How To Stop Arguing With Your Kids

Dear Groovy Mama,
My eight year old son is challenging me on everything. When my husband and I give him the answer – he picks a fight with us. He won’t back off. I’m going crazy and I hate to say this, but I find myself arguing with him. Silly me. I’m arguing with a kid. I’m not winning either. –L.M.

Dear L.M.,
I have a ‘negotiator’ for a son. When he was young, he would try to circumvent everything I told him in an attempt to control the situation. At a certain point, I realized I was arguing with him far too often. And you are absolutely right, no one can win when arguing with young, egocentric humans. It simply leaves you feeling crazy, frustrated, and defeated. But there is good news, my friend! My husband and I found victory over this behavior, and you can too.

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The One Parenting Philosophy Every Mom Should Adopt

At the risk of destroying all ‘good mama’ cred I may possess, I have to make a confession here. Being a mother did not come naturally to me. Feeling only a profound weariness at the birth of my firstborn, the first thing I wanted to do afterwards was eat. I was famished. The only tears I almost shed that day were for the hospital enchiladas they brought me. Never had institutional food tasted so good. Only after I had enjoyed my feast did I wonder where they’d taken my baby.

That stings to admit.

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Encouraging Your Introverted Teen

Dear Groovy Mama,
I know my teen is an introvert. How do I push him to engage in activities with others without pushing him too far out of his comfort zone? (Amy)

Dear Amy,

This is an excellent question, one I happen to have intimate experience with. Out of the six people in my family, four of us are seriously introverted. A couple of us also deal with social anxiety. More about that in a moment.

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The Happiest Place on Earth?

Glancing at the woman to my left, I smiled. Her arms were full of warm, rumpled toddlers, two little girls who were obviously exhausted from a long day at the Magic Kingdom. The tiny princess closest to me clutched her glowing star-wand and shifted to get comfortable. The bus gently swayed, rocking the girls into a fitful rest on the journey to our resort.

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Help For Hectic Schedules

Dear Groovy Mama,
We have a crazy sports schedule right now. I don’t handle it well. It feels so selfish on my part because I know the sports are good for my boys. I just get to the point where I feel like I’m always on the go and we aren’t connecting as a family. There are evenings that the first conversation my husband and I get are when we lay down to go to bed. Not ok. Do you have any ideas for me? –Tanya C.

Dear Tanya,

Sweet friend, life can certainly be busy. Staying connected and making time for family can be a challenge. In order to stay on top of it all, we need to have a game plan.

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Looking Lovely

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

~Roald Dahl

This quote, by one of my all-time favorite authors, immediately made me think of Philippians 4:8.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (NIV)

I don’t know about you, my friends, but I sure need this reminder on a regular basis!  May we think on lovely things today, yes?

Grace and peace,



Photo credit: Featured image by HalfPoint at bigstockphoto.

Teaching Kids To Pray

Dear Groovy Mama,
My 4 year old suddenly won’t participate in our family prayer time. He just wanders off to play and refuses to pray himself. I’m worried that he’s no longer interested in spiritual things. What have I done wrong? –C.L.

Dear C.L.,

First off, let me assure you that you are not doing anything wrong!  In fact, it sounds as though you are doing something very right, modeling prayer time as a family.  Young children don’t understand abstract concepts like faith, prayer, and God.  What they do understand is what they see, and seeing you talk to God, lifting up the needs and requests of others, is a beautiful foundation that the more difficult concepts will build on.

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