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The Simple Marriage Prayer That Will Put Your Focus On God

"When we pray these words, we are acknowledging that He is in control of us, and we are not in control of each other. It is offering our own will in exchange for God’s will."

Dear ‘Good Parents’: This Is How You Miss the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Your Child

How do good parents miss child sexual abuse? It is simple.

Twins Found Floating Face Down in Backyard Pool. 6-Yr-Old Who Can’t Swim Dives in After Them in Bold Rescue.

“They were completely gone, there was no life left in them. They were blue. They were limp. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing."

Stop Parenting from the Couch

“Daddy, when can I get an iPhone?” asked my 9-year-old daughter.

“What makes you ask?” I replied, surprised.

She told me her 10-year-old friend at the YMCA has her own iPhone and tablet and “she can play Minecraft whenever she wants.”

This was big news to me since we’ve recently limited tablet time to the weekends. I felt like such a Luddite-dad. But then I read Christopher Mims’ recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Mims also limits tablet time to the weekends. Score one for the Luddite dads! I thought.

Mims reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommends “children younger than 18 months get zero screen time, and those ages 2 to 5 be limited to one hour a day — half of its prior recommendation.” As far as television, parents should watch with their children and discuss what they see, what experts call “structured joint attention.” The experts’ advice is clear: Parents should limit their children’s screen time and, when possible, watch with them.

But according to Mims, parents haven’t been heeding this counsel. “Time spent in apps from the ‘family’ category on the Google Play store doubled in the past year,” he notes. And children ages 3 to 11 watch 4.5 hours of recorded programming a day. There’s very little research on the long-term effects of smartphone and tablet use on children. Some researchers suggest it’s not how much time children spend on devices but rather what they’re watching or playing that matters. But when you consider that every “hour of entertainment programming a child watches in the first three years of life increases her odds of exhibiting attention issues at school at age seven by 10 percent,” limiting the use of screens sounds like a good idea.

And yet, although the Luddite in me wants to ban all such devices in our house, I work from home and my children see me use my iPhone and laptop constantly. Though we’ve limited tablet and phone use for the kids, even taking a Sabbath from them all day on Sundays, what about my device use outside of work? Am I engaged with my children or distracted by a screen?

Timothy Willard
Timothy Willard
Tim's authored four books, including Shine So Bright, a children's Christmas story, and is finishing his first novel. He and his wife, Christine, co-founded The Edges and are writing a book they hope will inspire married couples to stick together no matter what. He and Christine live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their three pixie-daughters. Sign-up here to follow their work.

The Simple Marriage Prayer That Will Put Your Focus On God

"When we pray these words, we are acknowledging that He is in control of us, and we are not in control of each other. It is offering our own will in exchange for God’s will."

Dear ‘Good Parents’: This Is How You Miss the Signs of Sexual Abuse in Your Child

How do good parents miss child sexual abuse? It is simple.

Twins Found Floating Face Down in Backyard Pool. 6-Yr-Old Who Can’t Swim Dives in After Them in Bold Rescue.

“They were completely gone, there was no life left in them. They were blue. They were limp. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing."