Helping Your Kids Through Transitions

Helping Your Kids Through Transitions - Parenting Like HannahLife constantly changes. If you have been a parent for more than a few weeks, you have probably already realized that the minute you figure out the best way to handle something your child is doing – they move on to something new. For your child, all of that change can be even scarier. They don’t have the life experience yet to realize this transition will most likely lead to bigger and better things. Or that even though it doesn’t, they can survive and even thrive with a little help.

As a parent watching your child begin to struggle as they approach and move through transitions can be emotionally tough on you, too. Often fears bring tears and we all hate to see our kids cry. Yet, we can hold the secrets to helping them handle their transitions with a little more confidence and hopefully a few less tears.

So what can we do to help our kids as they approach a transition? Here are some of my favorite tips.

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Christian Teens, Moms and Mentors

Christian Teens, Moms and Mentors - Parenting Like HannahDid you realize the Church was designed to provide mentors for us all? In Titus 2:3-5, Paul discusses the idea of older women teaching the younger women. (There are similar passages for men.) God knows sometimes we need someone more experienced than us to figure out what God’s Words look like lived out in every day experiences. He also knows there are some secular topics like nursing, that are easier for us if we have someone answering our questions.

Of course today, we often think we are too smart to need mentors. After all, isn’t that the function of Google? The problem is Google can’t hold your hand or give you a hug when you are upset. Google won’t actively listen to your concerns. Google doesn’t filter its “advice” for whether or not it is godly. Only fellow Christians can help us with those things.

Young people in their teens and twenties for a variety of reasons have often been left on their own to figure things out by themselves or with peers since they can remember. The idea of asking an older person to mentor them or even thinking someone older will really listen and then give something worthwhile to help is foreign to many of them.

That’s why I was intrigued when given the chance to review Face to Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life by Jayme Hull and Laura Captari. Face to face walks young women through the concept of mentoring. The author breaks mentoring into five basic concepts to each of which she devotes a section of the book. Hull begins with making the case for the need for having a mentor and then covers how to find one, how to develop your relationship with a mentor, how to be authentic and finally how to become a mentor yourself.

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5 Tips for Serving Others As a Family

5 Tips for Serving Others As a Family - Parenting Like HannahA great way to help your kids understand the biblical concepts of serving others and sharing your faith, is by serving others as a family. The concept may sound overwhelming, or even scary.

With a little preparation though, it can become a treasured family memory in addition to strengthening the faith foundations of your kids.

Of course, the easiest way to serve together as a family is to participate in service projects and/or mission trips with your congregation. You can also search through non- profit data bases to find organizations who are looking for volunteer help. Find someone to help that resonates with your family – there really are so many options.

Once your family has decided whom you want to serve, keeping these 5 tips in mind will help your kids get maximum spiritual impact from the experience.

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Christian Parenting and Humor

Christian Parenting and Humor - Parenting Like HannahSome might think I’m being disrespectful, but there are a couple of Bible stories that I find funny. I mean seriously. Peter is rescued from jail in a miraculous way, goes to the house where he knows Christians are probably praying for him and Rhoda gets so excited at seeing him she basically slams the door in his face in her excitement to tell everyone.

As a parent, I also find the quail story in the Old Testament quite amusing. What parent wouldn’t have been tempted to say “Really? I got you out of slavery, give you free food (manna) and you really want to complain because I’m not sending meat? (my words obviously!) and then in God’s words which he told Moses to tell the people “Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” (Numbers 11)

“Until it’s coming out of your nose!” Now that’s “parenting” humor! If God has a sense of humor even when He was obviously angry, should Christian parenting be able to incorporate humor as well? The problem is that often when people try to be funny, they quickly descend into crass or mean humor. That’s not how you want to introduce humor into your Christian parenting.

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Education and Christian Kids

Education and Christian Kids - Parenting Like HannahOne of the topics that interests parents the most is the education of their children. The quality of your child’s education can change where they attend college or trade school, what types of jobs they will have and even the types of activities they can experience.

For Christians, the stakes are even higher. Your children are in school for six to ten hours a day (with extracurricular activities on site). The attitudes, philosophies, beliefs, and behaviors your children are taught by teachers or peers can shake, destroy or help build the faith foundations of your kids.

Sweeping generalizations are great, but often don’t work in education. My child had a very godly teacher in a public school. My friends have had “interesting” things taught to their kids in Christian schools. Even homeschooling has its share of questionable religious teaching hidden in some of the available textbooks and curricula.

So how do parents sort through all of the choices and pick the best option for their children? Everyone thinks their child’s school is the best, but is yours really good for your children? How do you know for sure? It can be overwhelming, even for those of us with degrees in education.

So, I was interested when offered the chance to review Education A La Carte by Dr. Kevin Leman. Leman looks at all of the options available to parents and discusses the pros and cons. Throughout, he weaves the story of his own somewhat disastrous educational experiences as well as some experiences others have had with the various options.

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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)