Entries by Nicole Balza

Readers respond: What’s your best parenting advice?

In August, some of Heart to heart’s contributing authors shared their best parenting advice. (If you missed it, read them here!) Then I turned the tables and asked you to submit your best parenting advice. I’m happy to share a few great tidbits with you here. We named this column Heart to heart: Parent conversations […]

How involved should parents be in a child’s homework?

Homework can be a source of conflict between parents, children, and teachers if expectations and philosophy aren’t clear. Each teacher and school have a homework philosophy, and therefore, how much they want parents to participate in completing homework may be different from school to school or teacher to teacher. However, I have found that many […]

Singing the homework blues

Are you familiar with the old song: Homework! Oh, homework! I hate you. You stink! I wish I could wash you away in the sink . . .? Somehow I can imagine my own kids turning to me and saying, “Dad, if you hate homework so much, stop assigning it!” Seriously, though, I remember my […]

Are we modeling kindness for our children?

“Use kind words, gentle hands, and find someone who needs a friend today,” I said to my son as I dropped him off at the gym day care. “I will, Mommy. I will be kind today. I will share,” he replied as he bounced away gleefully. Kindness with our children It is so important to […]

Silence or counsel?

My mother hardly spoke of it. But when she did, even in old age, hurt haunted its telling. On a Sunday morning, right after worship, Mom took my two brothers and me to visit her parents. I was in second grade. One brother was in kindergarten, and the other was three. The Adams’ farm was […]

Oops! Grandma gave Garrett a sucker.

You’ve decided not to give your children any sugar until age three. Your friends get it, but your parents—not so much: “Is this a millennial thing? You ate sugar when you were little, and you turned out all right.” You chuckle at the teasing, but you give a gentle reminder when you leave little Garrett […]

Stand firm, even if it’s not popular

“You sure make parenting hard!” That’s the statement I heard from another parent as I finished explaining to my young child that we were running to the grocery store. My child didn’t want to stop playing, but we needed to go. My friend insisted that a child should not have to do something he didn’t […]

“It’s time for camp!”

“It’s time for camp!” These four words are the highlight of our family’s year every summer. I have had the privilege of serving as a camp leader at Camp Bird in Crivitz, Wis., for many years. Camp Bird is a weeklong Christian youth camp for kids in fifth to eighth grade. This year my son […]