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Dove's Nest Blog

We're All the Bosses of Our Own Bodies

By Marathana Prothro

Oh, the awkwardness of unsolicited hugs. Most parents have experienced uncomfortable—even dreaded—moments when our child refuses to hug or kiss someone who truly has the purest of intentions.

I think we too often cave to societal pressures to either avoid embarrassment or protect the feelings of others. Instead, we should empower children to trust and respect their own intuition and set their own boundaries.

Children Are Not Props


By Brenda Yoder, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Speaker's Bureau Member

I came across a beautiful photo on my Instagram feed. It was lovely. Everything was propped and proportioned so meticulously. It had shoes and travel accessories laid out on a surface with a beautiful baby—about one year old, with a flat look on her face—lying on her back in a suitcase. 

The symmetry and colors in the photo were stunning. The caption was great. 

Twelve Back-to-School Safety Tips for Parents

By Dove’s Nest Staff and Board Members

1. Ask your children how they felt about a new experience at school. Rather than simply asking What did you do today? ask “What was your favorite part? What are you most proud of? Did you ever feel unsafe?” 

2. Inquire about your school's protection policy, especially if it is a private school. Encourage Christian schools to teach Circle of Grace, a Christian safe environment curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Protecting Children

By Jeanette Harder, Dove's Nest Cofounder and Board President

We all need to be safe. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is even more important than our needs for belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Safety is second only to having our most basic needs met (e.g., food, water, shelter).

I remember feeling safe as a child during thunderstorms, even tornadoes—as long as my parents were nearby and I had my pillow. I remember feeling safe at church, surrounded by adults and children who cared about me and valued me.

Plain Communities: Inspiration and Opportunity for Dove's Nest

By Jan Slabaugh, Dove’s Nest Speaker’s Bureau and Board Member

Jan, Anna Groff, and Jeanette Harder (in photo) traveled to northern New York in June as a learning tour to build relationships with the Plain communities in that area. Dove’s Nest offers cultural competency training for social service systems and workers to better relate to Amish and Old Order Mennonites. More information about that training can be found HERE.

Remember the things you did as a child: playing in puddles after a spring rain, having the summer breeze blow through your hair, harvesting vegetables from the garden in the fall, or sledding down a big hill on a runner sled!

Stop Living in Fear of a False Report

By Alan Stucky

Fear of being falsely accused of sexual misconduct or abuse can cause significant pause for pastors when hearing victims’ stories of abuse, sexual or otherwise, particularly when the accusations are leveled against church leaders. This fear of false accusations leads to the thought, “Well, maybe the story isn’t true.”

As I did some self-reflection to examine where this fear comes from, I began to wonder if it was based in reality or not. How often do people actually falsely accuse someone of abuse?

Plain Community Families Caring for Children—Theirs and Ours

By Anna Groff, Executive Director

My Dove’s Nest colleagues and I sat in a cramped room at the Office of Children and Family Services of Orleans County in New York State.

We were discussing the placement of “English” (non-Plain) children in “Plain” (Amish and Old Order Mennonite) communities.

One of the social service workers asked, “I sometimes wonder, why do these conservative families want to foster and adopt children? It’s a lot of work for anyone!”

Building Relationships with the Amish to Keep Everyone Safe and Healthy

By Jeanette Harder, Dove's Nest Cofounder and Board President

As I was eagerly anticipating my return trip to New York, my friends asked if I would be visiting different Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities this time. They seemed puzzled by my response, “No, I want to keep building relationships with the families I got to know last summer.”

Dove's Nest Holds SpankOut Day Training

Does spanking teach children good behavior? If done correctly, it can be an effective form of discipline, right? And it’s not harmful?

Wrong to all three.

Contrary to what many believe or want to believe, punishment does not teach right behavior nor does it build relationship with us as parents. “Punishment” isn’t as effective as “discipline.” 

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