The Other Side of the Story

Teaching kids empathy can be a great joy and struggle in parenting. We are all self-centered by nature, and showing children how to be other-centered takes some stretching. Helping a child understand how to “put himself in another person’s shoes” can be a great way to teach empathy.

What about looking at Bible stories in a new way? In the book The Whale Tells His Side of the Story, author Troy Schmidt imagines what the whale felt like with Jonah hanging around in his belly. (The subtitle, Hey God, I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up, pretty much says it all.) In the same vein as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Frog Prince Continued,  Schmidt rethinks Bible stories. He’s also written the following biblical “other sides”:

Even if you aren’t able to purchase these books, having your child imagine another side of a Bible tale is a good way to spark imagination and explain having empathy. It can be a funny activity or a serious talk.

What “other sides” can you imagine?

2014′s Best and Worst Cities for Families

wh-2014-best-and-worst-cities-for-familiesRecently, the personal finance social network WalletHub compared each of the 150 largest cities in the U.S. based on 31 key metrics — including the availability of quality jobs, the relative cost of housing, the quality of local school and health care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation – in order to help families across the country identify the ideal location to put down roots.

Drumroll please …

2014’s Best Cities for Families 2014’s Worst Cities for Families
1 Plano, Texas 141 Hialeah, Florida
2 Sioux Falls, South Dakota 142 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
3 Overland Park, Kansas 143 Newark, New Jersey
4 Fremont, California 144 Providence, Rhode Island
5 Irvine, California 145 Cleveland, Ohio
6 Virginia Beach, Virginia 146 San Bernardino, California
7 Lincoln, Nebraska 147 Jackson, Mississippi
8 Anchorage, Alaska 148 Birmingham, Alabama
9 Gilbert, Arizona 149 Miami, Florida
10 Amarillo, Texas 150 Detroit, Michigan

 

And check out these fascinating statistics:

  • Madison, Wisconsin has 88 times more playgrounds per capita than Laredo, Texas.
  • Anchorage, Alaska has 2,227 times more acres of parkland per capita than Hialeah, Florida.
  • Irvine, California’s per capita violent crime rate is 45 times lower than Detroit, Michigan’s.
  • The median family’s annual income, adjusted for cost of living, is four times higher in Plano, Texas than in Newark, New Jersey.
  • The divorce rate in Fremont, California is 5.5 times lower than in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • The percentage of households receiving food stamps is 22 times lower in Irvine, California than in Detroit, Michigan.
  • The average commute time in Lubbock, Texas is 2.5 times lower than in New York, New York.
  • The percentage of families living below the poverty line in Overland Park, Kansas is 8 times lower than in Detroit, Michigan.

Wanna know where your city ranks? Visit http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-families/4435/

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment letting us know where you’re from and where your city falls on this list!

When Adopted Kids Need Therapy by Ellen Stumbo

"Just pray for her, and God will restore her heart." I have a confession. When we adopted our daughter from Ukraine, we believed her cerebral palsy would be our biggest challenge. Sure, we knew she would have some emotional difficulties due to … [Continue reading]

Summer Spiritual Learning by Brian Dembowczyk

A Simple Way to Build Faith “Daddy, can we do the questions?” That request is music to my ears. Shortly after our son, Joshua, turned 5, my wife and I began teaching him a catechism, which is a series of questions and answers designed to explain … [Continue reading]

Weekend Links

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Making Meals with 5 Ingredients (or Less!)

One of the easiest ways to cut back on meal costs is to simplify your ingredients. If you can make a tasty recipe with fewer ingredients, you will probably spend less money. Often this involves slow-cooking, which intensifies flavor and tenderizes … [Continue reading]

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Toddler Bible Lesson: Joseph's Dreams at Family Abounds Teaching Big Words to Little Hearts: Grace at When You Rise 7 Tips for Starting a Family Devotion Time at Intoxicated on Life Tame the Laundry Beast at Beauty in the Mess Did you read … [Continue reading]

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Three Small Things Can Add up to a Changed Life at Money Saving Mom Creating a Family-Friends Kids' Ministry at LifeWay Kids 19 Toys & Apps that Can Help Develop Language and Social Skills in Children with Autism at Friendship Circle What I … [Continue reading]

Family Devotions

  I always thought having a family devotion time sounded kind of intimidating. But knowing that we want God to be the center of our family, we decided about a year ago to start a very simple one as part of our bedtime routine. At the time, … [Continue reading]

Giveaway: Dear Son by Dave Bruskas

pic_full_Bruskas_Dave

Today’s culture doesn't encourage men to grow up. Everyone from pastors to op-ed columnists have described a crisis of masculinity, fostered by a media culture that uniformly make men the butts of jokes. Men are much more likely to give up on life … [Continue reading]