connected to her dad this helps her in her emotional and physical developmental journey.

Men: Being a hero to your daughter is about having strong character, paying attention to her, communicating with her, and letting her know she is your “Princess.”

Marriage Matters – Parenting the Strong-Willed Child

In August I wrote the following: “Children need strong attachment bonds in order to develop into healthy adults.

I often hear from parents who are frustrated because they don’t know how to handle their strong-willed child. They are concerned that the “battle of wills” will come against the need for a strong attachment bond.

It is not the authority that is the problem, but how authority is communicated.

Strong-willed children do not despise or have problems with authority, but they reflect a need for control and love. Strong-willed children are well versed with the letter of the law and are usually a couple of steps ahead of their parents. But, positive communications leads to gaining the respect of the strong-willed child.

Message to parents: It is not the authority that is the problem, but how authority is communicated. If you pull the authority trip and say, “You will be doing this. End of discussion” then you are doomed.

The relationship is the most important thing.

Strategies: Choose your battles, don’t make everything a big deal. Decide what you are going to go to the wall for. Back off on everything else. You are not going to get everything. Decide what you can’t live without.

Make sure that your strong-willed child knows that your love is unconditional.

If you don’t demonstrate an unconditional love for them as a parent, then they can’t possibly believe that there is a God in heaven that has unconditional love for them as a child.

You have an incredible advantage. You serve a heavenly Father, Creator, and Designer. God, Himself, fills the place you might have missed. His mercy, grace and strength give you the will to go on.

It is not mistake that God gave you a strong-willed child!

Do you have a strong-willed child? How have you been handling things? Comment below.

Conversations Through TV Shows and Movies

This month’s video is on prompting conversations through TV shows and movies!

Television shows and movies are just two media forms that kids watch. Beyond that, network and cable television, DVDs, and online streaming providers increase access to media for our kids. This is the world they live in, and it’s likely not going to magically disappear. Rather than fearing what they could be exposed to, commit to teaching and training your child in the why—why it’s important to learn what is okay to watch and what isn’t.

Bob Waliszewski, the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting, offers a few ideas for parents who wish to take a proactive approach to the media. Waliszewski suggests having an honest and ongoing discussion with your child about the importance of protecting their minds.

In that conversation, you can talk about how the Bible encourages people who follow Jesus to guard their minds and hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it” and Jesus taught in Matthew 15:19 that “out of the heart come evil thoughts . . .”

The goal is to raise children that will begin to sense that conviction in their souls when they aren’t with you—and make good and wise decisions on their own that carry into their teenage years and adulthood.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/206402355/002158ccb9

I’m praying for you and your family. We are in this together!

Cassandra DeWitt

Fun Ways To Study Scripture With Your Child

Raising our children to pursue a personal relationship with God is something every Christian parent wants, but statistics show that only five percent of teens study the Bible on their own on a daily basis. And, just over half of teens say they read or study their Bible away from church.

That said, I’m happy to tell you that YOU can influence your children to be one of the five percent who study their Bible every day. How? By getting creative, that’s how!

For ways to make studying scripture with your kids more fun, check out this months online parenting class. It will give you a good start towards making positive changes in your home in this area.

I hope you find this lesson helpful. You are always welcome to email me with any prayer requests your family may have. I truly enjoy serving your family.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/141593132/13f9137123

Sincerely,  Cassandra

Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety

Parents, either you’ve already experienced separation anxiety, you’re in the middle of it, or it’s on the horizon. To be honest, I’m in the middle of it with our two-year old. Can I hear an amen, Lord help us?!

What is Separation Anxiety? Pediatricians help us understand that separation anxiety is so tough on kids because they don’t understand object permanence. A child realizes Mom is gone, and what they think is, “Oh my gosh, MY MOM IS GONE,” like…forever gone.

https://contentpathway.s3.amazonaws.com/separation-anxiety-full.jpg

It’s why we play hide and seek or peekaboo with little ones. We want to reinforce the idea that even though you can’t see an object, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. The fear produced over this misunderstanding is what we call separation anxiety. It creates anxiety in our children, and much of the time, an anxiety in us as parents.

Take some time to check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with anxiety. Later in the month we’ll look at some practical tools for how to help your child conquer separation anxiety.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/95865874/650be0e74c

GP Kids Parenting: The Comparison Game

Being a parent is hard work and sometimes we wonder if we are doing a good job?  We hear about other families, other people’s kids and it can be easy for doubt to creep in.  Comparing ourselves to others is natural and depending on the situation can either make you feel like parent of the year or a total failure.

The last thing you want to hear about when you were up all night with your ten month old is how someone else’s two month old is sleeping through the night! Or how about running into that mom who is always perfectly put together when you can’t remember the last time you got a shower?

Comparisons can be harmful to our self esteem and our outlook on how we are managing.  It’s easy to fall into this trap. We have to realize that we all have good and bad days.  No one has completely mastered being a parent!

Take some time and check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with those moments we feel like we don’t measure up.  Later this month, you will receive some tools to help you when you are playing the comparison game through our email list here.

Here is the link to the video: https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/90162336/2b9dba9f43

Thanks,

Cassandra DeWitt

 

Marriage Matters: Welcome to Baseball Season

The last few days of 70-degree weather have been a blessing and also a reminder ]that not only is spring on the way but baseball season is upon us.

I have been following the game since 1950 when my Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series. To me baseball is more than a game. It’s a life time of memories; my grandfather introduced me to the game he loved. He was a Brooklyn Dodger fan and taught me all about the game. He died in February 1955 before he saw his Dodgers win the 55-world series. Today, I have the opportunity to build memories with my grandchildren as we attend the Trenton Thunder games. It’s so much more than baseball. It’s about spending time with them and letting them know how special they are.

Too many children today do not have these special moments of building life time memories.

During the month of March Grace Point will be offering three classes on exploring the world of the developing adolescent. These classes will take place on March 12, 19, and 26 at 9AM in Rooms A1-2.

Some of the topics that we will explore are:

  • An Inside Look at the American Teenager
  • Adolescent Developmental Influences
  • The Impact of Trauma on Adolescent Development
  • Factors that Contribute to Good Psychological Health
  • Parenting Adolescents

These classes are recommended for the parents of children aged nine and above, teachers, counselors, and anyone else who lives with or works with the adolescent.

You can contact Chuck Arnold (carnold@gracepointpa.org) for additional information.

GP Kids Parenting: Technology

Maybe it was a Super Nintendo, Oregon Trail on the school computer, or immersing yourself in episodes of Full House, but our exposure to technology was vastly different from what our children experience today. They’re inundated with technology EVERYWHERE they turn.

Does that mean we just hand them an iPod, unlimited Netflix and YouTube access, and an unmonitored TV and allow them to handle technology however they deem fit? This month, in our video below, we want to help you as a parent understand the pros and cons of technology and how to manage it in a way that sets your child up for success through a Biblical worldview.

The follow-up to this blog will be an email through our GP Kids list titled “GP Kids Parenting – My Child’s Mobile Device.” Sign up for those emails here.

Check out this 5 minute video!

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/86560654/63bc8c27e1

GP Kids Parenting: Bullying

This is a big day as we start our online parenting class. At least once a month, we will be offering a Christ-centered, online parenting class/resource.  We want to partner with you and support you in your efforts to raise fully committed followers of Jesus Christ!  These “classes” will be usually five minutes or less, and we hope they will encourage you as parents and families!

We’re jumping right into a topic that you’ve probably already experienced with your child or know is on the horizon-bullying.

If you stop long enough to think about bullying you might have flashbacks to something you’ve experienced. It’s one thing for us as adults to remember those difficult encounters, but another one entirely to think about someone picking on our own kid.

When our child experiences bullying, we’re ready for the gloves to come off because, let’s face it, nobody messes with MY child! We also know fighting our children’s battles doesn’t help them in the long run. They need to experience difficulty, so how do we figure out when to step in and when to let them handle it?

Check out this incredible video that will help equip you to begin the dialogue with your child about bullying.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/73132864