Tag Archives: Family

Consent

My nephews, with whom I am close, were at our last Thrive! Dinner.  As things were wrapping up, I put my arms around the shoulders of one of my nephews and said, maybe next time we will talk about consent.  He looked up and asked “Consent? What’s that?”

I responded, “Well, I should have asked before I put my arms around you.”  With that I put my arms down and then asked if I could put my arms around him, to which he said “yes”.  I then asked if I could hug him and again he said ‘yes’ and we hugged.  “Is that consent?” he asked.  I said “yes and if you said ‘no’ or I didn’t want to, then we wouldn’t hug.”

Family closeness

There is a closeness in some families which is reflected in physical expressions like hugs.  As a result, it becomes natural for us to extend those expressions across generations.  Ours is a family that hugs, when we come together and when we leave and sometimes in between.  It is an expression of our love for one another.  A question to consider, however, is what happens if a child does not want to participate in this custom?

We know it happens.  Sometimes children are grumpy or moody or tired or simply playing shy and don’t want to hug one person or another.  It is easy for us to guilt them into relenting, telling them that they are making grandma sad or their uncle will be mad at them or bribing them into doing what is considered proper.  The goal, of course, is to encourage our children to be part of a tradition that is important to us and reflects the closeness of our family.  When physical expressions of our love for one another are the norm, we don’t necessarily consider alternative messages that might be sent when we try to get children to conform to that tradition.

Teaching Consent

What might happen, however, if when a child is reluctant to participate in these traditions we respect that decision?  What would we be teaching if we said, ‘that’s OK, you don’t have to hug grandpa today if you don’t want to’?  It is true that it may cause someone to feel left out, but it may also help our children understand that they can choose when to participate in hugs, while at the same time learning that it is OK for them, and someone else, to say no and have that decision respected.

Teaching Body Language

Certainly verbal cues provide important insights.  It is also true that before he left, my nephew (and his brother) gave me hugs without anyone asking if it is OK.  This is something we have done for a long time and there was no resistance indicated by anyone.  We are happy to share hugs.

This could create another opportunity to talk about what consent looks like for those people we know well.  Are there ways that we show resistance when we don’t want hugs?  What might happen if someone pushed away or even ran away when it came time to offer hugs?  This too could be a lesson in respecting boundaries and understanding consent.  There are many ways we say ‘yes’ and many ways we say ‘no’.  Recognising all the ways we communicate can impact the ways we come to relate to family, friend and stranger.

What do you think?

How do you recognise consent?  To what extent have you discussed consent in your family? Do you believe that it is important for us to have conversations about consent?  What does that look like for you?

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Time – A Thrive! Dinner Review

Sept. 30th beginning at 5pm, a group from Essex County came together for a Thrive! Dinner.  It began by making quesadillas.  This was actually a new experience for some.  In fact, one person admitted to googling it ahead of the gathering.  As I think about it, we never had quesadillas when I was growing up either.  It is something that we have come to enjoy thanks to increased exposure to Mexican food.  Life changes as we open ourselves to new experiences.

Eating together

As we sat for dinner, we shared fellowship offering insights into the highlights of our summer and our dreams.  At times the room grew quiet as we munched away.  It was a mirror of family dinners with their ebbs and flows of conversation.  Sometimes we need a little help to keep everyone engaged.

We actually finished the meal early.  Knowing that one family would be late, we took the time to be a little silly as participants paired up and took turns trying to empty a bucket of balls that was tied behind our backs by shaking it like Shakira.  While there is video of this, we have opted not to include it here to protect the dignity of our participants  😉 If you want to see this in action, you’ll have to come to a dinner!

Playing with time

Once all participants had arrived, we broke up into teams and began a kind of obstacle course which explored the challenges of trying to manage time within families.  Stations included “last minute science project”, “I can’t find my…”, “slow eater”, “dinner dilemma”, “homework”, “quiz prep”, “late for the bus”, “walk the dog”, “two places at once”, and “scheduling”.  Each activity sought to mimic a reality in the life of families.  Click here for a description of these activities.

Going deeper

Breaking off into our groups, we took some time to talk about the activities.  When asked which resonated most with our lives, the parents recognised the scheduling as a regular challenge.  We also acknowledged the struggles getting children to school on time and dealing with homework.  It is frustrating that the way some subjects are taught are so different from what we remember.  Sometimes we need to admit we don’t know and tell our children to ask their teacher.

Homework help

Enter the Internet – did you know that the Ontario Ministry of Education offers free, live online math tutoring from an Ontario teacher?  Check out http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/elearning/homework.html for more information.  It is also possible to find videos and other helpful tools when you google a topic.

Time challenge

Family life today is surrounded by many challenges.  From busy schedules, to meal planning, to seeking to balance work and life, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  Still, as we gathered together at the end of the evening we recognised that there are those incredible moments when we are in our ‘happy places’, gathered together doing meaningful things.  Our prayer is that we continue to make time for those moments so that our lives continue to include the joy, grace and wonder that comes with being family.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

 

Work-Life Balance

True confession: sometimes I like to read posts with parent confessions like this one and treat them like a kind of ‘never have I ever game’ in my head. 

  • Never have I ever change the clocks so I could put my kid to bed early (although I admire the wisdom of this);
  • Never have I ever frozen store made cupcakes to pass off as my own;
  • Never have I ever run out of diapers and used a maxi pad.

Still, I do have my own confessions.  I can’t say:

  • Never have I ever hidden chocolate so I don’t have to share;
  • Never have I ever taken a bit longer to run an errand so I have some time to myself;
  • Never have I ever tried to multitask and missed something my kid or hubby has said.

Work-life balance

There is a reason why work-life balance is now a thing.  As this article from Today’s Parent explains, despite the laissez-faire attitude in which most Generation X children were raised (how many of us were left unattended in cars, sent outside to play until the street lights came on and walked to school without adult supervision from a very young age), as parents we are far more hands on.

We would cringe at the thought of leaving a child in the car while we ran in to a store even for a second (of course, we have also seen stories where children overheat in cars).  We are leery about leaving our kids play outside (of course, we have are aware of the many dangers that lurk outside).  And we often drive or at least walk our children to school (of course, we have seen too many stories of children being taken).

While this kind of hands on parenting has influenced the relationships between parents and children, it also places more demands on parents’ time.  As a result, there are a plethora of blogs, books and articles providing suggestions about how to balance work and family.  Today this is true for mothers and fathers.

There are overlaps in the suggestions including:

  • creating a calendar to track who needs to be where when;
  • getting a good babysitter/good daycare – here is an excellent place where grandparents can be helpful (especially if you share with them this research which suggests that babysitting grandchildren could lower risk for Alzheimer’s);
  • and making time for personal, meaningful activities.

Every individual and every family will have its own practices that seek to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to engage in meaningful activities while supporting family relationships. Time is precious.  What do you do that is meaningful in your family?  What suggestions would you have for those who may be struggling or new to this journey?  What confessions are you willing to share about the shortcuts you may take to balance life?  We would love to hear from you.  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

 

What’s on the menu?

This week I found myself rolling and baking 150 meatballs.  Doing so is part of an effort to help meal planning during those days when life becomes exceptionally hectic. In theory, I believe that if I have healthy, homemade options for quick meals on hand, we will be more likely to choose these over processed or fast food on days when dinner is an afterthought following a long day.

What’s for dinner?

There seems to be a moment in every household where someone asks: what’s for dinner?  This is the signal to say that the troops are hungry and want to be fed.  Responding to this inquiry requires an understanding of the options available:

  • Has someone thought ahead and made sure necessary ingredients are defrosted and/or otherwise ready to prepare?
  • Are all the required materials on hand to make a particular meal?
  • How long will preparation and cooking take?
  • Is sufficient time available to ensure that all can eat and still get to meetings, lessons and practices and do homework?
  • Who will do the work? Is that person willing and able to do so?

For many households, considerations must also be made in regards to the nutritional content of a meal:

  • Is it balanced?
  • Does it contain a protein, starch, vegetables and dairy?
  • Does it meet the needs of the various individuals in the household taking into consideration allergies and other health problems?
  • Will they eat it without a significant battle?

The weight of responsibility

Taken together, all of these considerations can feel like a big responsibility for the one who cooks.  Poor choices can lead to battles at the dinner table or worse, compromised health for some members of the family.  At times, the effort can feel overwhelming especially when the person has already had a long and tiring day.

As the primary cook in our household, I admit that there are times when I don’t want the responsibility of deciding what we will eat let alone preparing it.  My brain may be fried from the day’s work or I may be physically tired.  When that happens, more often than not, it means we end up getting fast food because no one else wants to cook.  While such choices are reasonable in moderation, it isn’t the ideal.

Increasing options

Over time we all develop a sense of the ebbs and flows of life.  We begin to anticipate those times when we are busiest at work, when the children are busy with their activities, and when we are most likely to be in that place where we would rather not cook.  This is where things like pre-made meatballs can be helpful.  Added to frozen pasta sauce made during harvest and store bought pasta means a well-balanced meal with little effort that the family will enjoy.  During the year we will also make various soups, turkey/chicken pot pie, lasagna, chili and more.  The key is to provide something for those nights that is easier than fast food.  For the most part, this works in our house, at least during the winter.

How about you?  Does your household have nights when no one wants to cook dinner?  How do you seek to balance the needs of the family when it comes to meals?  What tips and tricks do you have that you are willing to share?  Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Busy Schedules

Now that school is in full swing, many families have returned to the hectic schedules that fill our

We interrupt your regularly scheduled life to bring you your child’s hockey season!

calendars. Meetings, appointments, lessons, practices, work, competitions and games can keep us busy from the beep of our morning alarms until the time we collapse into bed.  As a result, our priorities as parents often shift as we attempt to negotiate how to meet these demands.  Sometimes it feels like we spend hours of our day playing chauffeur to our children as they go from one thing to the next. At times, it can feel overwhelming, trying to ensure that our kids’ needs are met while also making sure that we get done what we need to do.

We have a calendar to track who is where when.  Our house doesn’t live 9am to 5pm as was once the norm.  Work requirements have both hubby and me at evening meetings and events.  The kid also has evening priorities.  We had dinner together Saturday and Sunday evening but Monday, hubby has a meeting, Tuesday the kid is in school until 6:30pm, Wednesday the kid has a dinnertime meeting, Thursday the kid is in school and at lessons until 8:30pm and I have an evening meeting.  So, it will be Friday before we can have dinner as a family again and we are only 3 people.  I can only imagine what it is like negotiating the calendar for more children!

Still, we try to make the time we have together meaningful.  Every effort is made to ensure that we have at least a little time each day to reflect together on what has happened.  Sometimes this is essentially limited to the moment before bed where we pray together, identifying something which makes us mad, glad, sad or scared, something for which we are thankful and what we hope to achieve tomorrow.  This typically provides some insights into our journeys individually and as family.  It is a moment in time, but remains something important for all of us.

We also pair off and connect.  Time in the car going from one event to the next is spent in conversation giving us an opportunity to hear from the kid about the challenges and blessings of life.  Hubby and I take time each day to share the challenges and blessings of work.  Sometimes these are small moments, but, for us, these moments matter.

I know, our schedules are not unique.  Families today face similarly hectic days that make it difficult to connect.  How does it work in your home?  How do you try to ensure that the needs of all family members are met?  In what ways do you try to connect with every person, catching glimpses of life as they seem to fly by?  What commitments does your family make to be together at least for some moments throughout the week?

Share your thoughts and practices in the comments.  Who knows, it might inspire something new for someone else.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Back to school…

This morning my timeline was filled with photos of children heading back to school.  I must admit, there was more than one photo that caught me off guard.  Facebook does this because it allows us to connect with friends we don’t necessarily see very often.  As a result, we see photos of children we remember as infants who are now making their way through school. Time flies.  My kid is starting university this week.

On days like this, it is easy to get nostalgic.  We may look back through our mind’s eye to the many first days of school that we have had with our children.  We may think about that first day of kindergarten, dropping our child off in a room filled with toys, books and activities especially well-suited to learning.  We may remember the gentle smile on the face of our child’s first teacher.  There is something about kindergarten teachers.  They have a way of making children and parents feel at ease.

We may also search ourselves for memories from our own school days.  I remember when somebody had given our class an appliance box – I think from a stove.  Our teacher allowed us to decorate it and create a playhouse.  At the time, I was the only one small enough to go inside so I had full reign of what to do there.

A lot has changed since I went to school.  Back then, we walked to and from school with our siblings and friends.  There was no expectation that we would be driven to school – we had two legs, we walked.  Nap time was part of kindergarten.  Most children went home for lunch.  At the time, it was still possible for families to survive on a single income.

Back in my time, there wasn’t a lot of technology in schools.  Teachers wrote on chalkboards and we neatly copied notes and did questions in our lined books. Research was done using encyclopaedias and card catalogues in libraries.  When computers did finally appear in schools, these were used only in computer classes where students learned to program, saving their work onto cassettes.

Students today might find all of this a bit tedious.  Internet search engines like Google are way more efficient than indexes and card catalogues.  In fact, some may already have voice technology at home – meaning they can ask a box a question and get answers for most of their queries.

There are definite advantages to becoming proficient in such resources.  These are important tools not only for education but for life.  Through the Internet, I was able to find out how to install crown molding.  I also use it extensively for research for posts.  Access to and use of these resources by students provides an important foundation on which our children can develop a future that will again be different from what we know today.

Google “children preparing for jobs that don’t exist” and you will find a variety of posts highlighting that upwards of 65% of children in primary school will end up in jobs that don’t already exist.  To prepare, our children need problem-solving skills and proficiency with technology so that what they don’t learn at school can be accessed when needed.  This is the task of the school system today.  The way we educate, needs to shift and change to meet the future needs of the students.  It is not an easy task and, sometimes, it means that parents need to adjust their sense of what learning is in order to better support our children.  Such is the reality of the 21st century.  So, let’s grab our phones, take and post those first day of school photos and then get friendly with google so we are ready when our kids get homework.

Are you ready?  Let us know what you think in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Go Play Outside

There are multiple memes and posts floating around social media which compare the youth experiences of older generations to a perceived sense of youth today.  Typically these comparisons highlight the wonder of being outside as compared to an assumption that today’s youth are technology obsessed.

It’s Complicated

It is easy to point to technology as the reason young people do not go out and play as has been the reality for children across the centuries.  While technology does provide options that engage young people, it is important to avoid assuming that this is simply a cause and effect equation.

Fear of outside

A plethora of information has fed concerns of parents since the 80s when public service announcements talked about ‘stranger danger’.  The result has been parents are more reluctant to allow their children to play outside citing multiple concerns including traffic, the possibility of being snatched by a stranger, the attitude of neighbours and more.

Added to these concerns are environmental concerns that have been raised recently including the possibility of getting Lyme disease from tick bites  and the increased risk of getting West Nile virus from mosquito bites  These realities help to feed our fears creating a space in which some are beginning to wonder if we are becoming nature phobic.

Scheduled Kids

The prevalence of scheduled activities has also increased significantly over the years enabling parents to enroll their children in everything from sports to music to science programs and more.  Windsor’s Activity Guide provides opportunities for young people to remain active throughout the summer.  While these opportunities can be beneficial for the development of children, a case has been made that scheduling activities makes it harder for children to engage in creative, spontaneous play.

What is meaningful?

In the end, perhaps the more important question to ask is what is meaningful for young people?  The tools available to today are significantly different from anything experienced previously and young people are finding ways to make meaning through technology, programming and quiet time.  While these opportunities may not fit with how we experienced or understand childhood, that doesn’t necessarily mean young people can’t learn, develop and grow through these opportunities.

The key is balance – ensuring that our children are physically and mentally active in ways that make sense for them.  How does this work in your family?  We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Vacation Memories

The end of today marks the beginning of a two week vacation from work for me.  As we move into this time, I asked my family what their favourite vacation memories are.

Exploring beyond home

Canada is a great big, wonderful country filled with incredible people and places.  Our family has enjoyed opportunities to explore all that Canada has to offer, including, one summer, travelling with my parents to the East Coast.  Whale watching, a lighthouse picnic, site seeing, kitchen parties, tours of a chocolate factory and potato chip factory, meals together, games, music and more filled our days and nights.  We captured the experience in a scrap book that became a gift for my parents at Christmas.  These continue to be wonderful memories and were the first that came to mind for hubby.

Technology-free

When asked about a favourite vacation memory, my kid recalled a weekend we had spent in Waterloo.  After being busy for an extended period of time, we decided that we would leave cell phones and computers at home (we kept one phone for emergencies) and simply spend time together.  Following a day of visiting, wandering St. Jacobs and enjoying the area, we went back to the hotel room to have dinner and play games.  In the process we laughed so hard our stomachs ached.  These moments are powerful reminders of the intimacy we share as a family.

I don’t know

When I raised the question with hubby and kid, they were both quick to respond.  I, however, have been thinking about this for several days and can’t point any one particular trip or memory as being a favourite.  Instead, the more I think about it, the more I feel awed at the many ways we have walked this earth together over the years travelling as far away as Kenya, spending time with my sister and her partner in the UK,  journeying across Canada and staying closer to home.

The places and people in this world are incredible.  Incredible still is the way travelling has brought us together uniting us in some of our passions and creating space for us to explore new things together.

So, what about you?

What is your favourite vacation memory?  In what ways have you experience vacations as opportunities to come together as a family?  What do you dream about doing with your family?

We would love to hear from you.  Add your thoughts in the comments.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Health Curriculum in Ontario

There seems to be an unending stream of commentaries, opinions and news related to Ontario’s Health curriculum and what will be taught in September.

Why this has become an issue:

Following consultation with the ministry of education, parents, students, teachers, faculties of education, universities, colleges, and organisations including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Healthy Schools Coalition and the Ontario Public Health Association, the Provincial Government of Ontario released a major update to the Health Curriculum in 2015.  This new curriculum included information about mental health, online safety, and bullying as well as information about sex and gender variations and the impact of these on relationships.

Some conservative groups did not like this new curriculum and complained that they hadn’t been adequately consulted in its development.  To appeal to these groups, Doug Ford promised to repeal the curriculum and develop a new one with greater consultation.  Thus, one of the first acts of the newly elected government has been to repeal the 2015 curriculum and ask that boards use the same curriculum that was used in 2014 in the classroom until the new curriculum has been developed.

What is at stake?

The curriculum used in 2014 was actually developed in 1998 – before today’s students were even born.  As further discussed in this post, in the twenty years since that curriculum was introduced:

  • we have seen major shifts in the rights and privileges given to the LGBTQ2+ community;
  • Mental health is gaining in understanding and acceptability;
  • The prevalence of technology and social media has opened the way to new issues including cyber bullying, sexting and phishing which place young people at risk;
  • The #metoo movement has highlighted the importance of learning about consent;
  • Research has shown that children are entering puberty at younger ages than ever before.

These are the realities of students today.  Do we really want to leave it up to the media to give young people the tools they need to navigate this new environment as highlighted in this post.

How are people responding?

A lot has been said about the importance of sex education and updated tools students need to stay safe, feel included and make healthy decisions.  Some have shared their personal experiences including this person who was kept out of sex education and suffered abuse and this father who believes his daughter would be alive today if the updated curriculum were taught in her school.

School boards are also concerned.  As of writing this post, more than 20 school boards across the province have delivered statements highlighting the importance of providing up to date tools to navigate health, sexuality and relationships in today’s world.  In this regard, the Director of the Greater Essex County District School Board, Erin Kelly has stated:

“I assure parents, guardians, staff and community members that, regardless of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum being used, the Board will emphasize respect, inclusion and safety for all. We will continue to celebrate the diversity of all our students, support our LGBTQ community and teach about gender issues and acceptance and educate students on internet safety, cyberbullying and the importance of building and sustaining healthy relationships.” (https://www.publicboard.ca/Board/DirectorsMessage/default.aspx#/view/26)

What next?

There is still a lot of ambiguity around what might be taught in regards to health and physical education in September.  There are strong opinions expressed throughout the province about what should be taught and shouldn’t be taught.  Thrive! is a program which seeks to provide tools to help families navigate through the challenges and struggles of today’s world.  So we want to hear from you.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and/or join us live on Facebook Tuesday, Aug. 7th at 7pm as we talk with a recent graduate about their thoughts on the health and physical education program.

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/

Becoming

A journey for parent and child

My teenager doesn’t love math.  That may not be an issue for most people, but I do love math.  I have a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and taught Math in secondary schools right up until I started maternity leave.  As my child grew up, we played math games and I revealed all kinds of special tips and tricks to help comprehension.  I shared my love of the subject, but, in the end, my kid doesn’t love it.

Expectations and Assumptions

When children are born, we all have some hopes and dreams for what our children will become.  We have expectations about the kinds of things they might pick up from their parents, the patterns they will follow, the possibilities in store for them.  So, we share a bit of ourselves, enrolling our children in activities that interest us, playing games that we enjoy, and taking vacations that we think will be meaningful for everyone. Our efforts will influence who our children become but not always in ways we hope.

What parents teach…

We learn a lot from our parents.  Sometimes it is what we should do and sometimes it is what not to do.  What is important is that space is left to allow a child to become their own person regardless of whether or not that becoming fits with the expectations and assumptions of the parents.

Our children do not have to love the same things we love.  They do not have to study what we want them to study, pursue the same career paths, and marry and have children when we want them to do so.  They are their own person and even though it takes time to discover what that means, our love for our children should allow us the willingness to give them space to figure it out.

What about gender and sexuality?

For years we have assumed that gender is binary: male or female and we have assumed that the natural tendency is to prefer someone of the opposite gender.  Over time, however, we have come to recognise that there is, in fact, a continuum of gender and sexuality the understanding of which continues to evolve. As a result, individuals who are outside of our binary understanding of gender and whose sexuality is not heterosexual have now received protection from prejudice and discrimination in Ontario  and Canada .  The updated health curriculum in Ontario acknowledges this evolution in understanding which can help to build awareness among young people thus potentially reducing stigma and prejudice overall.

What about at home?

As parents, we are not only confronted with the possibility that our children will not love math like we do, but also that they may challenge our understanding of gender, sexuality and relationships.  What then?  In the midst of our struggle to understand something that may be extremely foreign to us, how do we provide support to our children in their efforts to develop an understanding of who they are? Should parents be the ones who try to push their children to conform to a particular standard of gender and sexuality?  Or should parents support their child’s journey regardless of how difficult it might be for both parent and child?  The decision is not easy.  Either way, it will influence our relationship with our children?  What would you do?

Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today.  Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/