“Specifically with boys, because so many of the mentorship models are disappearing from our culture it seems, they need a place where they can see godly men who are leading boys and they need to have them as examples,” Mark said. “The character of a person and the skills that they develop trumps any charisma that they have because it puts them in position to lead. People will follow a leader who understands leadership principles and understands shared leadership and understands everything that you should be doing is a good positive leader.”
“The AHG girls who write me gives me hope for this upcoming generation of young women,” Patti said. “Here’s a quick story from Caitlin, a senior in high school from Missouri: ‘I have been in AHG since I was in first grade. It is my backbone and I have found my love for service and leadership skills through this organization. God has developed those gifts through AHG and I believe he plans for me to use them in amazing ways in the future.’ These girls have hope, and that's what we want for each and every one of our daughters.”
“Anger cues are the first step in developing an anger management plan. Some children do feel like they ramp up really quickly, or parents will even say, ‘My child goes from 0 to 60 instantly,’” said Scott. “What we're saying is ‘There are indicators that this child's frustration starting to boil, and we want to pick up on those in advance.’ This is a self-awareness approach that we're trying to use. The reason we do that is because James 1:19 and 20 says, ‘Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to get angry.’ How can you be slow to get angry if you can't see it coming on?”
“I think the thing that I try to convey to all of them is that hard work is actually the best kind of work because it changes you as a person. It builds muscles that you can't see. It makes you more empathetic to people who have to work hard, and it teaches you how to stick with something. What I feel gets overlooked a lot nowadays is that just because you can't see the benefits—just because you're not the top 1% at this task—it doesn't mean that that thing or that hobby isn't worth it. Because it is. It's not about getting everything perfect—it's about trying and that continual pursuit of trying different things because that’s a lot harder and a lot scarier than becoming perfect at one thing.”
As Christian parents, we firmly believe that one of the most important jobs we have is teaching our four children about our faith. For centuries, parents regularly engaged in the practice of systematically teaching their children biblical truths, often from manuals of Christian doctrine called catechisms. But that formal way of educating our children fell out of favor gradually, and today, many Christian families don’t have any form of regular teaching to pass on to their children the essential elements of our faith.
“If we had it altogether and did everything perfectly and our kids did everything perfectly, how would our little ones learn empathy for anyone?,” Lori says. “Compassion would never be developed in a person who never experiences a little struggle or a little suffering. Our trials in our life help us develop a godly and a loving character toward other people.”
“Each child is unique and what works for one child might not work for another. There are some generalities in raising children. I mean, all children no matter who they are need love. They need to feel safe and secure in their homes, in their bodies,” Dara said. “You know, they need to have bodily autonomy. I mean, there are certain things that are general across the board for all children; and then there’s a whole lot of variability depending on the makeup and the wiring of the child.”
“My wife and I often remind ourselves to not live vicariously through our kids, and that includes allowing them to decide on their level of sports participation,” Miller said.
“We glorify busyness I think in the American culture, acting like you need to have all these accomplishments behind your name for people to give you respect,” Tol said. “I know I have struggled with [thinking my busyness proves my worth], and it definitely contributed to busyness in my life.”
“I think children were born to play,” Janet says. “I think play is the seeds in the ground that prepare a child to understand the words they’re going to get hit with later on in school.”