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Posted 9/7/16 at 8:00 PM | Trace Embry

Why You Should Take the Influence of Media Seriously

There is little argument that our nation is in decline. However, many would debate why our nation is declining.

Although Bill O’Reilly of Fox News is not a parenting professional, he often attributes America’s decline to the disintegration of the traditional family. With children born out of wedlock, dads out of the picture, and a general lack of stability, it is no wonder he looks to the family as a cause.

Picture provided by Megane Callewaert

I believe a starting point to a solid family structure is how seriously the parents take the influence of media on their family. Bill also discusses how horrendous music, entertainment and digital addictions are also contributing factors.

This stance isn’t popular, but I believe Bill is on to something. Our teens are feeding on American entertainment. It’s time for us as parents to take that seriously. FULL POST

Posted 9/7/16 at 7:52 PM | Trace Embry

2 Ways to Turn Your Home Around

Our world is busy. Our homes are busy. It’s easy for us as parents to get caught up in our important tasks. However, sometimes we overlook the fundamentals. Today, I’d like to outline two things that you can address to turn your home around.

Picture provided by bambe1964

Tell Your Teen No

First, learn to tell your child “no.” Too many parents are afraid of losing the approval or favor of their child by saying “no.” For as long as I’ve worked with troubled teens I’ve learned that virtually no child really hates their parent for saying “no” – even when they tell them they do.

Children are very good at over-reacting and making emotional statements. Even teens have several years left to fully develop emotionally.

Stick to what you know is right, address disrespect with discipline. Continue despite your teen’s reaction to the word no. Even while your teen is saying “I hate you” their spirit is loving and respecting you deeper. FULL POST

Posted 9/7/16 at 7:47 PM | Trace Embry

Can You Trust Your Babysitter?

Whether planning a romantic evening out, or just some time in town, many parents often hire a babysitter to take care of their children. But, in today’s culture, can you trust your babysitter?

Babysitting isn’t the exact experience it used to be. There can be regulations in place that make hiring a sitter on-par with hiring other professionals.

Picture provided by dharmacat

All kidding aside; when considering a babysitter, you really do need to check on the requirements of your state. Also, never hire someone you do not trust. Make sure that you know more about your sitter than just the name on their resume.

Check your prospective baby sitter’s social media accounts. Don’t assume you don’t have to check the accounts of your sitter if they are family. A good sign that your sitter isn’t a good fit is a refusal to accept your friend request on a ‘private’ account. FULL POST

Posted 8/30/16 at 6:57 PM | Robert Hoffman

Good Reasons Your Child Should Attend Preschool


The majority of parents with children under three are often faced with the dilemma of whether or not to enroll their children in preschool. It is often difficult for both the child and parent to let go. Is it the appropriate place for the child, or is it going to make her or him feel abandoned by dad and mom? In many countries such as Germany and United States, Preschool is not compulsory. However, many parents (80% of parents in Germany for instance) prefer to send their children to preschool. Well, there are a number of preschool advantages that every parent ought to have in their mind.

Learning with and from one another

Children from various age groups are usually combined into a single group. Each child has different abilities and talents; culture, heritage, or religion may vary too. All these differences are important bases for learning. Children learn consciously through observation, repetition and imitation. Therefore, each child learns from his peers and develops his abilities and social skills as well as knowledge, which often spawns positive emotions. FULL POST

Posted 8/24/16 at 2:01 PM | Trace Embry

The Secret to Raising a Perfect Teen

The secret to imparting character into your child may be right under your nose: chores. Chores are crucial. In fact, it is so crucial it may be the secret to raising a perfect teen.

Chores play an important role in your child’s success. However, many parents miss this. Instead, they dread asking their teens to do things around the house. Unfortunately some parents, as well as their children, consider many of these tasks to be “beneath them” or drudgery.

Picture Provided By Jeff Moser

Rather than thinking of chores as drudgery, wouldn’t it benefit our children to see these tasks as preparation for the real world?

Cleaning windows, scrubbing soap scum from around sinks and faucets, and cleaning toilets are all jobs that require a degree of drudgery. According to Oswald Chambers: “Drudgery is the touchstone of character.” FULL POST

Posted 8/18/16 at 3:47 PM | Marianne Kurtz

Center of Attention

Does your son or daughter always has to talk when you talk with someone or get your attention the moment you get on the phone? I have not met a parent yet that has not had to train their child to stop doing this. Something about being the center of attention to a child seems almost innate. I'm not sure the childish logic of this continuous action but I am sure how to train for it.

Everyone's child has some special talent that mommy is so proud of and she just wants everyone to see what her kid can do, "Come here Tommy and show so and so how you sing that song or dance or sing and dance" whatever the case may be. Well, now little Tommy is the center of attention and WOW does he like it and he really is pretty cute and maybe even sings and dances just perfect but...!

But have we as the loving parents who just want our kids talent to be seen just created a monster? The answer is that it doesn't have to be that way. You can train your child that even though you might have brought attention to them for a moment in giving them the "stage" to show what they can do it was and always should be to give the glory to God because He gives the talent. AND...that doesn't mean they will always be the center of attention. FULL POST

Posted 8/9/16 at 10:36 AM | Marianne Kurtz

Stand Up For What You Believe In

It's easy to say what you believe in behind closed doors but what about when you are out in public. As the world gets louder about what they believe in it's time that Christians and parents who believe in spanking, (not beating their kids) controlled discipline, speak up for what the Bible says.

Too many opinions about it not being the correct way to discipline! It is the Christian way and IT does work when consistent and not done in anger. As Christians we cannot just sit back and watch the world tell us how to raise our children when the answer lies in the Word not the world.

The problem has been not being consistent which in turn leads to anger in discipline and that is where the problem begins because then you get mad and see red. Don't beat them down with words or an object or your hands, Train them up in peace, love and the rod of correct - I call this my paddle! ! It is better to walk away and take a breather from any situation if you are angry and get over it before dealing with it...disciplining children should be no different. Walk away for a moment; don't keep saying stupid stuff and expect things to not blow up in your face. Take a moment, get over it, think reasonably and then deal with it in peace. If you spank in anger you impart anger; spank in peace and surety that you know "Spare the Rod..." then you impart peace. It works!

Posted 7/25/16 at 11:19 AM | Marianne Kurtz

Insecurities Suck! (As I Find Myself)

The Frustration of Insecurities!

Insecurity can come in many different forms but being insecure about people loving you is possibly the bottom line.

I remember back to the days when I believed what people told me, the words “I love you” had meaning and a purity to it. Now, I’m not sure if it’s just the years of hearing people say it and then leave that same love behind for the smallest reasons (sometimes also in the name of love) or if those words are just thrown around like its nothing. Kind of funny that I used to think it was such a special sentence to hear and now it’s just a phrase “Luv ya”, “love ya”, I heart you, however you say it…and I am guilty too. I have definitely said it too prematurely but I feel like I’ve finally learned not to throw it around like it is just a phrase.

Fast forward 20 years and I even doubt my kids love me…why is that? I know they do…that’s how ridiculous it is. Insecurity: lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt FULL POST

Posted 7/10/16 at 8:00 PM | Trace Embry

2 Examples how America’s Definition of Family is Changing

The definition of family seems to be changing with our rapidly changing times.

Picture Provided By Keoni Cabral

1) The Poly Family

In our society, even the Christian kids are believing that two moms; two dads; or a “poly family” are as legitimate as the traditional family of one man and one woman.

Terms like “family” and “marriage” are being grossly redefined in our post-modern world.

A decade or so ago, gay marriage would have been thought of as an oxymoron—as were poly families.

This is producing a slippery slope where “anything goes.”

Please discuss with your children the importance of a proper view of family. Our future depends on it.

2) Blended Families

Large numbers of blended families are a result of high divorce rates. We continue to mess with and complicate God’s ecosystem. Family problems will thus continue to be more and more complicated. FULL POST

Posted 7/10/16 at 7:36 PM | Trace Embry

Is There a Link Between Food and Teen Behavior?

You may not be aware that there is a link between food and teenage behavior.
Your teen’s diet may be a contributing factor to behavior. A solution is proper nutrition in your
home. When it comes to parenting, nutrition is often grossly overlooked. Obesity is only one
byproduct of a poor diet. What we feed our kids also affects their behavior.
Picture Provided By Michael Stern
Food boundaries need to be consistent and considered inside your homes. So, how do you
address nutrition at home? Here are two solutions:
Start the Conversation of Food and Teen Behavior

In today’s culture, teens are often exposed to temptations, including food.
If your teen is struggling with an eating habit or weight control, it’s important to remain calm.
Before you implement appropriate boundaries and discipline with food, approach this topic with
your teen.
First, have an open discussion with your teen about your concerns for his/her diet. Explain the
health and behavioral affects food can have on your teen.
Next, work with your teen to develop goals to commit to. Once committed, hold your teen
Remember the Basics

Your teen may not always be willing to take responsibility for their health. In these
circumstances it may be necessary (and wise) to dictate exactly what your child is premised to
In these situations, simply follow the same principles we discuss regularly on boundary
development in this blog and create boundaries your teen must follow.
Conversation Starter: Proper diet and nutrition are often overlooked in our culture of abundance.
Take the time to evaluate your household. What are some steps you can take to improve how
your family should address nutrition?

Trace Embry is the Founder and Director of Shepherds Hill Academy, a Christ-centered
therapeutic residential program, as well as a private accredited boarding school for troubled
teenagers. He is the Host of the "License to Parent with Trace Embry Radio Program." He is also
a public speaker, and teaches parenting classes. Visit his parenting blog at “Insight for Today's
Culture with Trace Embry."

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