Celebrities and Their Effect on Kids

Two well-known celebrities have gone public about their decision to remain sexually pure until marriage.


Bethany Hamilton, the subject of the movie Soul Surfer, says “Growing up I was blessed to have parents that stayed together, and to have that husband and wife image.  I wanted an awesome husband that would love and support me until I die.


Bethany says “I also wanted to honor God with the way that I approached [marriage]. I definitely was patient and I didn’t mess around.” In fact Bethany says her husband is the only guy I’ve ever kissed.”  By the way, Bethany has a new book out that talks about some of those issues.  It’s called Body & Soul: A Girl’s Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life: 

And a well-known male TV star is talking  about his decision to remain abstinent until marriage. 


Duck Dynasty’s Jase Robertson says  “I’m proud [that I was a virgin when I got married]. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life.


In an interview with Fox News, Jase said “What I did was when I started dating girls I would quickly tell them on the first date as soon as they got in the car. I’d say, ‘Look I will not treat you inappropriately at any point in our relationship.’


According to Jase, when he said that, a couple of girls actually got out of the car! But he says, “My wife, [Missy], she really loved the idea that she felt secure with me, like I had a direction I was taking.”


By the way, if you’re a parent with teens or pre-teens at home, an excellent book on this topic is called “Pure Excitement: A Godly Look at Sex, Love and Dating.”


If you have younger kids, I’d recommend the series “God’s Design for Sex” by Stan and Brenna Jones.  That series features a different booklet for each stage of development, starting with 0-3 year-olds and going all the way up to the teen years.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Are Kids With ADHD More Likely to Use Drugs?

If your kid has ADHD, is he more likely to use drugs as a teen or young adult?  Yes—and no.

CBS News is reporting on a new study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital that found that children suffering with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more than twice as likely to try and abuse drugs

However, if kids are treated properly—including with prescription medications, they may actually be LESS likely to use drugs when they get older.

Dr. Sharon Levy at Boston’s Children’s says “one of the main points [of the research] is that treating ADHD both with behavioral techniques and medications seems to lower the risk of substance abuse,”

Dr. Levy did caution that stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin can sometimes be misused. The researchers found that almost 1 out of 4 school-aged children are approached to sell, buy or trade their ADHD medications

Dr. Michael Duchowny at Miami Children’s Hospital recommends that children with ADHD should be counseled about the risk of substance abuse.

Although the association between ADHD and the risk of substance abuse is known, the reasons for the increased risk aren’t,

It’s possible that the same biology that causes ADHD also puts some children at a higher risk for substance abuse, he added. Other social factors may also contribute to increased risk.

For example, kids with ADHD are more likely to struggle in school and turn to drugs or alcohol to escape anxiety about their difficulties.

For more information on ADHD, its diagnosis, and proper treatment, go to chadd.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Emotional Son

Dear Dr. Bill,


We have a very emotional 8-year-old boy.  He often cries about little things and gets upset at my husband and me constantly.  He has a 2-year-old sister, and I wonder if their age gap has caused some kind of strain for him.  What do you suggest?




Dear Joy,


Every child is wired differently from the start—each with his own unique personality and disposition.  Some are more laid-back, some are more high-strung.

As parents, one of our jobs is to help our kids capitalize on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.


Without directly observing your family, I can only speculate about what’s going on, but could it be that you and your husband are unintentionally reinforcing your son when he cries and throws tantrums?


Many parents believe the most loving thing to do is give in to their child’s demands and emotional outbursts—they want their child to like them and they don’t want to do anything to cause them to be unhappy.


Unfortunately this sets up a negative pattern that will cause a child to struggle in his relationships with classmates and teachers—and later with dating partners and employers.


It sounds like things have gotten worse since your daughter was born.  My guess is that your son has been used to getting his way and being the center of attention for years, and he doesn’t like sharing mom and dad with this little “intruder.”


If this description rings true, you and your husband will need to start setting firm limits with your son and implementing consequences for negative behavior.  You’ll also need to teach him more appropriate ways of responding when he is upset, frustrated or angry.


For some great guidance on this, check out the book “Boundaries with Kids” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Sitting Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

How much of your day do you spend SITTING? You’ve probably heard that sitting for long periods can be hazardous to your health.

Not only can sitting make you fat, but last year Australian researchers found that people who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% increased risk of death…from any cause.

Health.com is reporting on new study that found that people who spent most of the day on their—posteriors– had a 24% greater risk of colon cancer. That number shot up to 54% for people who spent the most hours sitting in front of the TV.

The risks remained even for so-called “active couch potatoes”—people who work out but still spend most of their day sitting down.

Standing isn’t the answer, as jobs that require a lot of standing are linked to their own set of health problems including varicose veins, lower-back pain, and increased risk of stroke.

So here are a few steps you can take to get healthier.

Set an alarm. Setting your phone alarm or using an app like BreakTime are simple ways to encourage more movement throughout the day.

Stand up and pace when you’re talking on the phone. It’s easy if you’re on a smartphone—if not, see if you can get a cordless phone for your desk.

And walk whenever possible. You’d be surprised how many ways you can sneak walking into your daily routine. If possible, take a quick walk after lunch. After eating, the fat levels in your bloodstream are at their peak, and simply moving around increases the activity of a gene that boosts your metabolism.

For more health tips, go to health.org and enter “sitting” in the search engine.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Crime and Television

If you find yourself worried about crime, could your fears be caused by what you see on TELEVISION, rather than on REALITY?


A new study has found that Americans’ fear of real-world violence is directly related to the amount of violence portrayed on broadcast television.


According to PluggedIn.com, The Annenberg Public Policy Center examined the amount of violence on TV from the 1970s through 2010, and then compared that to how people responded to Gallup polls about their fear of violence.


Despite the fact that crime rates in general have decreased over that time period, people’s fear of crime rose and fell in a pattern similar to rising and falling crime rates on TV shows!


It turns out that the number of violent sequences shown on broadcast TV each hour decreased significantly between 1972 and 1996. But since then, the number of violent incidents has been on the rise again…up to almost 4 per hour in prime time.


Each additional violent sequence per hour corresponded with a 1% increase in the number of people who said they feared walking alone at night in their own neighborhood.


Dan Romer with the Annenberg Center says “We now have stronger evidence that the fictional treatment of crime on TV may influence the public’s fears of crime,”


And this just in…watching sitcoms may make you more cynical about love.


Researchers at the University of Michigan found that students who watched sarcastic and cynical comedies such as How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory tended to have a much more pessimistic view of romance than those who didn’t.


The researchers say even if we aren’t aware of it, we internalize the messages we see on TV or in films.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

“Patriot Pastor” From the Revolutionary War.

It’s Independence Day, and millions of Americans are enjoying picnics, barbecues and fireworks.


While you’re relaxing with friends or family, I’d encourage you to remember what this day commemorates—the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.


One of my favorite stories about the American Revolution is about a pastor named John Peter Muhlenberg.


Pastor Muhlenberg had a military background, and toward the end of 1775, George Washington asked him to raise and command the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army.


He agreed, but his brother Fredrick, who was also a pastor, didn’t approve of him going into the army.  That is until the British burned down Frederick’s own church in front of him. Then he joined the army himself.


On January 21, 1776 in the Lutheran church in Woodstock, Virginia, Pastor Muhlenberg preached from the third chapter Ecclesiastes, which starts with “To every thing there is a season.”


After reading the eighth verse, “a time of war, and a time of peace,” he declared, “And this is the time of war.”  He then threw off his clerical robe to reveal the uniform of a Continental Army Colonel.


Outside the church door the drums began to roll as the men in the congregation turned to kiss their wives and then walked down the aisle of the church to enlist.


Within half an hour, 162 men had joined the 8th Virginia Regiment and went on to fight for our country’s freedom.


After the war, John Muhlenberg served in House of Representatives and then as a US Senator.


I’d encourage you to share Pastor Muhlenberg’s story with your children or grandchildren.


Happy Independence Day from all of us at Shine.FM!

Listen to today’s audio here.

Hazards Involved With Not Getting Enough Sleep.

You’re feeling grumpy, you have trouble concentrating, and you’re not eating well.  It could be because you’re not getting enough SLEEP.

But not getting enough sleep does more than affect your mood. It can wreak havoc on your health.

USA Today has a story on sleep deprivation which includes a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC warns that habitual lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of many serious health problems, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, heart attacks and strokes.

That’s not to mention negatively impacting your quality of life, reducing productivity—even contributing to premature death!

As you may have heard me mention a few weeks ago, a recent study involving mice found that chronic sleep loss can lead to the irreversible loss of brain cells.

CDC data show that 1 out of 4 adults report sleeping six hours or less each night, and that’s simply not enough for most people.

Safwan Badr, a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says sleep is so critical to good health that it should be thought of “as one of the components of a three-legged stool of wellness: nutrition, exercise and sleep,”

Dr. Badr says there are some steps you can take to get a better night’s sleep:

Go to bed at about the same time every night, get up at the same time in the morning, don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon, limit alcohol consumption, and exercise regularly.

For more ideas, go to sleepeducation.com.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Help—My 6-Year-Old is a Habitual Liar—What Can I Do?

Dear Dr. Bill,


Ever since my second daughter could walk and talk, she has been sneaky and a little deceitful.  She’s now almost 6-years-old and is very smart and sweet, but her tendency to lie continues to baffle me. I’ve tried reading children’s books to her about telling the truth, and reviewing Bible verses that back up what I’ve been teaching her — but the problem persists. What should I do?




Dear Nicole,


Young children tend to respond more effectively to actions, rather than words. Although explaining the importance of truth and sharing Bible verses with your daughter are important, you’ll find that firm, decisive actions are the best teacher.


My guess is she has found that lying works for her—at least some of the time. She’s learned that telling a fib helps her to avoid or at least delay punishment. So you need to make the consequences for lying more severe than for other types of misbehavior.


For example, if she deliberately breaks one of her sister’s toys, she will receive a consequence, but if she LIES about it, her punishment will be considerably more painful.


Clearly explain this to her, so she knows in advance that she’s much better off telling the truth and admitting to an infraction, even if she does experience a negative consequence for her misbehavior.


In addition to consistent, powerful consequences for lying, you should also begin praising her when she tells the truth.


Many parents find it helpful to use a sticker chart or token system to reinforce positive behavior and discourage negative behavior.


You can learn how to set up such a system in Dr. James Dobson’s book “The New Dare to Discipline.”


Thanks for writing Nicole!


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Could Your Kid Be Packing Pounds This Summer?

Could your kid be packing on the pounds this summer?


As you probably know, school districts across the country have been banning sugary drinks and fatty lunch foods in order to help curb childhood obesity.


But a new study suggests that SUMMER is the time when kids are more likely to gain weight.


NBC News is reporting on researcher done by the Harvard School of Public Health. It showed that many kids gain weight during the summer, particularly black and Hispanic kids and children and teens who are already overweight.


Rebecca Franckle, a Harvard doctoral student who led the study, says “It’s especially those kids who are already at risk who are the most at risk during the summer.”


About a third of children and teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, and piling on extra weight at a young age can lead to serious health problems later in life.


The researchers aren’t certain what is behind the summer weight gain, but they suspect that it’s less structure, extra snacks, boredom and more time spent in front of a screen.


More research is needed to determine the best ways to curb weight gain over the summer, but Rebecca Franckle at Harvard suggests that parents worried about extra pounds should look to the school year for suggestions.


She says engaging kids in sports or camp programs is a good idea. She and her colleagues also believe that expanding access to summer food programs for low-income children may help.


For more suggestions on keeping your kids healthy this summer—and all year long–go to healthychildren.org.


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Faith-based Cable TV Programming

Good news—more faith and family-friendly programming is coming to a cable network near you.


According to Plugged In.com, networks such as Up, Aspire, INSP, TV One, Bounce TV and the Hallmark Channel are all looking for wholesome programming, shows and movies that the whole family can watch together.


Cindy Bond, co-founder of Mission Pictures International, says “We’ve hit a watershed moment in the faith film arena. This audience isn’t a fluke any more.


Cindy says the next step for us is for Christian film and TV producers to raise the bar in terms of quality.


Barbara Fisher, senior vice president of original programming for the Up Network, says there’s a growing demand for uplifting television movies, too.


According to Barbara, “It may sound cornball to some people, but we are recognizing that there’s a big country out there that hungers for programming that makes them feel hopeful. I’m seeing a new kind of respect for this programming. It doesn’t have to be schlocky or subpar.”

Eli Lehrer, senior vice president of nonfiction programming for Lifetime, believes that the Christian audience is ripe for more programming.  He says there are tens of millions potential viewers who hold Christian beliefs, but they’re not well-represented on TV these days.


And here’s another benefit of all the faith-based programming.  Tina Campbell, star of WE TV’s reality show Mary Mary says “I think people are starting to see Christianity as normal thanks to all these shows. If we’re going to expose the world to every other aspect of life, why not expose it to Christian life when you’re not at church?”


I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.