called to thrive - chicken
Jan 18

Be a Wise Chicken

By Stephen A. Luther | Blog , My Kids Program

What does parenting have to do with chickens? I’m glad you asked! Let me begin with a story about my chickens. When we first got our chickens we had them in an area enclosed by a 4 foot fence. It didn’t take long before the chickens figured out that they could get over the fence. What did they do when they got out? They crossed the road! So I raised the fence and they couldn’t get over it. However, it didn’t take long before they found a gap under one area of the fence and, you guessed it, they got out and crossed the road. I was left pondering a very real question about why the chickens crossed the road. It seemed as though they had a singular focus of getting to the other side and nothing else mattered.

As I pondered this, I began to think about how much we tend to be like that as people and as parents. We often put the blinders on and pursue our goal without really thinking it through. Parents often get so focused on traditional approaches, such as rewards and consequences, that they don’t stop to ask if they are working. When we do this, we react and often get run over by the stress of parenting; we get stuck in unwanted battles and end up with chaos. If you are a parent to a hurting child, this is even more important as it is so easy to fall into that chaos. Or, alternatively, we don’t pursue our goals because of fear of what we cannot see. We shut down and just let the chaos control us or believe that it is just going to be this way. It breaks my heart when I hear a parent of a hurting child just counting down the years and months until the child turns 18. While I understand and empathize with this feeling, there is a better way!


A wise chicken keeps his goal, the other side of the road, in focus but broadens his view to consider other valuable information such as whether a car is coming. He acts wisely. As a parent to a hurting child, are you setting goals and working towards them wisely? Are you considering the hurt your kids have gone through and the specialized parenting techniques needed to repair those wounds? Do you have a vision for your family that includes having peace and joy in your home? Or have you given up on that?

 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20

Parenting hurting kids is full of stress. Often we see stress as the enemy, but stress is good if it is kept under control. It helps us know that we need to act in some way, keeps us sharp and builds our resources for not just coping with life, but living the extraordinary and victorious life God calls us to. When we are stressed, we will proceed down one of two paths, the path of the wise chicken or the path of the unwise chicken. These two paths are rooted in one of two primary emotional states, love/security or fear/insecurity. If I can stay on the wise path, I will act in love and security. I don’t act hastily but I do act. I think things through and seek wise counsel. If I stay on this path I will find success and possibilities will unfold before my eyes. This is the green path on the diagram below. If however, I chose the path of the unwise chicken, I will react either by proceeding without considering the potential problems that will run me over, or I stand paralyzed. Both options are motivated by fear and insecurity. This WILL end in some failure in life and will bog me down with limitations and problems. This is the red path on the diagram below.

my kids stress diagram wisdom, wise,

In the My Kids Therapeutic Parenting Community we specialize in helping parents be wise chicken. We help you learn specific therapeutic parenting techniques and mindsets that will help you not only manage your internal stress but also help you connect with your children in a way that gives them the best opportunity to heal. We would love to come along side you and help you be a wise chicken…are you ready to THRIVE as a parent and have PEACE in your family?


To get there you have to begin the journey, let’s get started!


By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

Licensed Professional Counselor and Therapeutic Parent Coach

My Kid’s Therapeutic Parenting on Facebook:

consequences called to thrive
Jan 18

Parents, Let’s Talk About Consequences

By Stephen A. Luther | Blog , My Kids Program

What is your primary goal as a parent? To give consequences, right? Sound absurd; well it is. But unfortunately that is the unspoken goal of many parents. I know this because as a parent coach when I challenge a parent on the consequences they are giving I get very interesting and often defiant responses. Perhaps the parents need a consequence for their defiance 😉. Wouldn’t that shock them if I immediately put them in time out? I get responses like “But I can’t let them get away with it” or “but I have to give a consequence” or “where does parenting come in then?’

Ok let’s look at this. Write down all the consequences you use that work. What do I mean by work? If it works you won’t have to do it anymore. Not that it stops the behavior in that moment. I’m talking about real change; you do the consequence, you child is changed and you don’t have to do it again. Ok, how many do you have on that list? Maybe there are one or two but I bet you don’t have many. You see, our goal isn’t consequences and really isn’t changed behavior. Our goal is a changed heart. How do we change a person’s heart? We connect with them! You need to connect with your child. Any consequences we give are secondary and honestly only have value if you have a very good connection with your child. It is one tool but not the only tool. What if you could change my child’s heart without a consequence? Would that be ok?

Therapeutic parent coaching and the My Kids Program is about connecting with your child. This can be difficult if your child is damaged or if your relationship with them has slowly broken down over the years. This is even more difficult for foster and adopted kids because they are damaged at the very core of who they are and are incapable, without repair work, of connecting with you. So whatever your situation, if things aren’t working, most likely consequences are only making things worse and validating your child’s belief that you are the enemy. The My Kids Program and Community helps you repair the damage and bring the joy back to your relationship with your children.

Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy your kids again? Let us help. Check us out at:


To get there you have to begin the journey, let’s get started!

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

My Kid’s Therapeutic Parenting page on Facebook:

healing called to thrive
Jan 13

CTTR: Thrive Continuum

By dougl1kj | Podcast

We are all on a journey from just surviving to thriving. The thrive continuum helps you look at where you are on that journey in various areas of life and how you can move from brokenness to healing in each area. The thrive continuum is made up of three levels, the Walking Wounded, the Stumbling and Stuck and the Thriving Well. We all want to get to the place where we are the Thriving Well in all areas of our life but sometimes we need support and guidance.

Sep 26

Does Splankna Work?

By dougl1kj | Blog , Splankna Healing Ministry

You may or may not have heard of Splankna, a Christian healing technique utilized by a few of us counselors at Grace Wellness Center. If you haven’t I would encourage you to check out the website or see if your counselor is one of those trained to use it, as it is a technique that everyone can benefit from.

I heard about Splankna when I first started at GWC and was on-board with wanting to learn about it before I had even learned what it really was. All I needed was to be told that it was a Christian intervention that could deal with trauma. I had come from a job where my focus had been to work with people who had been through significant traumas and while there where many tools that I had learned that could help a person put their lives back together or to find a sense of wholeness if there had been no healthy base to build on, these tools were often lacking the hope that we have as Christians. So as soon as I learned that there was an intervention that could be used to bring that hope into moments of brokenness that I had so long worked with, I jumped at the chance to learn.

My real introduction to Splankna came when I started attending some practice sessions for those who had already been trained, and it was at this point that I learned, Splankna is weird. If you haven’t experienced it there are certain tools used like muscle testing where the person pushed on your arm. Since we also invite God to work where He wants the topics that come up aren’t always the ones that you expect. Knowing that this technique could work with life traumas, I thought I knew what would come up. Only the first bunch of times, the brokenness I remembered experiencing in my own life is not what God had in mind.

Like many counselors I have had my own experiences and need for support that has taught me to want to help others. The most significant of these experiences was the basis for most of my nightmares as a child, and while I had grown into a well-adjusted adult, there was still this memory that I had built a wall around. An area that, if anything brought up thoughts of it, I would feel like I had been kicked in the gut. A trauma, that despite all my efforts, still affected my thoughts and outlook on life. I thought that with Splankna this would clearly be where we went, as being a counselor with all my years of experience and training of course I knew what I needed to deal with. Only it appeared God disagreed. For my initial experiences I kept processing emotions from ages early enough that I didn’t remember what produced them. I could see how these emotional strongholds had affected my life, but still wondered at the efficacy of Splankna since it wasn’t working where I thought best. Also since I couldn’t remember what had caused the emotions I didn’t notice any major shifts through the work.

Then I went to the training. I should explain that the week I went, I actually left helping out with my church’s teen camp that week to attend. A week where I was spending hours a day in worship, praying over other, and participating in the ministry that God was doing. In this mind frame I went to learn about Splakna. At the workshop, you learn to use the skills not only academically but you practice them with your fellow students. God chose this moment to deal with the worst night of my life. Looking back I think that with Splakna I would still have gotten there, but with spending the days proceeding focused on God I was more willing to trust Him to deal with such a significant source of pain. After processing it, I can still remember that night, but there is no longer any emotional weight to it. So despite its weirdness and despite how even knowing how it works I don’t know where any particular session will go, I can say that my own experience has shown me that this is a tool that God can use to bring healing even to broken areas of your life where nothing else has seemed to work.