Purposeful Parenting

Going for Broke

We all want was is best for our kids but what does purposeful parenting look like in practice?

Follow the creator of Anton’s Antics’ as he negotiates the challenges of being a parent.

“The blog's slogan started off as a joke between my wife and I, as it can be tough making ends meet and parenting is not easy. I want to hear Jesus say ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ with what He has entrusted to me.  We have to go for broke don’t we?

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Same Sex Marriage and Kid's Half-Time Oranges

My wife and I avoided weekend sport for our kids for as long as we could. We held out, we dodged, we distracted our kids from the topic but we eventually caved into the inevitable and devastating loss of our weekend.

Friends would pop over and talk about how much little johnnie loved his weekend game of soccer. We’d change topics or wait till the kids were out of earshot before we encouraged any more of that conversation.

I’m glad to say that all our fears about weekend sport for kids like the terrible traffic, impossible parking issues were only the beginning.

Just imagine your entire region descending on one playing field at the same time. Tired working parents hit weekend grid lock, gritting their teeth as they drag kids out of bed to get to the game on time. Or as the kids drag their dad out of bed kicking and screaming!

Then Try finding the court.

You need a paint chart from the hardware store just to identify your kid’s teams colours from another team’s. They’re so similar!

I gest. But It does make me feel self-conscious. Am I the only one who looks over this overwhelming sea of school colours and balls and courts and feels…overwhelmed. How does anyone find where they are supposed to be other than walking around like Moses in the wilderness?

“Oh, wait there it is…there’s my kids colours”…you walk over gradually getting closer until you’re almost upon them … “nope, that’s green and gold with a tiny white swoosh under the arm pit, silly me I don’t know why I didn’t see that half a kilometer away on the other side of the field!”

I spend the first quarter solving the court location. By 2nd quarter I’m there but they’ve put my daughter on reserve for that part of the game. Happy days dad.

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How to train our kids against instant gratification

Where will you be this time next year?

Imagine if you could fast forward through life and just get to the good bits?

-want a baby…. pow! Here it is

-need a new career of your dreams…bling! You’ve got it

-lose 50 kg…. zap! Baby you did it!

Fast forwarding the boring bits

Adam Sandler’s movie, ‘Click’ did just that putting the star’s life on a remote so he could skip the boring, uneventful and hard bits of life.

Recently though, my kids were captivated by the advertising of a new TV show promising true stories of dramatic life achievements over a 12-month period. It’s called, ‘This Time Next Year”. The killer grab was ‘watch lives transform in the blink of an eye as we reveal the transformation from beginning to end”. So, what happens is they film the person’s quest and their result 12 months later, but we don’t have to wait or wade through the boring journey. Instead it all happens in a flash as the host walks from one side of the tv set to another; waving them goodbye and then welcoming them back through a 2nd door without it feeling like any time has passed at all.

Instant gratification.

It’s the world we live in. No wait. No journey for the viewer, just wham bam thankyou mam.

Could life be better?

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Kids banned from talking about Jesus at school

Last week there was a kerfuffle over religious instruction in Queensland government schools whereby a policy directive was sent to Principals advising them that they had a responsibility to keep kids safe and that evangelism posed a risk to their safety.

I doubt kids in primary schools know what evangelism means but the government body for education in Queensland cited examples of evangelism including the giving of Christmas cards, inviting friends to church events, decorating Christmas trees and giving a speech about Christmas or speaking to a friend in the playground.

Now I’ve shot another video for you, this one’s a little bit more of a rant, so buckle up.

Watch it now:

Why Jesus must stay in our schools

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Wisdom isn't always found in the old: Sober Socialising Millenials

Australia is a big drinking culture. I’m not proud of it and I remember travelling through Italy and being really surprised to see families out late at night enjoying the city, eating food without the drunken louts. Whereas in Sydney, I’d avoid taking my family out at night because of the drunken louts. It’s with some welcome surprise that I recently read that alcohol consumption amongst millennials is less than previous generations. What surprised me even more was the reasons for the change in attitudes and the growth of sober socializing!

You’ll be surprised too, so I’ve shot this super quick video for you highlighting the reasons for these winds of change and what it means for parenting our kids

Watch it now:

Sober Socialising Millenials

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How to avoid the moral hesitancy of secular parenting

My wife recently borrowed some books from the library she’d heard about for parenting teenagers. Why is it always the moms who do this kind of legwork? Ashamed I hadn’t been more proactive in benefitting from the latest research and popular books on teen parenting, I sneaked a peek.

We were on a family short break up the coast of NSW and the book I snuck off with while she was distracted was called, ‘Being 14’. The cover looked promising…staring into the camera on the cover was naïve, porous young girl on the precipice of early adulthood. Gasp. Parenting is scary. What’s going to become of that innocent face? How do you keep being a parent to a creature like this when they clearly need space? Good cover.

I like to dip and dive into books and articles and try and find out if it’s going to grab me or if it’s worthwhile. I never work sequentially. I just pick a chapter that interests me, read the opening lines then the last page. If I’m hooked and I can see some potential, I go back and skim, looking for the gold dust.

Sadly, though I applaud this book’s attempt and its premise of hope for parents with early teens, I must say, I was disappointed. Waffle. Lots of research, lots of interviews, comments with psychologists, counsellors, principals of schools and parents of teens but not much synthesis or as I like to call it the ‘so what?’ pay off. What do I do with this information? What does it mean? What verdict does this body of research into the pervasiveness of social media in teens lives mean for me as a parent?

I’m finding this all too common in secular books and articles these days. Have you noticed the moral hesitancy? What I mean by this is you get these journalists who do their homework but then can’t land the plane anywhere or tell us what we should make of it all. Books like ‘Being 14’ end up being a compendium of interesting observations that we are all familiar with but fail in providing any moral certainty about what we should do to protect or parent our kids.

Moral hesitancy comes from moral ambiguity

The thing is, it’s hard to pronounce judgement on anything, without ‘canon’, bar height or moral code. With the rise of individualism and relativism, who’s to say one kind of behavior is morally better than another. Yet, we can all feel the ‘code’ out there, like it’s always been there.

The Christian parent however is in the enviable position of being able to work freely within meaningful boundaries provided by God’s word. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” Psalm 119:105.

Join me and Anton with your kids as we explore Psalm 119 by sketching through each stanza through Anton’s A-Z to a Good Life

Along the way we’ll learn each of the letters to the Hebrew alphabet and how they shape the good life God intends for us.

I didn't get the big 'amen' in church

I was leading prayer in church the other day and when I finished I noticed this unusual hush. Normally when someone gets up and leads us in prayer, we all say a nice ‘amen’ at the end. It’s basically a way of saying ‘we all agree’ and that we’re in this together even though someone else is doing all the out loud words. But here’s the thing, when if finished, the ‘amen’ bit from the congregation was barely audible. It’s a bit like when you say to someone, ‘I love you’ and you don’t hear a reply. It’s a pretty big motza ball you got out there! You wonder, ‘did I say something wrong?’

Maybe it’s the Aussie laziness in my speech that left people wondering…’is that the end?’

Aussies are known for trailing off and not really finishing our sentences. ‘What did you get up to today?’ ‘Oh I went out and drove to the beach then I got a few….’ The meaning is clear enough, so we don’t bother properly concluding. Maybe I trailed off in my prayer and people weren’t sure that I’d finished. But I don’t think so, I gave a reasonably good prayer ‘wind up’ cue.

One of the reasons I don’t like doing public prayers or being the ‘MC’ for that matter, is that for me as soon as I’m on stage, it’s hard to stop the performer in me. It’s like a switch that goes on as soon as I’m on stage. I keep wondering to the Lord as I pray…’am I performing again?’. I reluctantly do the service but you see if I don’t get the big amen…well it’s like not getting the applause at the end of a show. You must wonder…did I do something wrong? It’s not that I need the applause or recognition, far from it. But I can’t escape the room, the stage and what that means in my bones.

What does the good life look like?

Many of you will know that I’ve been building a video series for family devotions called ‘Anton’s A-Z to the Good Life’. Anton and I are doodling our way through each stanza of Psalm 119, learning the Hebrew alphabet and reflecting on each letter’s significance for the good life. For my prayer at church I decided to base the prayer around the letter ‘Tet’ and the verse of Psalm 119:71

One word that gets repeated in this stanza that begins with ‘Tet’ is the Hebrew word Tov, often translated as ‘good’.

One particular verse stood out to me that uses this word was Psalm 119:71

‘It was good for me to go through a tough time so I might learn your laws’

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The scourge of sleep over parties

I never liked the sleep over party.

As a kid, I soon learnt that my bed was the best place to be not someone’s dusty rumpus room floor.

It’s not just the sleep over that I dislike. It’s the fact that our kids and their friends still expect birthday invites, presents and parties in their teens.

When I was a kid, we got a birthday party in primary school. Maybe an outing for our final year. But high school? I don’t remember a single party. If we wanted to celebrate it would be a not particularly memorable day organised by ourselves, at the beach or a trip to the movies for our 16th . Not so today…there’s no sign of the invitation, party, present thing stopping once kids finish primary school. Presents…I don’t remember those after primary school, not from friends anyway, maybe one from mum and dad but that was it.

Why don’t we as parents just say, ‘hang on a minute…wait! That’s it guys…no more parties…until your 21!

Is it because we don’t want our kids to grow up?

Perhaps, and I get that.

Or is it helicoptering parenting trying to control the inevitable celebration by having it on site?

Yep, and I get that too. If they're willing to stay home and party with us as chaperones, why knock it back?

Or is it our guilt, you know like we don't want to think of ourselves as bad parents because we won't put parties on anymore?

Could it be that our kids are actually better off with us encouraging them to stand a little more on their own two feet?

I don’t mind my kids going out with their friends to the movies or somewhere fun, but the days of us funding the whole scheme is over baby!

Now the sleepover is a cheapy, so why not support that? I mean how hard can it be right…just kids sleeping on your floor?

We tried very hard to discourage our kids from sleepovers and now that they have finally lifted the hood on them, we are all agreed: Sleepovers are dumb.

Here’s 10 reasons why:

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How to keep your family spiritually fit

Just the other day a friend with kids was telling me how he wanted to be more purposeful about leading his family in a spiritual way, but wasn’t clear on what that might look like.

Finding a good routine to keep your family spiritually fit, that your kids enjoy as well, is no easy feat.

What if I could give you a fresh routine your kids will enjoy, that will nourish your family spiritually and take out the heavy lifting for you?

Sound cool?

It’s called Anton's A-Z to a Good Life

It’s a brand-new, 23-part video course that will create a new routine for you and make it easy for you to be purposeful and encourage your kids spiritually.

Plus, built into every video is a bit of educational fun. Your child will learn the letters of the Hebrew alphabet!

Two really important things about this course right now...

1. FREE PREVIEW – I’ve made it super easy for you to try before you buy with a couple of free preview videos. But you only have 2 more days to use the FREE Trial.


I’m launching this course to you at the not to be repeated rate of 50% off! The course includes 23 videos (about 2.5-3 hours viewing!) and each video contains bite size entertainment that will both educate your children and stimulate them into godliness.

Let me do some heavy lifting for you with a fun course that will also help your kids keep learning without them even knowing’ it!

But you’ll need to be a subscriber and act fast as this is a one-time offer and it’ll be gone after Midnight This Friday 16th June @ 2pm, 2017 (Sydney Time)

How Anton’s A-Z to a Good Life works:
Anton and I will be sketching and exploring Psalm 119 through each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The course includes an introduction/orientation video and 22 further videos covering the entire Psalm and letters of the Hebrew alphabet (upon which Psalm 119 is built). Your kids will learn each letter, how to write it, how to say it and how it helps us understand the ‘good life’.

This is a subscriber only special offer.

So join Anton’s community by subscribing to www.antonsantics.com now and check out the FREE video previews before they're gone!

Women, you’re better than this

Is it just me or is the whole world agreed that to be equal, women must behave the same as men?

It seems a woman is not equal with a man until she can waltz into the office and say alright you ‘f*#$$%#@ time to pull the finger out’.

Some celebrate this increase in females swearing as progress in the name of equality. Profanity equates power and so as women seek to rise to the same levels of leadership in the world, so they must, it is reasoned begin swearing like troopers. (“Swearing by It”, Sunday Life, by Tracey Spicer, May 28, 2017).

As we continue to define equality as ‘sameness’ we keep wanting men and women to be no different. Hence, if the men swear, so should the women. No-one asks the men to stop swearing and get a thesaurus. Some even argue it’s good for the kid’s vocab and playground assertiveness! Women, you’re better than this.

SPOILER: DON'T MISS the upcoming release of Anton's inaugural family devotion video series. Don't we need help to define God's way and make it relevant for our kids in these times? Just today I was doodling one of the videos in its early stages and began exploring the issues of equality, marriage and purpose in today's world. They're going to be a super way to work through the Bible together easily as a family.

Porn, now swearing...what's next?

A while back I remember writing about porn. Women it seems are growing in their consumption of porn. What was a primarily a male pursuit, now is being normalized into female behaviour. People cheer this outcome saying that it heralds another chapter in making women equal with men. But all it does is further debase women and lower them to the rung that men have stooped. Apparently, women have recently overtaken men in the swearing stakes, with the f-word used 540 times per million by men compared with 546 times among women.

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Why we need to teach kids about irony

fidget spinnersThe latest craze to hit schools in Australia is fidget spinners. Essentially glorified ball bearings, normally hidden from view inside an engineering framework, now they’re in shops as a stand-alone item, glossed up and colourfully packaged to attract the attention of kids. They come in a range of styles and quality. Some spin effortlessly between your fingers for ages, without a noise. Others clunk away, feel cheap and stop well short of any spinning records.

Spinners are the latest cool thing to have in school and recently shops completely sold out of them in Sydney (“Fidget Spinners Taking Over the City”, SMH, May 7, 2017, p7). Originally intended to improve attention of kids with attention deficit disorder, now that everyone wants them, schools are having to create policies to restrict their use and some have even banned them from school. Why? Because kids are fidgeting with them in class! Oh, the irony.

IRONY- Why we should teach it to our kids

But here’s the thing…it’s worth discussing this current craze with your kids and getting them to think about ‘irony’. Irony is used by the Bible quite frequently to highlight the foolishness of the world’s thinking and direct us to a better path.

LOOK OUT: What’s the path we want our kids to follow in life? It’s the path to a healthy and productive life. This ‘good life’ comes from sticking to God’s path and avoiding worthless, harmful distractions. To this end, keep an eye out for a new course of Family Devotion videos I’m making for mums and dads to use with their kids. It’s going to teach your kids the Hebrew alphabet and how each letter directs us to the ‘good life’ God wants for us. It’s going to be awesome, 22 videos full of biblical, engaging, fun for your family.

How do I explain irony to kids?

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