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Two Gifts Children Need

Two Gifts Children Need

Children are human just like parents, except that they are younger. A great separation between the parent and the child, however, is that children neither know, nor have they experienced all that the parent has found out or been through. With that reality in mind,...

Parenting with Heart, Part 3

It was a beautiful spring night in early April. The trees were budding. The days were getting warmer, but the nights were still cool. Heather and Emma Claire were at a movie. I (Stephen) was bowling with our youngest sons, Henry and Teddy. Elijah was off at a friend’s...

Parenting with Heart, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I (Stephen) was having a conversation with one of my sons and Heather in the kitchen. We were going round and round, and the conversation was precariously teetering on the verge of a blowup. My son looked me square in the eye and said, “You only...

Parenting with Heart

This is an excerpt from Parenting with Heart: How Imperfect Parents Can Raise Resilient, Loving, and Wise-Hearted Kids, by Stephen James and Chip Dodd  One of my sons (Chip’s) and I went on a fly-fishing trip a few years ago. He was out of college, gone from our...

Learning to Fail

There is no doubt that our culture is bent on the pursuit of success; we see it everywhere. In turn, the idea of failure is one that we expend a lot of focus and energy avoiding and helping others avoid, especially our children.     In my First-Year Seminar course for...

Sometimes It Hurts

The Gift of Living in Tension with Heartache There is great pain in trying to be authentic, living in the tension of family, work, faith, hobbies, and other responsibilities in a way that reflects who we want to be. The pain of not being with the people we most love...

What Your Adolescent Really Needs

When I tell people I work with teenagers, I usually get some version of this response: “Wow, that’s a tough age. You must be really patient, brave, or crazy.” I may be a little bit of all three. The changes that occur in the teenage years make working with...

Better Off Dad: The Biological Changes of Fatherhood

A man walks down the street with his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. With no kids, he has existed until now in his own orbit and paid little attention to the offspring of others. He notices a woman with a baby and the moment causes him some...

Motherhood Has Changed Me

People ask me all the time how motherhood has changed me. Well let’s put it this way. Before I met you two, the word responsibility meant getting to work on time. And eating vegetables. Now it means guiding, feeding, teaching, protecting two little babies, completely...