Intentional Parenting with David Thomas – Q&A and Giveaway!

Q&A with David Thomas, author of Intentional Parenting: Autopilot is for Planes (Thomas Nelson, March 2013).

David wrote Intentional Parenting with Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan, who all three are on staff of Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, TN. Daystar is a not-for-profit ministry offering both individual and group counseling for children, adolescents, families, and young adults.

Q: How would you define being an intentional parent?

First, let us tell you what intentional parenting is not. Reactive. It is essential to parent out of love instead of parenting out of fear. When we parent out of fear, our kids never get the best of us, the most of us, or even what they really need from us. Parenting out of fear is a reactive form of parenting.

We’d love to invite you into more proactive parenting—thoughtful, intentional, strategic, and wise parenting. Or more active parenting—responsive, engaged, invested, connected parenting. It’s difficult to parent out of love when we are simply reacting to everything going on around us. We are postured to react rather than respond.

We always have options. Sometimes we choose fear over love. Sometimes we choose love over fear. You will continue to hear us invite you to extend grace to yourself in the journey of parenting. You are going to make mistakes. God can redeem the mistakes we make in parenting. He extends grace to us so that we can then extend grace and mercy to our children. Receive the grace and mercy that is available to you. And then do that thing we teach our kids to do when they fall off their bikes while learning to ride: get back up, dust yourself off, and try again.

Being an intentional parent means I get back on the bike and learn from the mistake I made last time around.

 

Q: What does play have to do with parenting?

Play has purpose for you and your kids. When we speak to parents, we talk about the need for every child to feel enjoyed by their parents. Every child needs time with their mom and dad that is not spent instructing, coaching, teaching, or even exhorting … just plain play together. It helps build a child’s confidence and increases the bond between you.

As a side note, we’re not only talking about watching your children play, although that’s important too. Kids want an audience, and it’s easy to think (especially after a hard day’s work) that by watching them play, you are entering in. You can watch them play tennis and dive off diving boards, but they also want you to jump in and get a little wet right alongside them.

At camp, the kids will beg the adult counselors to get in the lake with them. I cannot even begin to count the number of kids who have said to me, “My mom won’t swim with us. She doesn’t like to get her hair wet. Or, my dad comes to the lake with us, but he spends a lot of time on his phone because it’s hard for him to get away from work.”

Dive in. Get your hair wet. Get on the floor and play a board game. Laugh. Enjoy your children by playing with them. And then save a little time to play without them, as well.

kid / vancouver, BC, CANADA
source: Ces’t June

Q: What role does hope play in parenting?

Your child will place his or her hope in a lot of things over the years—new friends, parts in plays, winning football teams, homecoming dates, SAT scores. And when those things fall through, discouragement will follow. Your encouragement, in those times, is invaluable. A middle school girl said that her mom puts a new Scripture on her mirror every day … just to encourage her. A high schooler said recently how much it means when she knows her mom is praying specifically for her and for what she’s facing that day. The encouragement of these moms is a genuine expression of their hope. When your encouragement rises out of that place, it has more impact than you can imagine.

In all of the complexities of growing up today, children and teens need hope. They need life and healing and relationship with you, as their parent. And they need you to offer these things out of the overflow of your heart. Encouragement is not just the words you say. It’s not just the truth and hope that you offer. It’s the way you live His truth and His hope out. Sensitivity to your child’s heart and confidence in God as your protector, provider, and redeemer is what truly encourages. You offer hope as you point your children toward Christ.

Want to win a copy of Intentional Parenting? We have 5 copies to give away to readers this week! Just enter using Rafflecopter below. 

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Do You Have Sparkly Green Earrings? (GIVEAWAY)

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Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama Blog, has been much-beloved by LifeWay for quite some time. She has written for the women’s All Access blog as well as worked many women’s events. I’ve been a personal fan of her blog for quite some time, too, where she writes about life, parenting, TV, and fashion with a humorous touch.

Shankle’s first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, releases this week, and we’re thrilled to help her celebrate! Written in the same witty fashion as her popular blog, Sparkly Green Earrings is a memoir of motherhood that you’re sure to enjoy.

“It really is one of those books that you want all of your girlfriends to read so that you can talk about it and quote your favorite lines and tell your own versions of similar stories.” -Sophie Hudson, BooMama

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We’re thrilled to have 5 copies of Sparkly Green Earrings to give away this month at ParentLife Online thanks to Tyndale House! Simply use the Rafflecopter below to enter. (Subscribers may need to click through to the post.) Winners will be selected February 13, 2013. Please see terms.

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Closed: A HUGE Giveaway!

Congratulations Tara Randolph Waldrop! You are our winner! Check your inbox for an email from us!


It’s here! Our Huge Mystery Giveaway is today and what a great giveaway it is for the readers of ParentLife! We’ve got stuff for moms, dads, and kids! The list is long, so make sure you scroll through every item (don’t miss the big items at the bottom of the list!) and use the form at the bottom of the page to enter. We’re excited to see who wins this stash of great items, and yes, one person will win all these items!

The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids helps kids in kindergarten – sixth grade understand key Bible terms. More than 500 of the featured words have color photos, illustrations, maps and reconstructions to enhance learning. This unique reference tool is perfect for church classrooms, families, home-schooling environments, Christian school classrooms and libraries, church libraries, and public libraries.

The HCSB Read-to-Me Bible is a full text Bible; not just a story book. This edition for parents and teachers of preschoolers features biblical illustrations and stories with bolded sections to be read to younger preschoolers-the entire story is appropriate for comprehension by older preschoolers. Features include 9.5 point type size, 58 full-color pages, basic Bible vocabulary for children, presentation page, and more.

In The League of Incredible Vegetables, it’s just a normal day in Bumblyburg . . . until Dr. Flurry comes to town with his army of penguins. This sounds like a job for Larry-Boy, but he gets frozen by his enemy’s superior tactics. Rushing to his rescue, the League of Incredible Vegetables attempts to unfreeze Larry-Boy, but can they overcome their fears and rescue Bumblyburg? 45 minutes. Closed-captioned.

When I Go to Church: Guiding Preschoolers in Worship, by Kay Henry, helps parents and teachers to prepare older preschoolers for worship. This colorfully illustrated book features four delightful stories about preparing for and going to worship services. Includes guides for parents on topics like baptism and how to guide behavior during worship services.

Whatever: A 90-Day Devotional for Livin’ the True, Noble, and Totally Excellent Life! This devotional for tween girls brings new meaning to the word—less attitude and more gratitude! Based on Philippians 4:8 the devotional examines what it means for tweens to be “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy” in today’s society.

Dave Branon hits a home run when he brings together the worlds of faith and sports to create this unique devotional designed just for young sports fanatics. Heads Up! combines biblical principles with stories of athletes and sporting events, fun sports trivia, tips, and rare facts and figures to inspire faith and achievement in kids. This unique devotional is great for reluctant readers.

Helping leaders and parents understand child development just got a whole lot easier! Wholly Kids is an easy-to-read book full of fun illustrations and details about how kids learn. A handy book to give to parents and volunteers in your kids ministry, too. Including topics such as Characteristics of Kids, How Boys and Girls Learn Differently, and Creating an Environment for Learning.

Relating personal experiences on and off the field, in The Playbook for Dads: Parenting Your Kids in the Game of Life, Jim Kelly challenges fathers to work hard, pray for their children often, love their wives, and implement 10 principles in their lives and in the lives of their children. Both practical and inspirational, Kelly coaches every dad on how to be the star player for his family.

Backed by research that reveals destructive parenting patterns (even in Christian homes), The Parent Adventure by Rodney Wilson, Selma Wilson, and Scott McConnell teach moms and dads how to prepare their kids for a lifetime with God. The problem starts when parents raise children based on their personal experiences growing up instead of using the Bible as the timeless, authoritative guide.

Every mother wants her children to grow up happy, healthy, and fulfilled. But reaching that destination can be full of indecision, worry, and second-guessing. In her groundbreaking book, Regret-Free Parenting, Catherine Hickem offers seven principles for mothers to raise their children well . . . and know they’re doing it right.

In Raising Financially Confident Kids, personal finance expert Mary Hunt prepares readers to debt-proof their kids by teaching readers how to develop a unique plan designed specifically for children that will tear down attitudes of entitlement, build financial intelligence, and neutralize the glamor of easy spending. Debt-proofed kids are guided by a set of financial values.

In Planned Purity for Parents: Creating an Environment for Sexual Purity, Starting With the Heart, Jennie Bishop, founder of PurityWorks, shares with parents how they can construct a household of purity for themselves, a child, or their family. A resource section with parent/child scripts, object lessons, and more makes this guide a must-have for any mom or dad planning for purity in today’s culture.

The trouble with us is not a lack of self-confidence but that we have far too much self-importance. Putting the premise into action in Embracing Obscurity, an established Christian author electing to remain anonymous writes about living and dying in simplicity, contending that true success, as modeled by Jesus, starts with humility, service, sacrifice, and surrender.

Could the gospel be lost in evangelical churches? In this book, J.D. Greear shows how moralism and legalism have often eclipsed the gospel, even in conservative churches. Gospel cuts through the superficiality of religion and reacquaints you with the revolutionary truth of God’s gracious acceptance of us in Christ. The gospel produces in us what religion never could: a heart that desires God.

Mom’s Pocket Posh Games to Play with Your Kids is a tote-sized collection of fun puzzles and games to play with your 7- to 12-year-old includes a 100-puzzle assortment that includes word search, crossword varieties, hidden objects, and many other age-appropriate puzzles. A free trial subscription to The Puzzle Society is included.

A Heart Like His looks at the bond of mutual love and admiration between a man who was not unlike any of us and the one true God who is all good and all powerful. Beth Moore walks us through an exploration of David’s incredible life, drawing spiritual insights from a man who boldly fulfilled his divine destiny not merely by what he did, but who he loved and served.

7 is the true story of how Jen and her family took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence. In the midst, they discovered a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.

Angie Smith was 18 weeks pregnant when doctors discovered that the daughter she was carrying had conditions leaving her “incompatible with life.” I Will Carry You is a powerful story of ultimate loss–a parent’s loss of a child–interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus, helping those walking through the difficult seasons of life to mourn and still have hope.

Angie Smith is one who was quick to encourage a friend, but struggled to believe that God could truly make something spectacular out of her broken-ness and disappointments. Mended takes you on a journey to show how faith lived in the events of daily life is all that it takes to be a part of creating God’s picture of redemption in your life and those around you. Your life does make a difference—because of how He is magnified in the cracks.

Featured in the popular movie Fireproof, The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is a 40-day guided devotional experience that will lead your heart back to truly loving your spouse while learning more about the design, nature, and source of true love. Each reading includes Scripture, a statement of principle, the day’s “dare,” and a journaling area and check box to chart progress.

A 1-year subscription to a kids’ monthly devotional of your choice. More is for 1st and 2nd graders. Adventure is for 3rd and 4th graders. Bible Express is for 5th and 6th graders and comes in your choice of a “for boys” or “for girls” option.

A 1-year subscription to ParentLife magazine. Keep it for yourself or share with a friend or family member! ParentLife is a monthly magazine for the Christian parent that offers help, information, and advice in all the areas parents are seeking godly guidance for their children including health, education, discipline, safety, and spiritual development. Every issue gives parents practical ideas, weekly family devotional ideas, and insights to help them meet responsibilities and celebrate the joys of Christian parenting. Frequent writers include Carey Casey, Angie Smith, Dr. Linda Mintle, David Thomas, Sophie Hudson, and many more!

And finally, two tickets to one of next year’s dotMom conferences. Choose from the February 2013 event in Dallas, Texas, or the September 2013 event in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (This includes registration only. Travel, lodging, and meals not covered.) Bring along your sister, best friend, or pastor’s wife for a wonderful weekend of enriching time for moms! Have you ever thought, I wonder if other moms feel …? However you finish that sentence, the answer is yes. The journey of motherhood is exciting, scary, lovely, and challenging. Which is why we’ve created .MOM—a weekend that will encourage and refresh you, connect you with other moms, celebrate motherhood, and draw you closer to Christ.

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Closed: Interview with Larry the Cucumber & WIN an Amazing VeggieTales Prize Package!

Congratulations Diane L.! You won the VeggieTales Prize Package. Check your inbox for an email from us!

 

You aren’t going to want to miss this post! ParentLife was recently able to grab a minute with the infamous Veggie himself, Larry the Cucumber, and conduct a little interview. He’s very busy with all the movies, CDs, radio tour, and live show … so we’re super grateful to Larry for his time. Read the interview, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end!

Hi Larry! So, do you ever get a chance to read ParentLife magazine?  
ParentLife is awesome!   Even though I don’t have any little cucumbers myself, I know that parents of kids that watch VeggieTales love it!

What’s your favorite silly song? 
“The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” – ‘Cause I get to be on a boat with my all my friends and not do anything!

How do you find time for devotions and studying the Word with your overflowing schedule?
Between all the silliness and fun of making VeggieTales shows, you’ve got to find time to give thanks back to God.  A happy heart is a thankful heart!

Where do you get your inspiration for new characters for the show? 
As you might imagine, it’s not easy to find talking, singing vegetables who can act, too! We handpick characters we think that kids will love!

What is the most important message you want to get to our kids? 
We always try to show kids in each of our shows that they are made special by God and He loves them very much!

 

And now … here is the super awesome prize pack we’re giving away today to celebrate the release of the newest VT DVD, The League of Incredible Vegetables. {How much do I wish I could enter, too??!!}

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll need to click through. You have until Monday to win this one!

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Closed: Oct. 15 Giveaway: ParentLife Subscription

Congratulations to Amy Alsup Hess! She won the 1-year subscription to ParentLife.

Today’s giveaway is for one subscription to ParentLife magazine! Enjoy 12 issues full of Christian insight for parents of children ages 0 to 12. We tackle tough topics like bullying and teaching your kids about grief, but we also include lots of fun with craft ideas and activities to do as a family.

If you are already a subscriber, this would make a great gift for your best friend, sister, or ministry leader’s wife.

Enter using the form below:

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Welcome to Our New Blog!

Hello! Welcome to our new blog!

A few months ago we began to review our blog and realized that it might be time for a refresher. And boy did we get one! We really love our new look and we hope you do too! We’re so excited, that we are planning three huge weeks of fun! From now until October 31, expect to see a post AND a giveaway every day (well, Monday through Friday)! Simply follow the directions at the end of each giveaway post to be entered. We’ll announce the winner the following morning and then announce the new giveaway. And if that wasn’t fun enough, we will be announcing a huge mystery giveaway on November 1st!

So, let us know! What do you think of our new look? And make sure to check out the links in the upper right hand column to our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. We hope you’ll interact with us there too!

Candy Making for Kids WINNER!

The winner of our Candy Making for Kids giveaway is commenter #3, Bethany. Congratulations! We’ll be in touch with you shortly. 

 

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Candy Making for Kids with GIVEAWAY!

Ready to have a bit of a sugar coma just from looking at a cookbook?

That, my friends, is Candy Making for Kids by Courtney Dial Whitmore, the author of the popular entertaining site Pizzazzerie.com

 

Candy Making for Kids

 

From the Skittles-colored backgrounds to the powdered sugar-heavy concoctions, everything about this small cookbook spells fun. Thirty recipes are included, and none use a candy thermometer, making it easy for your little helpers to work alongside you in the kitchen.

Sweet holiday treats like peppermint patties and marshmallow candy corn make way to candy play-dough and rice cereal caterpillars. The book ends with elegant candied rose petals, for a special party touch.

This cookbook would be great fodder for a birthday party or give you something to do on a rainy afternoon. Either way, your kids will go ga-ga … and, let’s be honest, probably have an insane sugar high.

We’re thrilled that the publisher has given us one copy of Candy Making for Kids to give away to our readers. So answer this question in the comments for a chance to win: what is your favorite thing to cook with your kids?

A winner will be selected at random August 31, 2012. LifeWay employees are not eligible to win.  

 

April Giveaway Winners

 The two winners of the Contigo Trekker cups are:

#8, lorib and #11, Melissa. Congratulations, ladies! You will receive an e-mail from Contigo soon!

 

 

April Giveaway: Contigo Cups

My daughter is 3.

Three is hard. Just in case no one has ever told you that.

Libbie wants to use a regular cup, most of the time. (Unless she’s trying to steal her baby brother’s sippies.) But about half the time, this ends with milk on the carpet or water down her front. And for Libbie, one drop of water on her shirt equals a wardrobe change.

Enter Contigo cups. These brilliant bottles are for preschoolers like Libbie, who like to feel independent but still lack complete coordination.

 

 

The Contigo Trekker cups are spill-proof and leak-proof, with auto-sealing. Kids must press the button to open the hole to drink, and it reseals as soon as they release the button. The tight-fitting lid is one piece, so no loose parts to lose, either! The textured bottle makes gripping easy for little ones.

Libbie loves these cups (which we purchased ourselves a few months ago). She loves that her little brother can’t use them; they are hers alone. They look a lot like Mommy’s water bottles. And they don’t spill water on her beloved princess get-ups.

Contigo has graciously offered us two Trekker cups to give away during March.

To enter the giveaway, just answer the following in the comments: what do you hate about sippy cups? [Or just tell us why you need a Contigo cup!]

I hate leaks and finding nasty milk curdled in hidden cups!

Winners will be selected May 1, 2012. LifeWay employees are not eligible to win. One entry per person, please. USA only.