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In this episode I'm so excited to introduce you to my parents, Mark and Tamra. They are two amazing individuals with abundant love for me and their other seven children. You will hear them talk about the importance of love and firm boundaries in parenting, and that's exactly what was at the heart of their parenting. I haven't always been grateful for those firm boundaries, but now that I'm grown up, I recognize their wisdom and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Hello you amazing parents. I’m so glad you’re joining me today. Raising Today’s Kids is almost ready to celebrate it’s one year anniversary!! Which seems like an appropriate time in our relationship to introduce you to my parents! Haha.


Actually what happened was my parents were in town visiting for a few days recently and I just kept thinking about how much I love and respect them. And I wanted to share them with you! I have to say that I haven’t always been so grateful for them. I went through a lot of years where I subconsciously, and sometimes consciously focused too much on their weaknesses and blamed them for my challenges. During our conversation you’ll hear my mom talk about the responsibility parents have to mend broken fences for their children, and I think it was my mom’s efforts to mend my broken fences that I resented for so long. Over time my heart has softened, and I have come to see her as an absolutely incredible mom.


My parents were exactly what they preach to be. They were full of love, but with firm boundaries. And not coincidentally, that’s what the research says is the ideal foundation for raising kids in a digital world. There was a study done in 2010 published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services called, Cyber-Parenting: Internet Benefits, Risks and Parenting Issues, where researcher Yu Cheung Wong, found that those who parented lovingly with clear boundaries saw better outcomes in their children’s digital lives. That’s what we all need, isn’t it?


So here are two people who have made the most significant contribution to who I am today. I hope you enjoy our fun, casual, sitting around the table, family conversation about our family and my parents’ approach to raising kids. Stay tuned to the end for some funny family stories. Meet my parents, Mark and Tamra.



my conversation with my parents


I cannot adequately express my gratitude for my parents. Obviously I’m grateful that they were willing to open up on this episode, but I am eternally grateful for the countless hours they sacrificed to raise Dana, Mishel, Kandace, Cherie, Nathaniel, Alyssa, Johnathan and I. (Say that three times fast!). They are the epitome of intentional parents. I’m grateful they didn’t let me push them away. They knew what it took to be great parents and they didn’t back down, no matter how much I wished they would at some points in my life. At the height of my resistance I was blind to their love, but now my eyes have opened and I hope I can be more like them.


So I need to give a disclaimer - Poor Kandace, she has an incredible personality and I love her. All of my siblings are amazing. I don’t know what I would do without any of them. 


I love how my dad said children need to feel love from their parents. They feel love when you love your spouse and love yourself. 


Clearly for my mom, especially, she is firmly rooted in her faith and it drives everything she does. That has been a very good thing for our family.


I love how she said everyone has a reason for being born and there’s always hope because of goodness in the world. 


You are an amazing parent. Keep doing the good that you’re doing. 


Thanks for listening, and have an awesome day!


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