Our children have personalities, and maybe you’ve found yourself saying, “My child has a BIG personality!” Expecting all these personalities to mesh harmoniously to produce precious, genuine friendships in childhood is a tall order. But there are steps we can take to help our child be a good friend.

Hopefully since the first email on this subject you’ve done a little detective work; listening in on conversations between your child and their friends, watching them play with others in the backyard, and spying during practices or, even, in their classrooms. You’ve probably heard and seen things that made you cringe, and, more than likely, you also had moments that made you proud.

A good beginning step is to do some coaching AFTER those keen observations. Let your child know what you saw, not in a demeaning way, just what you observed, and let them know a better way they could handle the situation next time. This private coaching time truly will help them be a better friend.

The Bible gives us some incredible insight into the traits of a good friend. These are the traits we want to be developing in our children to help them be the BEST FRIEND they can be:

1. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. A good friend is sacrificial. This doesn’t mean they let people walk all over them, but it does mean that sometimes your child plays what the other kid wants instead of what he/she always wants.

2. Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Unconditional love is the mark of a good friend, meaning your child is loyal, stays put even through conflict.

3. Proverbs 27:9 “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Good friends give good advice, wise counsel. This is from the overflow of a heart that seeks God.

4. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Insert Bible link here. True friends strengthen and help one another.

The best thing you can do is talk often with your child about the qualities of a true friend. Pray with them that God would help them be a good friend, and over time you’ll help your child become a friend “who sticks closer than a brother.”

Dear CK Families,

This is a big day as we start our online parenting class. We're jumping right into a topic that you've probably arlready experienced with your child or one day will.  something we've all either experienced ourselves or seen in action. That's right, it's bullying.

If you stop long enough to think about bullying you probably have horrifying flashbacks to something you;ve experienced.  It's one thing for us as adults to remember those difficult encounters, but another one entirely to think about someone picking on our own children.

When our child experiences bullying, we're ready for the gloves to come off because, let's face it nobody messes with MY child!  We also know fighting our children's battles don't help them in the long run.  They need to experience difficulty, so how od we figure out when to step in and when to let them handle it?

Check out this incredible video that will equip you to begin the dialogue with your child about bullying.

CK Blessings and Hugs,

Deb Moreland
CK Directo

Kristen Conrad-Howard
Elementary Associate 


Time Management For Your Family Pt. 1

Dear CK Elementary Families,

Most families today will tell you they’re too overextended, too busy, feel like they’re running a rate race; yet we’ve all been given a gift from God, 24 hours in a day. If you’re like me you’ve often wondered why in the world God only put 24 in there! Each of us has the same amount of time each day, but we all get to choose how we use it.

This month we want to help you discover HOW to manage your family’s time well. Take a moment to watch the following video to see how to manage the time monster:


We encourage you to take the time and really evaluate the 24 hours God has given your family. How exactly are you using the time given to you?

In the next couple weeks you’ll receive a second email from us that will include some steps your family can take to tame the time monster.

Blessings & CK Hugs,

Deb Moreland

Coastal Kids Director

Kristen Conrad Howard

Elementary Associate



Dear CK Elementary Families,

We tend to look at someone with a slender, athletic build and think, “They must be really disciplined.” We also know we’re called to discipline our children, so what does discipline really mean anyway? When we discipline our children we apply appropriate consequences now in a way that helps a child choose correctly in the future. How is this different than punishment? Punishment is repaying someone for something they’ve done wrong. The root of punishment is retribution. This is the opposite of discipline. The root of discipline is love.

In Hebrews 12 we get a beautiful glimpse at how God disciplines us. God’s discipline to us is proof that He loves us. It’s the same with our children. We discipline them because we love them. Take a moment to read Hebrews 12:1-13.

So what does disciplining with honor look like? Here are a few practical tools to assure you and I are disciplining with honor:

Set realistic expectations. Know your children well enough to know what he/she is capable of. Push them to be the best them.

Never threaten. Take a moment to think through consequences before you throw them out there. Only give a consequence that you KNOW you can stand behind.

Don’t discipline in anger. It’s OK to send your child to their room and tell them you need to calm down (or send yourself to your room) before you speak with them regarding their misbehavior.

Be consistent. Don’t dicipline them for the misbehavior one day and dismiss it the next.

Don’t be afraid of consequences. We live in a world with rules and consequences. For every action there is a consequence. Real discipline teaches this union.

Set limits. Discipline and boundaries illustrate love and safety to our children. Don’t be a pushover parent.

Don’t get caught in the cycle of using words to correct behavior. Children are not miniature adults who understand the heart behind what we do. Employ logical consequences.

Discipline is basically short-term pain for long term gain. It’s not easy to discipline. In fact it takes personal discipline to discipline our children. God has uniquely created our children, and our desire should be to help them become the person God intends. We do that when we discipline with honor!

If you missed our last email on discipline you'll want to check out this video.


---Motive of discipline is love, goal of discipline is character development---



Dear CK Parents,

This month’s online parenting topic is probably the most difficult aspect of parenting…DISCIPLINE.  It requires so much patience and consistency on our part that it can be totally draining. Let’s admit it there are times that we all take a deep breath and wonder if we’re really doing a good job at this parenting thing.

We all realize that we need to discipline our children, and we all do that differently because our children are different. But in the end we all have the same goal, we want our children to honor and respect us. So how do we discipline our kids in a way that leads us to achieve this? Check out this video post about teaching honor through discipline.


Take some time to think through the questions you were asked, and look forward to the next email where we’ll discuss some practical tools for making sure your disciplining is getting you the results you want.

Thanks for letting us be a part of your family! Have a wonderful week.



Dear CK Elementary Families,

Technology is everywhere! It is neither good nor bad, it’s what we make of it. Most kids today have some sort of mobile device. We want to take some time to figure out how we build boundaries around our child’s use of mobile devices.

Initially we need to address the real question: Do children need boundaries with technology? There are tons of bad things that COULD happen as your child uses his/her mobile device and setting boundaries on those will help protect them. 


In Exodus 16 we read about the Israelites in the wilderness. They’re starving and begin to complain. God miraculously provides manna and quail for them WITH some boundaries. The instructions are that every person is to collect ONLY what they need FOR THAT DAY.

However, there are people that decide they want to collect enough for tomorrow too, and the extra gets spoiled!

Yes, our kids need boundaries with their mobile devices. We can help provide boundaries a few ways:

Limit time. Many apps and settings will actually monitor your child’s amount of time on their mobile device. Have your child turn in their device at a certain time every evening.

Limit content. Unlimited access to Netflix and YouTube greatly increase your child’s chance of stumbling upon inappropriate content. Both of these apps have safeguards built in that can be set on your child’s mobile device. Surfing the internet via mobile device is a disaster waiting to happen. Take all internet surfing capability OFF of the mobile device OR give them a SAFE browser such as McGruff Safeguard Browser, K9 Protection Browser or AVG Family Safety.

Limit apps. BE SMART about apps, they are not all OK. Many parents allow children to have apps like snap chat-which allows easy access to nude pictures, and Kik Messenger-an anonymous texting app. Know the app your child is requesting. You can check out reviews of apps for kids at and

The sex talk used to be the awkward talk that parents had to have, and, YES, you still need to have that one. But in today’s society we must have talk with our children about the risks associated with technology. They should know WHY boundaries exist. There are tons of resources out there that provide boundaries for kids’ mobile devices, so take some time to do a little research, and set your child up for technological success!



Dear CK Elementary Families,

Maybe it was a Super Nintendo, doing math facts on the school computer, or immersing yourself in episodes of Full House, but our exposure to technology was vastly different from what our children experience. They’re inundated with technology EVERYWHERE they turn. They even have the ability to carry their technology around with them inside their pocket!

Does that mean we just hand them an iPod, iPhone, unlimited Netflix and YouTube access, and an unmonitored TV and allow them to handle technology however they deem fit? This month we want to help you as a parent understand the pros and cons of technology and how to manage it in a way that sets your child up for success.

How do we manage screen time such as TV, movies, video games, etc. with our child, and WHY should we put parameters around their use of technology anyway? This month’s video is going to tackle these questions, plus more from the home side (TV, movies, video games, etc.).




Dear CK Elementary Families,

I hope you found our first email with video content about bullying very helpful and evidence to you that we’re on your team.

The BIGGEST help we can be as parents is to develop a plan for dealing with a bully. Dealing with a bully is somewhat progressive in nature, so let’s view these in steps.

STEP 1-Tell the person bullying to STOP and walk away. Saying to them, “Don’t talk to me that way,” and walking away takes away their sense of power.

STEP 2-Confront the bully. Talk through a basic script that your child can use in confronting. “It’s not OK for you to treat me this way, and I won’t let it happen. If you don’t stop I will tell an adult.”

STEP 3-It’s time to get an adult involved. If it’s happening at school explain the situation to the teacher, if it’s on the bus speak with the bus driver, if it’s on a sports team talk with the coach, if it’s a neighbor speak with the child’s parents.

STEP 4-Next you involve that person’s direct supervisor. If the soccer coach doesn’t stop the bullying, it’s time for the league supervisor to get involved. If the school teacher isn’t stepping in, it’s time to speak with a principal.

The biggest assurance you can give your child is that God has equipped them to deal with this. 2 Timothy 1:7 says For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Memorize this verse with your child so they have the reminder that God has given them the power to deal with a bully.

What about your family? Have you dealt with this already? What worked and what didn’t? We’d love to have your feedback on this issue as we all work together to parent well!