By Dr. Joshua Straub
Christi and I did an exercise in premarital counseling that was extremely helpful for us. Our counselors asked us to separately write down in one column three characteristics of our respective families of origin that we wanted to carry into our marriage. Then, in the other column, we were to write down three that we did not want to bring into our own family. The exercise helped us to recognize patterns in our families of origin and empowered us to define how we could honor our families’ heritage.
There are grandmas. And then there are me-maws. I had a me-maw. As a boy I went to her house often. She personified love. She did anything to help my sister and me mature into respectable adults. We spent many nights at her house cooking, creating and playing with homemade toys, and romping around in the huge sand piles situated at the cement block company next to her home. She taught us that to have a little fun was just enough.
We have certain patterns in our marriage we consistently work on. For instance, Christi loves to dream. For a long time, I (Josh) resisted dreaming with her. I thought everything she was dreaming up was something she expected to come true. So I shut her down. So many of her dreams were unrealistic to me. I like to be content with where we live, what we have, and how we’re living our lives.
As a parent, I believe racial reconciliation begins in the home. I’m primarily responsible for how my children view, and subsequently treat, others. The process of learning how to treat others begins early, first teaching our kids how to honor and obey Mom and Dad. Next, we teach them how...
I resolved in 2016 to give myself more rest. Though it lasted about as long as most gym memberships, I at least took advantage of my resolution at year’s end. I chose to finish the year the way I began it—in a period of rest.
I needed it. To spend time grieving the loss of my Dad, reset with my bride, and just play with my kids. I went off the grid for these reasons.
Value the emotion, then Set Limits on the Behavior: Grace is when we love our child unconditionally for who she is. Truth is when we love her enough to not leave her that way.
In a Safe House, some of us have a high wall of grace but a low wall of truth. These parents value the emotion, but fail to set limits on the behavior.
Sitting at the dentist recently was a bit painful. With my mouth wide open, my dental hygienist told me about a recent accident that took the life of her best friend’s son. He was 26. Unable to speak and drool rolling down my face, I just listened. I prayed a silent prayer for that family.
Our greatest power struggles came when our kids had an iPad or one of our iPhones. Nothing else came close.
If you’re a parent, you know what causes “crazy” in your kids. Usually—at least for us—they’re either “hangry” (when hunger turns angry) or tired.
Screens make hungry and tired behavior look sane.
My first bicycle was my gateway to freedom. I explored places all six-year-olds should be allowed to go. I traveled as far as my imagination—and backyard—would take me.
There was beauty in the freedom I had on my bicycle—until the day I realized how limited I was in the places I could go. If I could just go beyond my backyard, I thought, I could actually explore new places. Real places.
I had a few shocking revelations when I first became a parent.
First, I grossly underestimated the amount of time and energy these living, breathing, screaming, hungry, sleepless, restless, 100-percent-dependent-upon-us human beings require of us. Even as a counselor and coach, I was ill-prepared for the chaos about to invade our home. Secondly, until this point, the only place I questioned my salvation was on the golf course.
I’ll never forget the night I had a phone call with my cousin’s high school sweetheart. By now, he was a sophomore playing football at a Power 5 Division I school—and they were still together. As you can imagine, he also had the attention on campus that a football player of that caliber experiences—especially from the ladies.
Good parents naturally want to protect their children. If you’re anything like me, you may have even veered into wanting to overprotect your child (especially your first-born—be honest) from every bump and bruise they endured through those early preschool years. The problem is when this attitude of wanting to overprotect leads to saving them from the painful emotions of life’s natural consequences (e.g. calling their friend’s parents to settle your child’s disputes; doing their homework for them; not allowing them to feel the pain of being cut from a sports team; or even...
By Christi Straub
You know the voices. The constant stream of what you’re not doing right or could be doing better. I don’t think I’m the only one who hears them.
The voices leave me feeling inadequate, incapable, shameful, anxious, searching, spinning, spiraling. They come at me 24/7—most often from a small rectangular screen. We voluntarily stare at them, sign up, subscribe and log in for another beating on a...
The single most requested topic I speak and coach families on is creating a screen-balanced home. I use the phrase “screen-balanced” because I don’t believe technology is harmful. I do believe technology without limits is.
“The Enemy Wants Us To Think Giving Into Weakness Isn’t A Big Deal.”
I read this in a Facebook devotional the other day—at least that is my version of what it said. Because of the little people that live under our roof, I haven’t slept in about four years—so my memory isn’t what it used to be.
Nobody enters marriage expecting it to end in divorce. Yet, if statistics hold true, this is what happens to about half of all couples in their first marriage.
However, there are a few steps you can take that will help you divorce-proof your marriage, even prior to getting engaged.
About every six months my wife, Christi, goes on a weekend getaway with her friends—and I’m left alone with our two preschoolers—for three full days.
The last time my bride enjoyed a much-needed weekend away, I had both children at the grocery store. Besides pushing them a little faster and spinning them around a little harder in the cart, I didn’t do anything unlike Christi when she takes them by herself. I made sure to...
Do you remember the viral craze a few years ago called the Cold Water Challenge, where people were nominated by someone on social media to give to a charity of their choice? Sounded altruistic, right?
Living in Branson, MO had its perks. One of those was having a season pass to Silver Dollar City, an amusement park with great food and activities for the entire family. I remember one time Christi and I were just entering the gate with our son when we passed a woman...
I remember a moment when our son, Landon, was about 20-months-old.
As I sat on the chair in our bedroom, reading, I looked over to see him enter the room. He got no more than three feet into the room before he stopped to notice a picture propped up against the wall.
As Landon looked at the picture, I watched him lie down on his belly and lift his head to be face level with the image. It was...
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Connect With Dr. Joshua Straub
Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, family advocate and professor of child psychology. He is the president and cofounder of The Connextion Group, a company designed to empower parents, spouses and families. Josh speaks and writes on emotionally safe parents and spouses and the influence of technology on today's family. He is the author of Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well and along with his wife, Christi, is the producer and co-author of the video curriculum The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st Century. For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.com and follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.
Josh and his Canadian wife Christi reside in Nashville, TN with their son, Landon, and daughter, Kennedy.
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