Parenting

Tess

Take Time to Waste Time

By Joe Cavanuagh

One recent and particularly busy spring day, I came home late from work. I jumped out of my car – in my sport coat and dress pants – and rushed up the driveway. My daughter, Tess (pictured above), was waiting in the front yard. When she saw me, she called out, “Dad, come here and lie on the grass with me.” I haven’t done that in years. I looked at my ironed pants, put down my briefcase and walked over to lie on the grass with Tess.READ MORE

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Courage

The Consequences of Moral Courage

By Joe Cavanaugh

A parent wrote me:

My 11th-grade son’s friend is drinking. I don’t know whether I should tell the parents because they’re just as likely to tell me to mind my own business as they are to thank me. (I also don’t want to be responsible for the kid catching hell.) I’m not sure what to do about this problem. I don’t feel like I can sit back and do nothing. But I’m also not sure what the consequences will be if I act. Help!READ MORE

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Falling Down But Not Falling Apart

By Rita Boersma, Youth Frontiers Retreat Specialist and Presentation Coach

“Falling really hurts sometimes. But we have to fall so we can learn to get back up.” I was really trying to be convincing to my daughter because I needed her to believe it. I rocked and soothed her as she wailed and clung to me, her bleeding lip resting on my shoulder. Lovingly, my mother-in-law called me out and said, “Well, that’s a nice philosophy, but not when it’s your kid.”READ MORE

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The Boat Strategy

By Josh Johnson, Youth Frontiers Retreat Director and Youth Corps Manager

My wife and I are often considered the “progressive” or “cool” parents by our daughter’s friends. For example, we let our 15-year-old daughter, Reese, get a nose ring. It wasn’t a difficult choice to make, but to be honest, it wasn’t a choice I was completely thrilled with either. I knew the very moment that Reese displayed that little hole in her nose that the backlash would begin. I imagined walking through the high school during conferences, hearing another kid tell her parents, “Reese’s parents let her get a nose ring, can I get one?!” The parent would quickly declare “no” and shoot my wife and me a dirty look.READ MORE

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Time

By Joe Cavanaugh, Founder & CEO

At a recent rotary presentation, there was time for one more question. I had been speaking about the state of our young people’s character and how it affects school climate. Someone asked, “What is the biggest issue with kids today?” READ MORE

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Parents: Try Starting at the End and Working Backwards

This week’s blog post is shared with permission from Dr. David Walsh’s Mind Positive Parenting™. Author Erin Walsh worked at the National Institute on Media and the Family before launching Mind Positive Parenting with her dad, Dr. David Walsh. Mind Positive Parenting strives to equip parents and communities to raise children and youth who can thrive, meeting the challenges of the 21st century. Erin is also on the Search Institute speaking and training team, teaches at the University of Minnesota and the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs and directs the Mind Retreat for Youth Frontiers. Her father, Dr. David Walsh, sits on our board of directors.READ MORE

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The Teachers’ Lounge Podcast with Joe Schmit

The Teachers’ Lounge, Youth Frontiers’ podcast for educators, brings us into a conversation about how we can create school communities where our kids can thrive – not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well. In our eighth episode of The Teachers’ Lounge, we had the privilege of talking with Joe Schmit – sports broadcaster, community leader and speaker about the power of our influence.READ MORE

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Practice Compassion and Kindness this Valentine’s Day

Recently, on a Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat, our Retreat Staff met a sixth-grader named Alex. As kids entered the gym for their retreat and congregated with their small groups of friends, you could tell that Alex was a bit of an outsider. Alex has special needs – some of which are apparent simply by looking at him – but that didn’t stop Alex from being fully invested in the Courage Retreat. During breaks in the day, Alex would often seek out our staff and strike up a conversation. He was charming and sweet. And he seemed to be encouraged by the message of the day. On the Courage Retreat, we challenge kids to be themselves and to follow their hearts, rather than follow the crowd. We also ask kids to make a change and stand up for others – even when it is hard.READ MORE

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