Christian Kids, Moods and Music

Christian Kids, Moods and Music - Parenting Like HannahAt the risk of dating myself, I have faint memories from my preschool years of my parents playing old Pat Boone “church song” records on our cabinet stereo as we got ready for church. I’m not really sure why they chose to play those particular records, but our family was very musical so the music part of it makes sense.

Whether you realize it or not, your children’s lives are somewhat of a musical. Their memories will be attached to certain songs or artists. Some songs will bring up emotions from the things that happened when they were popular. Did you know though that thinking of your child’s life as a Christian musical can help their moods and even their behavior right now?

According to an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal, it has been proven over and over that music affects children’s behavior, emotions and even their schoolwork and social interactions. Of course their article went on to analyze the harm that can be caused by listening to unacceptable music – with explicit violent and sexual lyrics.

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Christian Kids and Loneliness

Christian Kids and Loneliness - Parenting Like HannahIt seems like every day another young person commits suicide. There are many different reasons some children choose such a drastic route to end their pain. One reason that is often cited is an intense feeling of loneliness, sometimes caused by the rejection of peers and others. Young people can be surrounded by peers, live in an urban area with millions of people and still feel as if they are all alone.

Assuming the young person does not have an underlying mental health issue though, there are some things parents can do to help their children prepare for loneliness, being alone and solitude.  You can’t solve all of their social issues – especially as they reach the teen years, but you can give them extra layers of protection from severe loneliness.

The best time to help your children be ready to prevent or handle loneliness is before they become lonely. Studies have shown that not only is the need to feel like they belong a basic need, but also when they are lonely, it only increases their sense of needing to feel like they belong somewhere. (Making them more susceptible to the temptations of peers to do ungodly things in order to belong.)

So what can you do as a parent to help your kids be prepared to handle the loneliness we all feel on occasion? Here are some of my favorites (Please note: These may not work for young people who have underlying mental health issues. Please have your child checked by a doctor for loneliness that seems to last more than a few days.):

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Life Hacks for Christian Parents

Life Hacks for Christian Parents - Parenting Like HannahThe problem with parenting books is that the vast majority contain only a portion of new information. The rest is the same you would find in any quality parenting book. It may be extremely valuable, but I personally become bored reading the stuff I already know. Unfortunately, I have often zoned out before I get to the valuable new information.

In his book Quick Tips for Busy Families, Jay Payleitner has come up with a great way to make the common parenting tips engaging and a format to help even the most impatient reader find helpful information. Payleitner has divided his advice into 144 easy to read entries. Most are a page or two. They have clear enough titles so a parent can easily scan the table of contents and find entries of interest.

As a reviewer, I try to read an entire book before reviewing it – just to make sure I don’t miss something important to share. Which means, while reading many parenting books, I am bored 80% of the time. I am not sure what it is about this author’s style – perhaps his underlying sense of humor and fun – but it made me enjoy reading even the entries about things I have done for years.

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Ways Your Child Can Serve the Church

Ways Your Child Can Serve the Church - Parenting Like HannahPerhaps the most underused resource in the Church is our children and teens. Oh, many churches sink tons of money and people resources into keeping them entertained or from “disturbing” adult activities or if you are blessed, helping them learn more about God. Yet, hardly any church is actually tapping into children and teens as a meaningful part of the body – a resource that will benefit both God’s Kingdom and the young people.

Whether or not your church recognizes your child as a valuable, contributing member, you can find ways for your child to serve the church. The ideas below are ways your child can serve without having to go to leaders and plead your child’s cause. If you are able and willing to do that on behalf of all of the young people, that is wonderful and may God bless you as their advocate. If not, that’s fine, too. Just go to that one person who can allow your child to help them and see how God works through the situation.

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Why Your Child Should Be Serving Your Church

Why Your Chidlren Need to Serve at Church - Parenting Like HannahAttend many churches and you would think the old adage “children should be seen and not heard” is still in effect. Often children are hustled out for children’s worship as soon as possible or aren’t even really welcomed into corporate worship at all. You may see a couple of kids picking up attendance cards or used communion cups and even an occasional teen participating in worship leading activities. In general though, children are kept out of the way and either entertained or merely prevented from “disrupting” adults and their activities.

Sadly, it’s these very attitudes and ways of interacting with children that will make it easier for them to leave the church when they are older. Studies are beginning to show one of the worst things you can do for young people is to focus on making sure they are entertained. Young people need to be considered a vital part of the church family in part by encouraging them to serve the church in a variety of ways.

Tomorrow, I will share with you some creative ways your children can serve the church. In the meantime, here are a few of the benefits your children will receive from taking the time and effort to serve their congregation.

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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)