Archives for May 2011

Cameras in the Delivery Room: Yay or Nay?

newborn babyIn a world of malpractice suits and high-tech gadgets, it’s no wonder obstetricians have begun wringing their hands a little.

Recently the New York Times reported that more hospitals are attempting to ban photography and video (including cell phone pictures) during baby deliveries. Their case is that videos and photos can be easily edited to make it look like things happened that did not occur. Not to mention the doctors and nurses may not want their faces plastered on Facebook.

Video taping can also be distracting to the medical professionals. A hospital room is not Hollywood.

It’s a case, however, of rights. Do the hospitals have the right to tell people they cannot video a birth? Most allow pictures/video 30 seconds to a few minutes post-delivery.

newborn baby 2These are pictures of my (Jessie’s) birth with David in December. Obviously they were taken a few minutes after his birth. I can’t see any reason why I would want to have pictures or video of the actual birth … but I know some people do. What do you think? Should the hospitals be able to regulate cameras and video recording devices?

Fun Friday Photo — May 27, 2011

1st Grade Assignment: For the 100th day of school, dress like you think you will look when you are 100 years old.
Observation: Looks pretty good for 100, but he still won’t tuck his shirt in!

Christopher_1.jpgThanks to William S. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jackets

In our June issue, we mentioned the Puddle Jumper Life Jacket in conjunction with our article "Safe Swimming: Water Safety Basics" (p. 42).

Unfortunately, we included an incorrect image along with the description.

Stearns Puddle Jumper.Green.HIGH RES.jpgThe Puddle Jumper outfits little ones with confidence in the water with the only life jacket of its kind approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Stearns® Puddle Jumper™ Life Jacket features a non-inflatable, all-foam design for superior stability and is made with soft fabric to ensure exceptional comfort and less chaffing. The Puddle Jumper Life Jacket features an adjustable rear strap to give children full range of motion, for maximum freedom and self-confidence in the water.  This is a Type V life jacket with Type III performance and is designed for children between 30 and 50 pounds. Stearns Puddle Jumper.Pink.HIGH RES.jpg

We apologize for our error and hope you will check out the Stearns Puddle Jumper Life Jacket for your summer water fun!

Milestones for Boys

Passport2Purity.jpgThis month it seems we have just been clicking off the milestones for my 12-year-old son, Jonathan. Jonathan has been in the same school, St. Paul Christian Academy, since Kindergarten and is graduating tomorrow night. So we have been doing the last of everything: last Field Day, last day of classes, last field trip, last tests, etc. But there have been so many other milestones that hit at the age of 12: his last year in Bible drill, his last year playing Cal Ripken baseball, and all the other milestones of being a last-year preteen.

I have been thinking for quite a while how to help Jonathan mark this transition into becoming a teenager. I am leaning toward a road trip this summer and going through the Passport2Purity study with him as part of that trip. Passport2Purity is produced by FamilyLife.

I would love to know what you have done to help your preteen mark this transition into the teenage years. What worked well and what does not? Thanks for your help!

Baby Movers by Joy Fisher

For our June 2011 issue, Joy Fisher wrote the article "Kids on the Move: Making Family Relocation Easier on Children" (p. 24). Here are some more tips from Joy on moving when you have younger children.

Our residential homeowner’s association held a block party not long ago. The realtor who helped us with the sale of our last home and the purchase of our current home lives a few streets away. Chatting with her at the picnic brought back memories of that moving process: we had a 2-year-old son and another baby on the way when we put our house on the market. When we finally moved (a whopping 3-mile trip), our second son was 3 months old.


"We're Moving!"



If you are parents of preschoolers and planning a move, try these tips for a smooth transition:

  • Pack the clutter. Selling a house where preschoolers live can be tricky. Potential buyers don’t really want to see your stroller parked in the entry hall and baby bottles covering every inch of kitchen counter space. When your house is on the market, pack away everything but the bare necessities. Recognize that there will be days when you will need to ask your realtor not to show the house so you can relax your housekeeping priorities for a few hours.
  • Be ready to go. Property showings can occur on a moment’s notice; keep some toys, books, and even snacks in the car for times when you must grab the kids and leave for an hour or so.
  • Hope for the best but plan for the worst on closing day. Signing all the papers at our closing took twice as long as we expected. The baby spit up on our realtor’s dry-clean-only suit, and we were all frazzled and grumpy by the time we were finally able to cap the pen and walk away. Don’t hesitate to ask for a break if you or your child needs it.
  • Enlist help for the actual move. Arrange for little ones to pass time with friends or family if at all possible. Surround your preschooler with a special blanket or lovey and other familiar comforts of home, and let him sleep in his crib or bed in the new digs as soon as possible after departure from your old home.
  • Keep routines. No doubt you will encounter logistical problems as you sell your home, pack, and move into a different home. Even if you feel exhausted and frustrated, try to keep your young child’s regular routines and interactions with you intact.
  • Trust God. Most of all, trust God to care and provide for your family as you relocate. Put finding a new church home at top of your must-do list if your move takes you away from your family of faith.

Do you have any tips for moving with preschoolers?

Joy Fisher and her husband David love the home where they have raised their three children for the past 8 years.

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.


Products We Love, May 2011

Products We Love button


Every month we have a long list of products we want to share with you, but only a few can fit in the printed magazine. That’s why it’s so great we have this online space! Here are a few things we couldn’t squeeze into the May 2011 issue.

logo_safetytat3.gifSafetyTat temporary tattoos are now available with two-dimensional QR barcodes that can be read by smart phones. Programmed with special needs, allergy, or parental contact information, these tats can bring a lost child back to you quickly. memoves.jpgThe MeMoves DVD program utilizes soothing music and repetitive movements to calm children with special needs. Find out more at


Are there products you think should be featured in ParentLife? Leave us a comment about them and we’ll check them out!

Fun Friday Photo — May 20, 2011

Will is playing with his new dog "Mags." Every dog needs a boy!


Thanks to Erin I. for this great photo!

Photos wanted! Send us your funny, cute, or just plain fun pictures for our Fun Friday Photos. Each Friday we will post a new "Fun Friday Photo." E-mail your photo and a suggested caption describing the photo to Visit the blog each Friday to see if your photo was chosen!

Our Next Big Adventure: Potty Training

In less than two months, my "little" guy, Jack, will turn 3 … which means we’re about to embark on our next big adventure … potty training!

As you can imagine, being the editor of a parenting magazine I’ve read about the basics of potty training more than once <tiny bit of sarcasm>. You would think this means that I am more prepared than the average parent to potty train my own child. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. To be completely honest … I’m stressed about it already and we haven’t even officially started!  Reading the books and having head knowledge is one thing, but actually carrying it out correctly and effectively is another!


We’ve been talking it up for a few weeks with Jack and he’s starting to show a glimmer of interest in the idea of using the big-boy potty. We even bought a potty chair this weekend to help him get used to it. He’s very intrigued by the new addition to the bathroom. I am borrowing books and DVDs from friends to help engage him even more in the idea. We’ve even cultivated his love of M&Ms (not hard to do) in preparation for positive reinforcment! Everything is starting to indicate that he might finally be ready … now if only I was as ready as he is!

I’m not sure why I’m not anxious to get started. I think part of me realizes that it is a HUGE milestone that officially marks the end of babyhood. As annoying (and expensive) as it is to change diapers, it is at least one way Jack still needs me. Once diapers are a thing of the past, he is one step closer to being independent. Next thing I know, he’ll be moving out of the house (deep sigh)! OK … maybe I’m being a bit overdramatic!

However, in reality, potty training is a big step … one that should be celebrated! There’s nothing left to do except to push aside the drama-queen thoughts and go for it!! I know it’s a process that takes time … but I’m hoping by the fall we’ll have this potty-thing under our belts and be enjoying diaper-free freedom!

What potty-training tips do you have for me? What worked with your child? I’m all ears!  


Leadership Lessons from a 10-Year-Old by Chris Spradlin

KYLIE FOR PRESIDENT.jpgLast year my daughter, Kylie, decided to run for Student Body President of her elementary school. I was so proud of her! She dreamed, strategized, marketed, prayed her guts out and even “hired” a campaign manager. Trump should consider hiring her!

Speech day arrived and I will never forget walking into the auditorium. Every candidate was dressed like a clown, a rock star, or they rode a unicycle and juggled. The reality is that it looked like a Barnum and Bailey Three Ring Circus. It looks like Kylie had missed something! She should have dressed up like Dora, Hannah Montana (that’s not happening), or Dee Snider from Twisted Sister!! Something!!

Kylie looked me in the eyes and said, “Dad, I’m not going to play that game. If I win, I will win because they like me, trust me, and want me to be their president.”

Bam!! I was so proud of Kylie. I started to tear up, shout, and do a dad’s happy dance.

So what happened?

Kylie won the position of Student Body President!

Kylie taught me a ton about life that day; but most importantly she taught me about strong, confident, unwavering leadership.

Parents, teach your kids these leadership lessons by Kylie Spradlin:

3 Choices Every Leader Must Make:

  • CHOOSE IMPACT OVER IMPRESSION: God has called your kids to IMPACT the world, not IMPRESS the world.
  • CHOOSE WEIRD: My friend Craig Groeschel just wrote a book called Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working. Parents, we must teach our kids to stand alone and choose weird. Kylie chose weird by not dressing up like a clown and getting out of a clown car.
  • CHOOSE SERVICE OVER SELFISHNESS: True leaders serve! Kylie didn’t “pimp the school store” or add Coke machines. Instead she led a team to serve the community in a Steamboat School District Food Drive.

I think we could all learn a lot from Kylie. Have your children taught you any life lessons recently?

  ChrisSpradlinChris Spradlin is husband to Jodie and dad to Cole, Kylie, and Tifton. He lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and is the pastor of Euzoa Church. He also blogs at about being a creative, involved, and godly parent.

May 2011: ParentLife Everyday

Each month ParentLife pulls together a one-page document for preschool and children’s leaders and teachers that highlights articles that might help families they work with. But this also is a great tool for parents!

The articles below are in our current May 2011 issue of ParentLife. Read the articles that minister to your family and pass along a copy to those who might benefit from it!


Looking for a Safety Net? Help the moms in your ministry build a healthy network of supportive friends to rely on. Encourage experienced moms to reach out to newer moms by extending a hand of friendship — a great article for launching or promoting a Mom-to-Mom mentoring ministry in your church (pp. 20-23). [Also see our blog posts "Being a Friend" and "You’re Not Alone, Mom!"]

True or False? Peanuts are the most common food allergy. False! However, peanuts are the food most likely to cause a life-threatening allergic response. Get the facts about food and seasonal allergies for parents and teachers (pp. 42-43). [Also see our blog post "Allergies 101."]

Single on Mother’s Day: Be sensitive to the unique emotions and challenges single mothers face on Mother’s Day. Recognize the sacrifices they make each day and encourage them to take time to celebrate their motherhood (pp. 38-39).

Choosing Adoption: Encourage teachers and volunteers to consider adoption from every angle … including the perspective of the birth mother. Be prepared to minister to women who might be working through guilt (pp. 40-41).

Deep Questions: Preschoolers have a knack for asking difficult questions. Equip parents and teachers to answer these questions in a healthy way (p. 15).

Gracious Gratitude: Instill a sense of gratitude in the children in your church with these six tips (p. 16).

20+ : The number of words an 18-month-old may say. Are your teachers and volunteers building spiritual foundations by talking about God, Jesus, and the Bible? You want these important words to become a part of a child’s working vocabulary (p. 12).

To download a PDF of this month’s ParentLife Everyday, click on the link below.