Helping Kids Avoid the Comparison Trap

Helping Kids Avoid the Comparison Trap - Parenting Like HannahI’m pretty sure the tradition goes back for decades – if not centuries. Christmas afternoon, kids suddenly begin communicating with their friends. “Gabby got a new iPhone.” “Tommy got the latest gaming system.” Even the least materialistic kids in the world, begin turning the slightest shade of green with envy. The gifts that were “awesome” a few hours ago, now seem a bit sad by comparison.

Let’s be honest. We’ve probably all been there. Your engagement ring, car or house are perfectly wonderful…until you see one a friend has that’s much newer and nicer. In fact, comparisons can even have you wanting something very badly you had said you would never want only hours earlier.

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Fun Ideas for Teaching Kids to Serve in Secret

Teaching Kids to Serve in Secret - Parenting Like HannahOur culture often shouts from the mountain tops when someone helps someone else. As an educator, I understand. Society wants to encourage others to serve. They believe giving special attention and praise to people when they serve others encourages people who are more reluctant to serve others also.

Unfortunately, even in our churches we have had to point out the “good deeds” of members to reinforce and give examples of how God wants us to live our lives as Christians. Our ministries have to post the good things they do to encourage others to get involved by serving or giving. As a result, our kids may grow up believing they deserve a “pat on the back” every time they serve someone else.

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Can Your Kids Find the Hidden Messages in Their Entertainment?

Can Your Kids Find the Hidden Messages in Their Entertainment? - Parenting Like HannahWhen I was a kid, I remember someone telling us about “hidden messages” in albums if they were played backwards. Frankly, I was more curious about how in the world you could get your album to play backwards than any possible hidden messages.

As I reached my teen years, the emphasis switched from possible subliminal messages to the lyrics of songs. While I understood the concern, anyone who knows me knows I totally mis-hear most song lyrics and what I sing is nothing close to the real lyrics. (And don’t even get me started on the Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds revelation by my dad when we played it in orchestra!)

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9 Tips for Raising Hope-Filled Kids

9 Tips for Raising Hope-Filled Kids - Parenting Like HannahRecently an elementary school teacher shared they were getting suicide prevention training, because suicide rates for children were rising so drastically. There are many reasons for the rise in suicides, but one contributing factor is often that the person has lost all hope. While raising hope-filled kids won’t guarantee they will never commit suicide or harm themselves in other ways, it does greatly improve the chances they will be less likely to feel there is no hope in their lives or their worlds.

Although some children seem to be more naturally hope-filled than others, any child can become more hopeful when taught some important principles and skill sets. While there are probably many things you can do to give your kids hope, here are a few of my favorites:

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Becoming Mom Strong

Becoming Mom Strong - Parenting Like HannahBeing a Mom can be scary. There are times when it can feel overwhelming. Christian parenting takes even more effort than “regular” parenting. It’s tempting to stop putting in the extra effort and allowing God to “fix our mistakes” – or hoping your kids will pick up enough at church to become godly men and women.

Heidi St. John has written a new book Becoming Mom Strong. She advocates allowing God to give you that extra strength, energy – whatever you need – to Christian parent the way He wants you to parent. Her theory, one could say, is that tapping into God and becoming stronger spiritually, will also provide additional strengths you need.

I thought it was a very interesting perspective that she believes God created childbirth to happen when women are young and often have little life experience on purpose. She theorizes it is by God’s design, precisely because they are inexperienced. Although she doesn’t say it explicitly, St. John implies it is because those young moms will then turn to God for His guidance in raising their kids.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)