Hey, it’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons and let’s have some fun with Nicknames today.  I call my little guy Caleb “Little Red”-(because he has reddish hair), my daughter Kathryn is peanut (or crabby Kate when she is being fussy), and I call my wife “Pretty Lady.”  I have other nicknames for the rest of my crew too, but I want to hear what yours are today too at 855-98-Shine, here on facebook or the Shine Afternoons blog!

Don’t Panic

Don’t panic…. He’s got your back!


Tenth Avenue North “Worn”

Check out the video for the latest song from Tenth Avenue North “Worn”.


30 Minutes To A (Fake) Clean House

Your in-laws call and they are on their way for a surprise visit, and of course your house is a wreck!  Toys on the floor, shoes strewn about the hall, and dishes are piled in the sink.  What to do, what to do!!!  In Lisa’s Home School, learn how you can fake a clean house in 30 minutes or less.  Ready, set, go!

Discipline In Public?

What are your thoughts on disciplining your children in public?  Sometimes you have to!  Understandably, it’s a hot debate right now in the parenting community – one for which there is no clear answer.  Take the case of a young girl who was forced to hold a sign at a busy intersection that told the world she is disrespectful and entitled!  Check out the full story in Lisa’s Home School, and weigh in below!

Help—Our Blended Family Is Falling Apart!

Dear Dr. Bill,

I am the father of 4 boys, ranging in age from 21 months to 13 years.  All are my biological children, but the eldest two came from my first marriage.  At first, my 2nd wife seemed to accept these older boys as her own, and treated all four of our sons equally.  But over time that has changed, and I often find her attitude overbearing and overcritical — especially with the older boys.

She demands that I back her form of discipline, but that’s hard to do when I think my kids are being treated unfairly.  Every day it seems our household is in conflict.  And if something doesn’t change soon, I fear my family will fragment to the point that I’ll have to choose between my older boys and my wife.  What do you think I should do?


Dear Andy,

Unfortunately what you’re describing is fairly common in blended families.   Many step-families deal with divided loyalties and conflicts over disciplinary issues.  It’s natural for a biological parent to feel protective of their offspring when they feel that their new spouse is being unreasonable or harsh.

Unfortunately, it sounds like things have reached the breaking point in your family.   You and your wife should seek professional help from a therapist who is skilled in working with stepfamilies.  Your kids are already facing challenges in life because of your first divorce—the last thing you want to do is subject them to another fractured relationship.

One of the goals in therapy will be to strengthen the relationship between you and your wife, as that is obviously suffering.  Your counselor will assist you to get your “couple” relationship back on track, and show you how to clarify all the many roles and expectations in your blended family of six.

Also, let me recommend an excellent book that will provide you with some practical help immediately.  It’s called “The Smart Stepfamily,” and is written by my friend Ron Deal, a family therapist and step-family expert.

Thanks for writing Andy.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Click here for the audio version of this article.