Why Your Family Needs a No Cell Phone Ball

by Noel Bouché

If you’re like me, you constantly worry about your kids’ media consumption and the amount of time they are spending in front of screens.

And if you’re like me, you also have a hard time pulling yourself away from your own smartphone screen.

“Okay, just one more minute…” so easily becomes a habitual response to my kids as I rush to respond to one more email, check one last news link, or sit in the car finishing one last phone call after pulling into the garage.

Well, this doesn’t go unnoticed by our children.  In fact, a study by Barna reveals that while Millennials incessantly text and Tweet, they feel that it is their parents’ “addictive” use of technology that inhibits quality family time!

It seems that the “Do as I say, not as I do” parenting technique still fails, even in the digital age.  It also seems that our ability to exhibit self-control (a fruit of the Spirit, by the way) is at a low ebb these days; faced with all the available gadgetry, we parents just can’t seem to focus, be present, and sign off of Facebook.

We now have a solution.

Our friends over at EpicParent.tv have developed a revolutionary new tool that we recommend every family implement.  The No Cell Phone Ball is a fantastic product, guaranteed to help you make giant strides in controlling tech use and guarding your family’s precious time together.  Watch the minute-long promo below for more information.

Caveat Emptor: The No Cell Phone Ball can cause damage to persons and property, especially in the hands of a crack shot like the lefty in this video.

Noel Bouché serves as Vice President of pureHOPE.  He and his wife have been married twelve years and have two energetic young daughters.  He is also a recovering lawyer who has yet to kick the bad habit of using obscure Latin phrases for no apparent reason.

A Parenting Lesson From Jesus

by Dan Martin


“Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14: 29-32 (NIV 1984)

Notice how Jesus uses the opportunity as a “teachable moment” in Peter’s life. When Peter was afraid and beginning to sink, Jesus reaches out his hand to save him, yet allows him to feel the weight of his doubt as he begins to fall. He then pulls him up and into the boat and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” What I love about the example is that Jesus teaches us a great lesson about parenting; while our children are experiencing struggles and failures, that can be a great time to speak truth into their lives. Jesus could have saved Peter, pulled him into the boat, dried him off and helped him get warm. Instead, Peter was extremely “teachable” when he was reaching for help, and the timing of Jesus’ words are a great example to us as He demonstrates His love, authority and faithfulness. His presence remained despite Peter’s skepticism; He loved over the disbelief, yet ultimately drew Peter closer to Himself through His timely teaching.

We too, shouldn’t solely protect our kids from harm and destructive behavior. We need to equip them with the truth and the skills they will need in life to navigate the waters successfully. Teachable moments happen every day, and we need to look for opportune times to speak into those moments, while they are happening.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

Dan Martin directs pureHOPE’s parenting ministry. He and his wife are the parents of three teenagers. You can contact him directly at dmartin@purehope.net or follow him on Twitter.

Talking to Your Teen About Sex

Life in the twenty-first century moves pretty fast.  The pace of innovation is mind-blowing and seems to reshape how we live, work, and play every few years.  Yet when it comes to parenting a teen and addressing the subject of sex, the biggest challenge many parents face is not the task of keeping up with tech or pop culture trends; rather, it is talking about
sex with their kids.  While anxiety about this is understandable, it is no justification for inaction.

Dr. John Townsend provides a useful framework for parents in his book Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No.  Three primary recommendations should guide our approach as parents: Continue reading

Our Vision for purePARENTING

In this segment from our 2011 annual banquet, Dan Martin, director of our purePARENTING ministry, describes our goals for this ministry and our vision for 2012.

“So many of us as Christian parents get focused on protecting our children…but we then fail to equip them for a life of purity.”  Dan Martin

Porn, Purity, and Parents

One of our main messages to parents is that they are the most influential persons in their child’s life.  Given that, they have a responsibility to create trust and dialogue with their kids, so that they–not the culture–become their child’s source for counsel and understanding about the issues of sex, purity, pornography, temptation, etc.  Moreover, there are specific steps we can take to create that environment.

In this post, our friends at Covenant Eyes, the leader in Internet accountability, relay an email they received from a 19-year-old young man about his struggle with pornography.  It is an encouraging story about the role parents can play in aiding and equipping their kids to pursue purity in a pornified culture.  Sadly, stories like this aren’t common enough in an era when silence, apathy, and avoidance on the part of parents regarding pornography seem to be the rule.  Let’s do our part to change that and employ the Biblical model of
openness, candor, grace, and accountability.

See Also:

Freedom: Every Teenager’s Addiction

Your teenager is addicted.  In their book For Parents Only, Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice say every teen has the same addiction; not to a substance or behavior, but to a concept: freedom.  And every parent of a teen needs to understand that though an adolescent’s obsession with freedom is natural, too many restrictions or too few boundaries can lead to trouble.

This issue, of course, is at the root of what keeps parents up at night, particularly in the technologized environment kids now grow up in.  Ironically, too much freedom is scary for kids, too.  As much as they might kick and scream at boundaries, deep down they want their parents to provide guidelines and communicate expectations (and consequences), particularly regarding weighty issues like sex, relationships, and technology.  As the teenager in this British newspaper article put it, “I wish my parents would say I’m not allowed to be home alone with a boy. I wish they’d say boys aren’t allowed in my bedroom. They make this big deal about ‘trusting us,’ but that’s not helping me. They have no idea what goes on, and I’m too embarrassed to tell them.”

On the subject of helping your kids navigate the increasing levels of freedom and independence they enjoy, Feldhahn and Rice offer the following recommendations to parents:

Continue reading