Brett.Ullman

Category - parenting

When Marriage Is No Longer Exciting

Some great thoughts here:

Those who enter into marriage promise to continuously choose love, especially when they don’t feel like it.

Each year of change, each trial worked over, each day we fight to keep the promises we made, we are drawn into a depth of relationship we couldn’t imagine on the wedding day.

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/when-marriage-no-longer-exciting”]

Cheaters, Thieves, Scammers and Liars

Last month my family went to a farm for the afternoon during the Thanksgiving Season (Canadian Thanksgiving). This farm was awesome and had everything from a large corn maze, apple picking, tons of activities for kids and even an event where pumpkins were shot out of canons (my favorite). I had a great time with my family but I found it really interested some of the people the we encountered that day. There were 4 stories that really frustrated me that day:

1. Cheaters: we were in a barn and there was a small .25 cent machine to get food for the animals.  I was in line with my kids  and watched the lady in front of me watching the guy from the farm very closely. The moment the farmer left the bard she said to her young 4-5 year old  “You don’t have to pay, you just jiggle the machine and the food comes out” All I could think of was how this young girl is being taught at a very young age how cheating the system is ok as long as you don’t get caught.

2. Theives: When apple picking you choose the size of bag you want and then go pick your apples. While my family is picking apples there are a few parents and about 6 kids on the other side of the apple trees from us. The mother got all the kids together and told them to “Shove apples into your pocket”s as they were leaving and wanted to get more. Again another young kid said truth “But mom, is that not stealing.” The mother said that they paid for a bag and the little girl replied “But our pockets are not part of the bag”. Again truth from young kids.

3. Scammers: While picking Apples you could use a Wheel barrow to hold your apple bag. Once finished there were lots of signs that said please don’t take the wheelbarrows from the field. There was a place to leave them clearly marked off. As I was walking back with my own apples in hand I heard a father tell his family he would distract the farm guy while his family escapes with the wheel barrow to the car. To which the kid said “But dad we are not supposed to take the wheel barrow’s out of the field” The fathers response was to just ignore the little guys valid point.

4. Liars: at a certain time of the day the activity area for children closed down. I was coming back with my bag of apples to put them in the car and had to put the bag down. Just as a put the bag down a man came to his family which was directly beside me and told them “The area is closed down. Lets go over and tell them our cousins are in the area and they will let us in.” To which the 10 year old replied. “But our cousins are not in there. Its just us” To which the father told him to (and I quote) “Get with the program” I wondered how the father will like it when his son is doing the same things to him in upcoming years.

I am shocked at how many parents I saw in one day that seemed to have just quit parenting. What morals and values are these parents teaching these young kids? What was fascinating was that all of these kids knew better. All of them challenged their parents on what they were doing.

Parenting is a strategic, intentionally pursuit.

You need to teach your kids how they should be in life and one of the best ways to do this is to model it by your life. These parents are modelling the way to be Cheaters, Thieves, Scammers and Liars. I find it so interesting that in all these 4 stories the kids ALL knew the difference between what is wrong and right. How do we lose this as adults?

What do your actions as a parent say to your kids?

The important thing about yelling

Great article for all of us to read.

Excessive phone use, commitment overload, multiple page to-do lists, and the pursuit of perfection consumed me. And yelling at the people I loved was a direct result of the loss of control I was feeling in my life.

Inevitably, I had to fall apart somewhere. So I fell apart behind closed doors in the company of the people who meant the most to me.

Some great practical advice

I said things like, “It’s just chocolate syrup. You can wipe it up, and the counter will be as good as new.”

(Instead of expelling an exasperated sigh and an eye roll for good measure.)

I offered to hold the broom while she swept up a sea of Cheerios that covered the floor.

(Instead of standing over her with a look of disapproval and utter annoyance.)

I helped her think through where she might have set down her glasses.

(Instead of shaming her for being so irresponsible.)

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://familyshare.com/Parenting/the-important-thing-about-yelling”]

Christians are not against sex education!

Over the past month I have seen a steady stream of Facebook posts talking about the new Sex Education Curriculum that is being talked about for Ontario students. I scanned through my Facebook newsfeed over this past week and here are some of the themes and comments I saw:

  1. Overreaction. Tons of threats to pull their kids out of Ontario schools and either homeschool or send their kids to private schools. Also numerous threats to have their kids be “sick” on those days when sex is going to be talked about.
  2. I saw sensationalism and panic over miss-information. One mom talked about being sick that she thought her “Grade 3 daughter was going to be taught how to use a condom”. Another person was angry that she thought her Grade 2 was “going to be shown how to give oral sex”.
  3. I read a ton of condescending comments about teachers and other parents in Public School who do not come from the same Christian Worldview as the person who was telling their opinion.
  4. Shame (on parents who send their kids to sex education at public school) seemed to be a themes as well. Also a miss-guided view on all the other parents (not Christians) in public school that they all are want this “anything goes” sort of sex education. There are lots of GREAT parents that I know at my kids school who do not subscribe to the same Christian worldview that I do but are great parents and are walking through these tough topics just like parents who are Christians.

From what I read I would say that Christians are against ALL aspects of sex education. Out of the hundreds of comments I read there were only 5 that talked about not just being against all sex education but giving ideas or further discussion on how to talk about the topic of sex with our kids.

Lets look at this deeper … Read More

A Cry for Parental Health

Such a great read. We need to parent from a place of health.

As I meet with young adults and ask them, they all talk about the heavy pressure they feel to perform—in class, on the field, on stage, you name it. As I press them for the source of this pressure, it almost always comes back to their parents.

1. When I inform you as a parent that your child has just ruptured their ACL ligament or Achilles tendon, and the next question out of your mouth is, “How long until he or she will be able to play?” you have a serious problem.

2. If your child is knocked unconscious during a football game and can’t remember your name…but you feel it’s a “vital” piece of medical information to let me know he’s a starting linebacker and that his team will probably lose because he was taken out of the game, you need to see a counselor.

3. If I tell you that mononucleosis has caused the spleen to swell and that participation in a contact sport could cause a life threatening rupture…and then you ask me, “If we just get some extra padding around the spleen, would it be OK to play?” someone needs to hit you upside the head with a two by four.

4. If your child comes in with a blood alcohol level of .250 after wrecking your Lexus and you ask if I can hurry and get them out of the ER before the police arrive so as not to run the risk of her getting kicked off the swim team, you need to be put in jail.

I bet you think I’m kidding about the above interactions. I wish I were, but I’m not. These are a fraction of the things I’ve heard when it comes to children and sports. Every ER doctor in America sees this. How did we get here?”

Click here for the entire article.

My top 100 Blogs. Let me show you how to read 100 blogs each week.

Harry S. Truman once said:

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

I believe that we are all leaders in some area of our lives. This could be the workplace, school, parenting, volunteering, church, mentoring, friendships or any where else.  If we are all leaders then we better all become readers as well. For me as a speaker I need to be extremely knowledgeable on the topics that I speak on. Blogs have become paramount in keeping current with what is going on in the culture around me as well as in Christian faith communiity. When I tell people that I follow roughly 100 blogs people usually think I am crazy. Over my 17 years as a speaker I have learned how to collect knowledge when I see it. For example when I am on social media, reading magazines, books or in conversation and someone mentions a blog that they follow I add it to my list and see if it might be useful to me. I encourage everyone to keep a list of great resources that can help you in your life.

So how do I follow 100 blogs. I have been using a a website called Pulse.me which was recently bought by LinkedIn. For years the website and the app on my iPad were synced up. Recently since LinkIn bought pulse there have been issues with syncing so I now use only one platform on my iPad. I added in all of the blogs into the app and once a week I sit down and scroll through all of the blogs to see if there is any applicable content for me to use. This usually takes about 30 minutes. In the app you see small squares vertically which are each of the blogs from the blogger and you then have roughly 10 blogs horizontally as you scroll up and down. It is so simple.

Below are the blogs that I am currently following. This changes month by month as I drop certain blogs and add others. If after going through this list you think I should be following other blogs please send them through. You will also find that there is a wide range of blogs below. I love to read a wide range of opinions, thoughts and discussion on all areas of Christian faith.

These are in no particular order.

Faith Based Blogs

  1. Carey Niewhof – http://careynieuwhof.com/
  2. Rachel Held Evans – http://rachelheldevans.com/
  3. Carlos Whittaker – http://ragamuffinsoul.com/
  4. Orange Blogs – http://orangeblogs.org/
  5. Tim Challis – http://www.challies.com/
  6. Seth Barnes (Radical Living) – http://www.sethbarnes.com/
  7. David Sawler – http://www.davidsawler.com
  8. Mike King – http://king.typepad.com/mike_king/
  9. Bruxy Cavey – http://bruxy.com/blog/
  10. Anne Marie Miller – http://www.annemariemiller.com/
  11. Jamie the Very Worst Missionary – http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com/
  12. Brian McLaren – http://brianmclaren.net/
  13. POTSC (People of the Second Chance) – http://www.secondchance.org/blog-welcome/
  14. Tall Skinny Kiwi – http://tallskinnykiwi.com/
  15. Breathe – http://crystalkirgiss.wordpress.com/
  16. Doggie Head Tilt – http://www.doggieheadtilt.com/
  17. The Matt Walsh Blog – http://themattwalshblog.com/
  18. Jefferson Bethke – http://jeffbethke.com/
  19. Sarah Bessey – http://sarahbessey.com/
  20. Kary Oberbrunner (DayJob to Dream Job) – http://www.dayjobtodreamjob.com/blog/
  21. Storyline – http://storylineblog.com/
  22. Desiring God – http://www.desiringgod.org/blog
  23. John Fischer – http://catchjohnfischer.wordpress.com/
  24. Justin Taylor (Between Two Worlds) – http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/
  25. Kevin DeYoung  – http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/
  26. Jared C. Wilson – http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/gospeldrivenchurch/
  27. Release the APE – http://www.releasetheape.com/
  28. Bo Lane – http://bolane.org/
  29. Chris Chase – http://www.thatchrischase.com/blogthoughts/
  30. The Pastor’s Pen (Ted Haggard) – http://tedhaggardblog.com/
  31. Counselling One Another – http://counselingoneanother.com/
  32. NewDirection – http://www.newdirection.ca/blog/
  33. Tyler Ward – http://www.tylerwardis.com/
  34. Common Sense Media (Parents) – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog
  35. Common Sense Media – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/blog
  36. Q – http://qideas.org/
  37. her.meneutics – http://www.christianitytoday.com/women
  38. We are His Daughters – http://godfearingmama.wordpress.com/
  39. Single Dad Laughing – http://www.danoah.com/blog
  40. To Love Honour and Vacuum – http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/
  41. Lisa-Jo Baker (Surprised by Motherhood) – http://lisajobaker.com/
  42. Lark News – http://www.larknews.com/
  43. Matthew Paul Turner –http://matthewpaulturner.com/blog/
  44. Church Marketing Sucks – http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com
  45. Church Pastor – http://www.churchpastor.com/
  46. Thom S. Rainer – http://thomrainer.com/blog/
  47. Tony Morgan – http://tonymorganlive.com/blog/
  48. Scott Jackson – http://christianflamethrower.blogspot.ca/
  49. Jared Wilson – http://jarridwilson.com
  50. Ministry Matters – http://www.ministrymatters.com/

Youth Ministry

  1. CPYU (Center for Parent / Youth Understanding) – http://www.cpyu.org/blog/
  2. Youth Ministry Unleashed – http://youthministryunleashed.com/
  3. Fuller Youth Institute – http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog
  4. Barefoot Online – http://blog.barefootonline.com/blog/
  5. JuniorHighMinistry.org – http://juniorhighministry.org/blog/
  6. More Than Dodgeball – http://blog.simplyyouthministry.com/
  7. Youth Hope – http://www.youthhope.com/blog/
  8. Adam Clark – http://www.adambrclarke.com/blog
  9. The Youth Cartel – http://theyouthcartel.com/blog/
  10. Youth Worker – http://www.youthworker.com/
  11. DYM (Download Youth Ministry) – http://blog.downloadyouthministry.com/
  12. Jonathan Mckee Writes – http://www.jonathanmckeewrites.com/

Parenting

  1. Today (Parents) – http://www.today.com/parents
  2. Free-Range Kids – http://www.freerangekids.com/
  3. Not Alone (Special Needs Parenting) – http://specialneedsparenting.net/
  4. Parents Cue (Do Family Better) – http://theparentcue.org/blog

Leadership

  1. Seth Godin – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
  2. Michael Hyatt – http://michaelhyatt.com/
  3. Leadership Journal (Parse) http://www.christianitytoday.com/parse/
  4. Gifted for Leadership – http://www.christianitytoday.com/gifted-for-leadership/
  5. Leading Smart – http://leadingsmart.com/
  6. Leadership Wired – http://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/
  7. Tim Elmore (Leading the next generation) – http://growingleaders.com/blog/
  8. Ron Edmondson – http://www.ronedmondson.com/
  9. Bryan Miles – http://bryanmiles.me/
  10. Sharpening Leaders – http://www.sharpeningleaders.com/

Mental Health (Faith based)

  1. TWLOHA (To Write Love on Her Arms) – http://twloha.com/blog

Mental Health (mainstream)

  1. Pick the Brain – http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/
  2. A Splintered Mind – http://douglascootey.com/

Marketing

  1. Social Triggers – http://socialtriggers.com/#.
  2. Marie Forleo – http://www.marieforleo.com/

Mainstream Blogs

  1. Feminist Frequency – http://www.feministfrequency.com/
  2. Upworthy – http://www.upworthy.com/
  3. Lifehack – http://www.lifehack.org/
  4. The Verge – http://www.theverge.com/
  5. Elite Daily (Voice of Generation Y) – http://elitedaily.com/