The Rushmore Report – When Adult Children Move Back Home

“Alone at last!” you and your spouse exclaimed when the last of your kids flew the coop to take on such formerly alien concepts as rent, utility bills, and car payments. But wait. Who’s that familiar face coming up the walk with suitcases in hand? It’s your grown progeny!

These days, many so-called “empty nesters” find themselves with at least one grown child living at home. Some pundits refer to these adult children as the “boomerang” generation. Whatever you label them, they’re returning home in record numbers. Some come back hoping to save money for school. Others return so they can take time to search for the perfect job. Still others may have personal problems and need a refuge.

If you and your spouse find yourselves hosting kids you thought were launched, there are practical steps you and your child can take to minimize conflict and maximize the opportunity to strengthen family bonds. Before any move-in takes place, have a family powwow to discuss mutual expectations and establish house rules. Do this as early as possible to help prevent misunderstandings and friction later on.

Setting Boundaries

If you don’t approve of overnight guests, blaring stereos, bad language, questionable religious practices, the use of drugs or alcohol, etc., then make sure those expectations are clear before your son or daughter moves back in. Depending on the child and the circumstances, you might want to draft a brief “contract,” naming the conditions that must be met in order for them to live under your roof. Have your son or daughter indicate by signature that they agree to your terms. Inform them (lovingly) that if the rules are broken, eviction may follow.

Healthy Relationships

Generally speaking, most kids are just looking for a temporary retreat while figuring out their next step. If you want to maintain a healthy relationship with your adult child, consider these tips:

  1. Trust your adult children to make wise choices.
  2. Squelch the impulse to give advice unless it’s asked for.
  3. Communication is key.
  4. Practice grace.

We all need a refuge from time to time in our lives. Your kids should know that home is a safe, accepting place to land when they need to regroup. Be thankful that your kids like you enough to want to come home. Your dream of an empty nest can wait a bit longer. Besides, you may actually enjoy this chance to relate to your children as grownups – just like you.


About the Author

Roberta Rand Caponey writes for Focus on the Family.

The Rushmore Report – The Feel Good Story of the Year

Even a dog with a microchip can go missing for a long time. But even a dog that’s missing for a long time can end up back home where she belongs. That’s what a Pennsylvania family learned recently when they recovered their black Labrador mix, Abby, who had run away 10 years ago from the family’s home in Apollo, 33 miles east of Pittsburgh.

After some time went by, Debra Suierveld and her family assumed Abby had died. But on January 27, Suierveld received word that someone had found their dog. Abby showed up on George Speiring’s front porch in Lower Burrell, 10 miles west of Apollo. Speiring contacted Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, which discovered the dog’s microchip and was able to contact Suierveld.

Someone had taken good care of Abby over the years. The dog was in great health and still remembered some things the family taught her, Suierveld said.

“She would lie on the floor and cross her paws, and she remembers my daughter’s commands, and she remembers the commands I taught her,” Suierveld told KDKA-TV.

Suierveld called her 22-year-old daughter, who is a student at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, to share the news.

“She cried,” Suierveld told the Tribune-Review.

Suierveld’s family has planned a reunion dinner for Sunday to welcome Abby back. “It feels like a part of my kids’ childhood is back, part of our family is back,” Suierveld said. “It’s pretty awesome.”


The Rushmore Report: Where to Take Your Family in 2018

Nothing beats a great family vacation. I still cherish the trips we took as a family when I was a kid – to California, the Smoky Mountains, and Orange, Texas. Well, Orange wasn’t so hot! Now is a good time to start planning your family vacation for 2018. U.S. News has surveyed families nationwide. Here are the top 15 destinations for your next family vacation.

But first, a few suggestions. I have been to ten of these 15 destinations. They are all great. I suggest a few things before you go to any of these incredible spots.

First, enjoy the journey. When David was young, we usually drove on our vacations. Some of our best memories came from the journey. Don’t get in a hurry. Make memories along the way.

Second, go when the weather is good. Nothing is worse than going to a great place at a bad time. None of the places on the list below is fun when it is 100 degrees outside.

Third, don’t get in a rush. It’s good to have a plan. But expect crowds, lines, and things to go wrong. That’s okay. Take things slowly and expect the unexpected.

Fourth, take lots of pictures. This may be my only regret, looking back on our family trips through the years. We didn’t take enough pictures. Today’s pictures are tomorrow’s memories.

Fifth, pray before you go. Nothing makes for a great trip more than the presence of God. Invite him along; he’ll be there anyway!

Now, according to U.S. News – and a lot of children everywhere – here are your top 15 destinations for your 2018 family vacation.

1. Disney World

2. Disneyland

3. Branson

4. San Diego

5. Grand Canyon

6. Yellowstone

7. Ocean City

8. Washington, D.C.

9. Maui

10. Honolulu

11. Outer Banks

12. Hilton Head

13. Yosemite

14. Gettysburg

15. Chicago


Remembering Dad

I got the call – 38 years ago today. “Your dad has had a heart attack. Get to the hospital quick.” By the time I got there, he was gone.

But this isn’t about his death. It’s about his life.

I loved my dad. I’ll list just ten of the zillion reasons, in no particular order.

  1. Dad taught me to love and respect my mom.
  2. Dad taught me to reverence God.
  3. Dad taught me how to throw a ball.
  4. Dad took me to Astros baseball games.
  5. Dad led the prayer over the Thanksgiving meal each year.
  6. Dad took me camping – a lot.
  7. Dad bought me two saxophones – and never missed a band concert.
  8. Dad taught me how to play chess.
  9. Dad made my pinewood derby car every year in Cub Scouts.
  10. My pinewood derby car won the race every year in Cub Scouts.

Yes, I loved my dad. I still do. He was a child of the Depression, a World War II hero, an entrepreneur, a business owner, an incredible husband, a great provider, and the best dad I ever knew anything about.

What about your dad? There’s never a bad time to reflect on the good times you once shared – and if he’s still alive, to make more good times.

I miss you, Dad. I always will. Every single day.

Family Tree

The great American novelist Mark Twain said he spent a large sum of money to trace his family tree and then spent twice as much trying to keep his ancestry a secret.

He was like the family that reportedly wanted its history written up, so they hired a professional biographer to do it, but they were worried about how the document would handle the family’s black sheep. Uncle George had been executed in the electric chair for murder.

“No problem,” said the biographer. “I’ll say that Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a real shock.”

We can’t do much about our ancestors, but we influence our descendants greatly. I have often commented that I will change the world more by the way I pastored my son than by the way I pastored my three churches.

Even if you could change your ancestry, would it matter? Spend your time where you have the most influence, with your family. The seeds you plant today will bear fruit tomorrow. The Bible says your greatest inheritance is your kids.

The Day Dad Took Me Fishing

I was about eight or nine years old. Dad took my brother and me on an overnight camp out. We were fishing late at night. My brother had fallen asleep as my Dad and I kept fishing. I did what boys do. I kept checking my bait to see if the fish had taken my worm. Because it was dark, I had to swing my pole over toward my Dad, who had the flashlight. Each time, Dad looked at my line and said, “Looks like they got your bait again.” Then he put on another worm.

After a couple hours of this, Dad excused himself for a few minutes. While he was away, I reeled in my line and checked the hook myself. No more worm. So I reached over for the carton of worms to put another one on my hook while Dad was away. To my surprise, there were no more worms left in the carton.

I didn’t want Dad to know we had just run out of bait, because I was enjoying the moment so much. So when he returned and encouraged me to check my line, I said, “I think it’s fine, Dad.”

Dad insisted he check my line, so I reeled it in one last time. When I swung the pole toward my Dad, he checked the hook and said, “Yep, the fish took your bait again. I’ll put on another worm.” And then he messed with my hook, and said to cast it out again.

Then the light came on. I had been out of bait of hours. Dad was acting like we still had worms for one reason – he wanted to extend the moment.

Dad wasn’t really there to fish. What he really wanted was time with his two sons – even if one of them was fast asleep.

Last week, my son asked me to name my favorite time with my Dad. And this is the story I told him. Unfortunately, I lost my Dad at a young age. I was 19 when he died at the age of 55. That was 38 years ago. I’ve lived twice as long without Dad as I lived with him.

But I shall never forget that night on a central Texas lake, a half century ago. I had an amazing Dad. And that was an amazing night – one I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Founder of World Wide Web Born 62 Years Ago Today

Tim John Berners-Lee was born in London on June 8, 1955. Not surprisingly, he was born to a family of computer scientists. Tim received a first-class degree in physics at the Queen’s College of Oxford University in 1976 and began designing computer software. After a short stint at CERN, the prestigious particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, Berners-Lee developed a prototype system called Enquire to store information that could be linked between computers, allowing scientists to share their results, techniques, and practices 24 hours a day.

He used the hypertext idea behind Enquire to create the World Wide Web. Having designed and built the first web browser between October 1990 and the summer of 1991, he became an enthusiastic early proponent of the web. Knighted in 2004, Berners-Lee subsequently received two upgrades to this honor. He became president of the Open Date Institute in 2012

Talk about a resume builder. “Inventor of the Web.”

But I can beat that. “Married 35 years.” “Follower of Jesus Christ.” “Father of amazing son.”

What’s on your resume?

The Rushmore Report: Seven Ways to Prioritize Your Family

As I took time to reflect on 2016, the phrase “embrace the moment” moved from a common cliche to a heartfelt reality. I lost my dad. As I continue to grieve, I reflect on what my dad taught me. Family was his priority. That’s why, in 2017, I thought it would be good to spell out seven ways we can “embrace the moment” – ways to embrace our families like never before.

1. Set weekly date nights with your spouse.

Prioritizing our family begins by prioritizing our marriage. Relationally, the environment of our home ebbs and flows on how well we feel supported, appreciated, and loved by our spouse. We also know how hard it can be to be creative and come up with date night ideas. But we must do it – at all costs.

2. Play with your kids.

Don’t allow those three powerful words – “play with me” – coming from your kids, go unnoticed this year. No matter how old our kids are, play is their work. Research shows that 20 minutes of command-free time a day with our kids wires their brains for healthy relationships.

3. Plan a family vacation – just immediate family.

Granted, with little ones, vacations aren’t really “vacations.” They’re trips. But nothing rejuvenates and sets the tone for your immediate family more than time away together.

4. Go on an annual abandon with your spouse – no kids allowed.

Need a vacation instead of a trip? We all do. That’s only one of the benefits of taking a long weekend away with the love of your life.

5. Create a values list for your family.

The Bible is very clear about the Lord building our house (Psalm 127:1). Set a values list that you can use to filter your family decisions. This list will help you connect values to discipline with your kids.

6. Unplug.

Anything you cannot fast from owns you. Researchers show that our screens increase dopamine in the brain the way drugs do. Don’t allow screens to own your family. You can begin by setting an e-nup, an electronic nuptial agreement, in your marriage.

7. Tuck your kids in bed each night.

Moses had it right. There are four key times of the day we can use to teach our kids about God. Tucking our kids in bed is one of them. There is no better time of the day to connect with your kids at a heart level than in the vulnerability of this one moment. Whether or not you choose to pray with them, ask them questions about their day, or tell stories, let’s not just send our kids to their room. Use it as a quiet moment to connect at a heart level. Not every night will be a home run. But those few minutes have the power to transform not just your child – but you as well.

About the Author

Joshua Straub has two cherished roles – husband and dad. Joshua serves as the Marriage and Family Strategist for LifeWay Christian Resources.

The Rushmore Report: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Brady Bunch

Here’s the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls. That lovely lady, Florence Henderson, or Carol Brady to my generation, died last week at the age of 82. That makes this a good time to reflect on the iconic show – and ten things you didn’t know about The Brady Bunch.

1. Florence Henderson wasn’t the first choice for Carol Brady.

Comedic actress Joyce Bulifant (Murray’s wife on The Mary Tyler Moore Show) was the first choice of producer Sherwood Schwartz. He envisioned a wacky mom-type, which fit Bulifant perfectly. But when Ann B. Davis agreed to play “Alice,” the wacky role was filled. A more serious person was needed to play Carol Brady, and Henderson was given the role at the last minute.

2. Henderson missed the first six episodes.

Sure, you see her now. But when they decided to give the role to Henderson, she was filming another project out of the country. They had to add in her parts after the other scenes of the first six shows had already been filmed.

3. Schwartz wanted Gene Hackman to play Mike Brady.

Paramount wouldn’t agree to a Hackman interview, because he was not seen as a popular enough actor for the job. Robert Reed was already under contract with Paramount, so it was less expensive to give him the role.

4. Eve Plumb should never have been on the show.

I’ll admit it. I was in love with Jan Brady. Sure, I was 13 and it was puppy love, but it was real to this puppy! But Eve Plumb only landed the role because of a bizarre set of events. In short, she got the role because she resembled Bulifant, assumed to be Carol Brady on the show. Had they hired Henderson first, Plumb would have never been on the show, and my first crush would have been put on hold.

5. Carol Brady was supposed to be a divorcee.

While Mike Brady was depicted as a widower, Carol’s pre-Brady marital status was a bit of a mystery. Sherwood Schwartz has said in several interviews that his intention was for Carol to have been a divorcee. (Her maiden name was “Tyler” and her married name was “Martin,” as revealed in the pilot episode.) But a divorce was still considered to be taboo for prime time television, especially for a family-friendly show, so the fate of Mr. Martin was always left a mystery.

6. The show was never a big hit.

The show never cracked Nielsen’s top 30 shows. But it did well enough to run for five seasons, which gave Paramount enough episodes to sell as a package for sydication. The show has been far more popular in reruns than it was in the 1970s.

7. Tiger met a tragic ending.

One evening after filming, Tiger’s trainer let the pooch out for daily exercise. But a careless driver didn’t see the dog. Tiger was hit and killed. A replacement dog was found at a local pound, but he was never the actor that Tiger #1 had become.

8. Marcia really took a football to the nose.

Christopher Knight was never able to hit his target when filming the crucial football-tossing scene in “The Subject Was Noses” (a.k.a. the “Oh, my nose!” episode). So Schwartz stepped in off-screen, threw a perfect spiral, and pegged Maureen’s nose with the pigskin in one take.

9. Six kids shared one bathroom with no toilet.

Toilets couldn’t be seen on television back then. So they didn’t have one.

10. Marcia and Greg shared romance.

In his book, Growing Up Brady, Barry Williams wrote that he and Maureen McCormick shared their first kiss while in Hawaii filming a three-episode story during the fourth season. A brief romance ensued.

From September 26, 1969 until March 8, 1974, ABC brought The Brady Bunch into our homes. No one was a bigger part of the show than Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson. We will miss America’s favorite mom.

And that’s the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls.

The Rushmore Report: Three Reasons Clinton Is a Pro-Abortionist Extremist

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton positions herself as a moderate on abortion. Yet, she now holds the most extreme positions on abortion of any presidential candidate in history. It’s not even close. Three examples follow, and each of them should scare off any voter who claims to value life.

1. She wants taxpayers to pay for abortions.

Clinton supports government funding for abortion. On June 10, she delivered a speech at a Planned Parenthood event in which she called for repealing the Hyde Amendment, a policy that prevents taxpayer funding for abortion.

“Let’s repeal laws like the Hyde Amendment that make it nearly impossible – for low-income women, disproportionately women of color, to exercise their full reproductive rights,” she said.

The Democratic National Committee added this goal to its platform after Clinton became the nominee.

Amazingly, Clinton wants well-intentioned Christians who value life and have genuine opposition of the taking of innocent life, to use their own money to pay for the taking of life. No Democratic candidate has ever taken this position – ever.

An August YouGov poll found that 55 percent of Americans support the Hyde Amendment. This includes a large number of Democrats, who are about evenly divided. Forty-one percent of Democrats support the ban on abortion funding while 44 percent oppose it.

2. She supports abortion until birth.

Clinton supports abortion right up until the very moment of birth. Of course, she doesn’t say it that way, because it sounds awful when you say a baby can be legally killed right before she’s born. Instead, Clinton uses some shifty Clintonian lingo.

She has said she supports restrictions only in the third trimester and only if there are exceptions for the “life and health of the mother.” (In one interview she said there should only be restrictions at the “very end of the third trimester.”) But as Clinton understands, and most voters don’t, the “health exception” is just a huge loophole that allows for abortion for any reason.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, that the health exception can be whatever the abortionist decides it is.

In an April appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Clinton was asked if she supports legal abortion “just hours before delivery,” and she agreed. That same week, on “Meet the Press,” she was asked, “When or if does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” She answered, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

A July 16 Marist poll found that only 13 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal “through the entire pregnancy.” Similarly, a 2012 Gallup poll found that only 14 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal “in the last three months of pregnancy,” and a July 2014 HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 59 percent of Americans support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, which is during the second trimester.

3. Clinton thinks abortion should be common, not rare.

Clinton no longer argues that abortion should be rare. During his 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton said that abortion “should be safe, legal, and rare.” It was controversial at the time within the pro-choice community,  because saying that abortion should  be “rare” implies that there is something wrong with getting an abortion. But the phrase helped establish Bill Clinton’s public image as a moderate on abortion.

Hillary Clinton also used the phrase “safe, legal, and rare” to describe her abortion position when she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and when she ran for president in 2008. During her current run for president, however, she dropped “rare” from her vocabulary on abortion.

In July 2013, after undercover videos showed how Planned Parenthood benefits from selling aborted body parts, Clinton initially called the images “disturbing.” She changed her tune quickly, however.

Six days after those remarks, Clinton’s campaign released a video, “Support and Stand with Planned Parenthood,” expressing her support for the abortion provider. She accused Republicans of launching a “full-on assault on women’s health” and claimed that Planned Parenthood provides “life-saving preventive care.”

In the pro-Planned Parenthood video, she talked about “safe and legal” abortion. No “rare.”

In a February interview on ABC’s “This Week,” she even claimed that her “record for many years about where I stand on abortion” was that it “should  be safe and legal.”

What about rare? That was her position, also.

“I have the same position that I’ve had for a very long time,” Clinton added.

Some Clinton supporters think she’s a moderate on abortion. There’s a reason for that. They haven’t been paying attention to anything she actually says.

If you can support the taking of the unborn life, right up to the point of birth (she also supports partial-birth abortion), with a clear conscience, by all means, vote for Hillary Clinton.

But if you value life – you might want to think again.

About the Author

Napp Nazworth is a political analyst and writer for the Christian Post. Based in Washington, D.C., Nazworth focuses on issues that affect modern culture, from a Christian worldview.