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Neuroscience

So, parent of an infant or toddler, what are you doing to help your child make lots of neural connections these days? Maybe you need to learn more about what you can do to help your child develop those all-important neural connections that bring about learning.

Neuroscience studies the brain and how it functions. It explains that through the workings of billions of nerve cells with trillions of connections, the brain receives stimuli, processes it, remembers a lot of it, and produces learning. Neuroscience demonstrates the complexity of the human mind and the wonder of God’s creation. It supports what the psalmist observed for us long ago: “I praise [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Continue reading

At Times of Loss

A death in the family can provide parents with a wonderful opportunity. What better time to teach your children the story of God’s love for all people? The gospel brings great comfort at such a time—comfort that every Christian sooner or later learns to appreciate at the death of a believer.

There are all sorts of clinical reasons why people die; there is only one real cause of death: sin. “The wages of sin is death . . .” But death is not an end. Because of God’s great love for all people, Jesus came into the world to forgive sins and lead the way to eternal life in heaven. “. . . but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Continue reading

Drugs and Alcohol

They know it’s wrong. They have learned it’s harm­ful. Why, then, do children still choose to experiment with drugs and alcohol?

Think of a hungry lion, stalking its prey—the weak and vulnerable—those who wander from the group. The beast selects a target and waits. That is how Satan operates (1 Peter 5:8). Our children are unprotected when it comes to dealing with the temptation to experi­ment with drugs and alcohol. Continue reading

Potty Training

The questions begin when a child is about a year old: At what age should I begin potty training? Does a difficult experience cause emotional damage? What if my child refuses to be trained? These are common concerns. First-time parents find them particularly worrisome.

God’s Word does not talk specifically about potty training, of course. But that doesn’t mean we can’t apply some biblical principles in general terms. The Bible does remind us, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). The body grows and develops according to a set pattern that God determines. With children, the bones grow, muscles develop, and think­ing matures all according to his plan. Continue reading

The Secret to Being Overwhelmingly Grateful

I am wary of any book or chapter of a book that begins with the words “The Secret to. . . . ” Our world today is always looking for a quick fix, a silver bullet, an easy solution to all its problems. We would love to know the secret to six-pack abs or financial security.

This chapter is not a silver bullet. It’s not a pill that will make your body fat melt away or all your problems disappear. There is no secret to being overwhelmingly grateful. I’m not about to reveal a great and profound mystery. The secret to being overwhelmingly grateful is simply to open your eyes. Continue reading

Do Your Children Know You Love Them?

Christian parents show love for their children by providing for their spiritual needs. They teach their children about Jesus—his loving sacrifice on Calvary to win salvation for them. And they discipline their children, using God’s Word to guide and direct behavior.

Giving time and attention to your children also shows your love for them. Parents need to be involved, spend time with their children, talk and listen to them, share their dreams and ideas. Some people promote the idea that the quality of the time spent together will make up for not spending much time together. Children need both, quality time and a large quantity of it. Continue reading

Stuttering

It is not at all unusual for children to stutter as they begin to develop their language skills. Stuttering is so common during the preschool years that speech therapy is seldom recommended. Most young children who stutter outgrow it by age 7.

What is somewhat surprising is that even though stuttering is quite common, the cause of it is not totally understood. It is known that stuttering is more likely to occur in boys than in girls. It is also known that stuttering and other speech-related problems are somewhat hereditary. While stuttering is not caused by limited intellectual ability, it is common for children who stutter to have difficulties with reading and writing. Continue reading