Parenting While Distracted

“Technoference” and how screens are disrupting our most important relationship.

“I can’t stay off my phone,” wrote CNET’s Ian Sherr last year. “And I’m afraid it’s hurting my 2-year-old son.” Sherr was giving voice to an important new development in the conversation around family screen time. For most of the last several years, as we’ve become more aware of the unintended consequences of allowing technology into every aspect of our lives, the family screen time discussion has mostly centered around screen use by children and teens. And that’s not unimportant. We now know screen use can have negative effects on children’s mental health. We know it’s connected to attention problems, social interaction difficulties and even higher risk of suicide.


book recommendation

If you're looking for a great summer read for yourself, I highly recommend Parenting Toward the Kingdom. : Orthodox Christian Principles of Child-Rearing by Philip Mamalakis, Ph.D. I'm re-reading it now and loving it even more the second time around! The author is the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with a M.Div and a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Studies. In addition to all that, he's married and has 7 children.

I know life is busy and summer can be chaotic so you may not have time to sit down and read a book, but this one is really worth it! It's filled with lots of practical advice from a parent still in the trenches. His wisdom and principles are based on sound Orthodox Christian beliefs and point you back to the bigger picture of what our role is as parents. If you can't read it, then maybe you can listen to the audiobook on your commute, your road trip or while doing laundry.

I'd love to share some of my favorite nuggets from his book with you over the next several weeks. This one is about the long-term goal of parenting . . .

"Our goal is to enable our children to see themselves and others as children of God, icons of Christ, as holy images of God Himself (Gen. 1:26). Successful children know, deep within their hearts, that they are loved by God and by us, and they desire to return that love freely. . . Parenting is not about stopping misbehaviors or getting children to listen to us. It is the process of shaping and guiding our children's souls in and toward God's love through the tasks that need to be accomplished and the struggles of daily life."

I love the part of about our kids being an icon of Christ! Hope you were encouraged by that short passage.



Check out this complete listing of all child and family friendly events in the Washington, DC area happening this week. Check back each week for updates!


You’ll be a hero with these fun summer activities

Check out one mom’s weekly ideas of activities to keep kids busy and have some fun.


20 Easy Day Trips You’ll All Love

Road trips rock! But let’s face it, as much as you relish the quality time together in a small enclosed area, how many times over can you whistle along to toddler tunes or referee punch buggy without the bickering coming to a head. Luckily, our home base (D.C. metro!) is central to a wide variety of places that minimize the drive time and maximize the fun time. Head out on the highway to one of these favorite summer destinations, all two hours or less from the district.


water, water everywhere

7 Best Free Spraygrounds and Splash Pads To Keep Your Kids Cool All Summer Long


PREK bike.jpg

the king and the kingdom

In this unit, kids will learn that Jesus is the best teacher because He teaches us how to live God’s way. When we obey Jesus, it’s like building a house on a super strong rock. Look in the Bible to find out what Jesus teaches!

Download Bible App for Kids so you can check out these stories with your kids. They can follow along in the story and have fun bringing the characters to life. Also, check out the Adventure Book we send home with your kids each week so you can help them review the verse and the question and answer that we hope they learn each week.


FRIENDS that share

We’re continuing to learn about friends in heaven by getting to know Saints Peter, Paul and Timothy. We’re learning the next part of the liturgical response, May their holy blessing be with us. Amen. Glory to You, O Lord. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

See if your kids can sing along with the Turtle Time key phrase for this month and point it out to them next time you hear it in Liturgy. We reminded them to pay attention the next time they hear the names of lots of saints in Liturgy (Commemoration of the Saints) so they can get ready to sing this month's key phrase.


Peter/paul flip-over book

What could be better than a great hero story? TWO great hero stories! And there’s no better place to find them than the Bible. Each Little Bible Heroes™ Flip-Over Book offers two stories of bravery, faithfulness, and kindness—straight from the Bible and perfect for little hero-loving hearts!





Talk to your kid about what they learned in sunday School. THey learn the best from You!

believing what Jesus did can Change me

Who’s ready for some Summer Travels with Kids@TheWell?!  This Summer, we will be traveling right along St. Paul as we journey through the Book of Acts to find out WHERE IN THE WORLD did our Faith come from?! Every week we will take a look at Paul’s Ministry in the Book of Acts and then make a LITURGY connection to discover where in the World our Faith came from and how our Faith changes everything. 

Each week not only will we look at the book of ACTS but we will also be making a LITURGY CONNECTION to see how our Liturgical prayers remind us of our Faith and how it can change us each and every Sunday. 

July 7, Week 1 we will be looking at the first Ecumenical Council in Jerusalem where St. Paul advocates for the Gentiles preaching that the story of Jesus is for everybody. Our LITURGY-Connection will be looking at the Trisagion Hymn where we sing every Sunday about Christ’s mission for all.

July 14, Week 2 we will look at St. Paul’s conversation with King Agrippa leading to the King’s belief in God.  Our Liturgy-connection will be focused on the intercessory prayers we have in the Liturgy (specifically the Saint Mary Intercessory Prayer) and how intercessory prayers can make a huge difference!

July 21, Week 3 we will look at St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians explaining the importance of forgiveness.  Our Liturgy-connection will be the “kiss one another with the holy kiss” prayer and how important it is to enter the Liturgy without grudges or anger to anyone.

July 28, Week 4 we will take a look at St. Paul’s adventure when he was shipwrecked on Malta on his way to Rome and how God changed how he saw the problems they faced.  Our Liturgy-Connection will focus on the “Meet and Right” prayer and how the Lord is always with us.




And You Will Be My Witnesses from One End of the Earth To the Other.  Acts 1:8b

Pentecost is a feast day in the Church where we remember the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles as they embarked to spread the word of God from one end of the earth to the other.  The verse, however, was not meant to be exclusive – we are also charged with being daily witnesses of our Lord and spreading His good news from one end of the earth to the other.

This summer, we will take a closer look at the book of Acts and discover what it means to be a daily missionary for Christ.  Each day is an opportunity to be on God’s mission in our deeds, words, and interactions with others.

July 7: We will see that being on God’s mission includes “Missions near”

July 14: As St. Paul discovered, God’s mission includes “missions rerouted”

July 21: Just as St. Paul had Barnabas, on God’s mission “Navigators are needed.”

July 28: St. Paul also knew that God’s mission sometimes involved “detours.”


book recommendation

St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians is one of the most engaging letters of St Paul. The issues that St Paul deals with in this letter are not only relevant to us today on a personal level but also on a community level. Ask yourself these questions; are there factions in the group you are a part of? How do you handle the immorality that seems so prevalent in the world today? How do we respect and honour one another's personality and gifts? If any of these questions are relevant to your life, then 1st Corinthians has something to say to you. This Orthodox Bible Study Series for teenagers is based on the commentaries of the 21st century's most prominent Orthodox Bible scholar, Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty. The Orthodox Bible Study Series for teens is a great way to understand the Bible and to learn how it can transform your life.

Have any questions, comments or suggestions? We'd love to hear from you! Email