3 Basic Problems in Allendale: Poor Education, Teenage Pregnancy, and Disconnected Dads

No, these are NOT the problems
Let me start by clarifying what I mean by "3 Basic Problems in Allendale."
  • 3: There are not just three things that are problems, but these are common here.
  • Basic: These are not core issues. I'm still processing through what the deeper issues are. These basic ones are a good place to start for you to understand this culture.
  • Problems: I don't want to give the impression that everything is bad in Allendale, since I've already said that we shouldn't only focus on the negative statistics.
  • Allendale: Not everyone has these problems, and these are not unique to this area. But there is a pronounced prevalence and depth of these issues here.

That being said, in my time here I've seen that there are three areas that need to be addressed in order to have a long-term hope for change in this community: Education, Teenage Pregnancy, and Disconnected Dads.

Read the full article on Mission: Allendale.


  1. Good post. "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease should be on your reading list...if you haven't already read it.

  2. Haven't read the book. But I just looked at some reviews at Amazon, and it looks interesting. On my "wish list"!

  3. I learned in my Human Development class at FU that children's personalities are developed by age 5, meaning their experiences up to that age are what shape them. Infancy and Toddlerhood are very crucial times to be connected to our kids.

    Another good book: _Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children_ by Michael Thompson, PhD and Catherine O-Neill Grace

    aside: I can see what impact this has on birth order too on The Younger who was subjected to a very chaotic environment as he was only a few months old when we began our ASD journey with his brother. This affected his anxiety level as my stress level increased rapidly in those early years. Now we are seeing the aftermath of that in that he "needs" chaos. If there is none, he creates it. We are focusing on coping skills now. I want him to know there are good, moral, and safe ways to cope with stress. Because once they are teenagers, I'm just gonna be their "stupid" mom.

  4. Thanks for the tip on the book.

    Yes, it's easy to see that the question is not as simple as Nature vs Nurture, but "How do BOTH nature and nurture play their roles in shaping who we are?"

    God definitely gives unique personalities, gifts, and strengths. But environment (family dynamics, for example) also play a huge role.

    A great book that talks about these things from a Gospel-centered perspective is "Shepherding a Child's Heart." I recommend it here: