Greg Moffatt's blog

Nothing under the tree . . . is Christmas

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Nothing under the tree is Christmas. Let me explain.

Like most children, when I was little, I thought Christmas was about presents. They awaited me under the tree and the excitement about Christmas morning was more than I could stand. I stared for hours at the large, hot Christmas lights on our tree and wondered what was in the packages beneath it.

But after Christmas presents were opened and the area underneath the tree was bare, I felt hollow – like I had missed something. Read More»

Our civic duty

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I began writing this column in 1994, so this year is my 20th as a columnist and I’ve always had a personal rule that I would address issues only as they pertain to families and children.

I catalog copies of my various columns by topic. Political discourses have shown up several times over the years, but it is my goal when I address politics to be objective, nonpartisan, and to make the application to families.  Read More»

Let your children struggle

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I was teaching in India a few years ago and one of my students was commenting on how nice it must be to live in America. She and her husband had a challenging life and made little more than $50 a week at their jobs. “Everything seems so perfect there,” she said.

In some ways she was right. The United States is a wonderful place to live and, more than anywhere else in the world, it is truly a land of great opportunity. But everything is far from perfect. Read More»

‘In my opinion’ is an inadequate argument

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I read a letter to the editor in a popular magazine recently. The writer was responding to an article the magazine had published on processed foods. In one sentence, the writer demonstrated some of what I fear is wrong with the way we think in our culture. “In my opinion,” she started, “food companies put chemicals in the food to get us addicted...” “In my opinion”? Read More»

Parents: behave yourselves

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Like many parents, I’ve been around youth sports for years and I loved watching my children play. It was great when we came home with a win and disappointing when we didn’t. But the point of the game was to learn sportsmanship, learn the game, to exercise, and to have fun. In all of those years of youth athletics, very few of the children who played on teams with my kids went on to receive scholarships in college for their sports and none of them, as far as I know, became professional athletes.  Read More»

Gun safety

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The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December has spurred an international debate on guns and their availability in the United States. The debate has raged the past few weeks over guns, the second amendment to the Constitution, and political agendas. 

I’ve followed a number of discussions ranging from political commentary, to editorials, to professional clinical discussion boards on the issue and there is no doubt that our country is deeply divided on this issue.  Read More»

Death in the family

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In his fascinating book “The Time Machine,” H.G. Wells’ character travels to a place in the future where a group of people called the Eloi live in a seemingly perfect setting. For the most part, they live a carefree life, but each night creatures called the Morlocks, come from underground and steal away with several Eloi and eat them. Yet the Eloi never mention the Morlocks. The Eloi behave as if ignoring the obvious danger of the Morlocks will keep them safe.  Read More»

Keep your children safe

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A new mother wrote to me wondering what she could do to protect her child from abduction and/or sexual perpetrators. Sadly, many good parents find their children victim to sexual perpetrators regardless of their best efforts. But the good news is that many tragedies that befall families are preventable.  Read More»

The most effective teacher is at home

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In 1954, Robert Holmes was only 13 years old when his mother took him to a local swimming pool in Edison, New Jersey.  As a black boy in a segregated world, attendants refused him entry and called the police.  His mother stood firm.  She looked at her young teen and said, “Son, climb under the turnstile.”  Holmes later said he was more afraid of his mother than the police, so he obeyed her and climbed under. Read More»

Hard or soft

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Tears trickled down my daughter’s face. She stood in front of me, shoulders slumped and her head down, as she admitted to something that I already knew she had done. The admission was from the heart and it wasn’t coerced. She was truly penitent. That little nine-year-old is an adult now, but I still remember my struggle as I tried to decide what to do. She was clearly wrong in what she had done and I had clarified a potential penalty ahead of time. The consequences were clear and she made a poor choice. My dilemma – should I do what I said I would do or had she learned her lesson already? Read More»

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