September 19, 2008
Gathering the whole family together for a shared meal is about more than just the food
We’ve been saying it for a long time, regular family dinners are a critical element in a healthy family life for children. Our September 2006 blog (Look Who’s Coming to Dinner) highlighted a national study that addresses the impact of regular family meals on drug and substance abuse in teens. It’s not the macaroni and cheese or chicken fingers that keep our kids from abusing alcohol (or worse), but it’s sitting at the table regularly with caring adults and siblings and engaging in relationships that really contributes to the welfare of children.
So now The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has proclaimed Monday September 22, 2008 as a day to recognize this important truth. Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children™ is a national movement to inform parents that the parental engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is an effective tool to help keep America’s kids substance free. Family Day reminds parents that dinner makes a difference!
Visit their site at http://casafamilyday.org/familyday/.
September 17, 2008
Our new monthly newsletter is a valuable resource for parents and kids
We know that the role of parenting is an immense one in today’s world. Not only are our family lives being pulled in every direction, but the issues of anxiety, stress, bullying, information overload, etc., make us wonder, “Where do we go for help?” Because we strongly believe that the nurture of our children at home is one of the key factors in helping them deal with the world around them, we have created a brand new resource for parents. The Heartfelt newsletter is designed for busy families who want to grow body, mind and spirit, but who need support and encouragement.
Each monthly edition of Heartfelt will have information for parents and children around a timely topic, and include a session of “Family ‘Round the Table” that includes a dinner theme and menu, activities for families to do together, a Bible study, and a framework for family prayer and worship. This is our way of saying, “…let us help you” in the critical job of parenting by providing timely resources that save you time and energy.
You can see the very first issue of Heartfelt here and subscribe as well. It is absolutely FREE. We pray it will be a blessing to your family life.
September 11, 2008
Here is an inspirational story just for the sake of the story. It makes me wonder, do we sing to God with a true attitude of prayer and worship? Thanks for the story John.
“At our LOGOS ministry, we received a powerful inspiration from a first grade boy last Wednesday. This is, of course, his first year in LOGOS, and in his second week, his Worship Skills class was practicing a new song, “With my whole heart, Lord let me love you with my whole heart ….” His teacher noticed that he was singing it with his eyes closed and his hands folded right under his chin. When they finished singing, he opened his eyes and said to his teacher, “I was praying. I was singing that song to God.”
Wow – with no prompting – with no coaching – this little boy “got it.” During a rehearsal time, he was actually singing the song to the Lord.”
“And a little child shall lead them.”
John H. Aukerman, Ed.D.
Professor of Christian Education
Director of Distance Education
Director of Outcomes Assessment
Chairman, Admissions and Academic Standards Committee
September 3, 2008
Largest single-year increase cause for concern
A sudden and dramatic increase in pediatric suicides may reflect an emerging trend rather than a single-year anomaly. That’s the conclusion of new suicide research, conducted at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Carnegie Mellon University and published in the September 3rd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which looked at pediatric suicide trends over a 10-year period.
Following a decade of steady decline, the suicide rate among U.S. youth younger than 20 years of age increased by 18 percent from 2003-2004 – the largest single-year change in the pediatric suicide rate over the past 15 years. Researchers also examined national data on youth suicide from 1996-2005 in order to determine whether the increase persisted from 2004-2005, the latest year for which data are available.
It was discovered that although the overall observed rate of suicide among 10 to 19 year olds decreased by about 5 percent between 2004 and 2005 (the year following the spike), both the 2004 and 2005 rates were still significantly greater than the expected rates, based on the 1996-2003 trend.
“The fact that this significant increase in pediatric suicides continued into 2005 implies that the alarming spike witnessed from 2003-2004 was more than just a single-year anomaly,” said Jeff Bridge, lead author and a principal investigator in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “We now need to consider the possibility that the increase is an indicator of an emerging public health crisis.”
In order to understand the possible causes behind the increase in youth suicides between 2003 and 2005, researchers say additional studies must be conducted.
These data add shockingly to many other trends regarding children and youth that we have been observing at LOGOS. Recent data from the Children’s Defense Fund clearly indicate that the lives of our kids are painfully in jeopardy. We must act now as Christ’s church to improve the lives…the very health and welfare of our children.