Author Archive | Thereasa Winnett

Fun Activities to Teach Your Kids About Prayer

Fun Activities to Teach Your Kids About Prayer - Parenting Like Hannah

I would guess of all the things Christian parents do at home to build faith foundations, the most consistent is teaching kids to pray. For many families though, the instruction stops after teaching kids how to say a couple of rote prayers like “God is Great” or “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”. To have a rich, full, active prayer life, there are a few more things you to need to teach your children.

Fortunately, prayer is extremely concrete in many ways. There are a lot of fun things you can do with your kids to teach them some prayer concepts and to help them develop good prayer habits. Here are a few of my favorites:

    • Praying Colors: This activity is great for the very youngest of children. Cut up little pieces of paper in different colors. Then when you pray as a family, have each person draw a slip of paper. They then need to thank God for something that is that color. So if your child pulled a green slip of paper, he may decide to thank God for frogs. This activity is great for kids who aren’t quite old enough to easily think of things for which they need to pray. It also reinforces the concept that all good things are from God – even frogs!
    • Prayer Jars: Find empty, clean containers of any sort. It can be a jar or a juice can (make sure all rough edges are removed and small children have unbreakable containers). Encourage your kids to decorate their containers. Then give them slips of paper or wide craft sticks. Talk with them about all of the different types of things they might want to share with God in their prayers. Have them write each type of thing on a separate slip of paper or craft stick. Then when it’s time to pray, they can pull as many as they want out of their container to remind them of something they can share with God. This activity is great for all kids, but especially those transitioning to their own more private prayer life. It helps them to remember that the entire time in prayer shouldn’t be about them giving God some sort of to-do list of everything they personally want from Him. It encourages them to make their prayers a little broader and less selfish.

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Beautiful New Children’s Christian Book

Beautiful New Children's Christian Book - Parenting Like HannahMost children’s books are perfectly lovely and have stories that are interesting, fun or educational. I am always looking for children’s books though, that have that extra dynamic of building faith in God or encouraging godly hearts and behaviors. A few years ago, the early children’s Christian books just didn’t have the same quality standards as secular children’s publishing.

That has changed with the team of Paul Turner and David Catrow. I was excited when offered the opportunity to review their newest book, When God Made Light. They previously teamed up for the picture book When God Made You. The books have a very similar feel and look to them. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. In fact, Catrow is becoming one of my favorite illustrators.

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Great “Love” Service Project for Children

Great "Love" Service Project for Children - Parenting Like HannahToday is Valentine’s Day. I woke this morning to social media posts filled with people hurting because they aren’t currently in a romantic relationship. Our world is starved for godly love. You can have fun, reflect God’s love to others and teach your kids about the different types of love while doing this great service project. And you don’t even have to do it on Valentine’s Day!

Have your kids create a list of people who might need a reminder they are loved. Talk about the different types of people who may feel unloved for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are single and not dating anyone. Perhaps their spouse has died. Maybe they are someone whose family lives far away. Perhaps it’s someone who is going through a divorce. Maybe it is a child who doesn’t quite “fit in” at school. Perhaps it is a student or military person living far from family and lifelong friends. Maybe it’s someone living in a nursing home or rehab center. You get the idea.

Now help your kids brainstorm ways to help the person feel loved. To let them know your family loves them. To remind them God always loves them. Maybe your kids want to create art or write a note. Perhaps they want to make them cookies or give them candy. Maybe they want to spend a little time with the person or give them a hug. Encourage your kids to be creative. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Use things you have around the house. Shop those day after Valentine’s sales when everything – even candy – is marked down.

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Resource for Helping Christian Teens Develop Resiliency

Resource for Helping Christian Teens Develop Resiliency - Parenting Like HannahBeing a Christian teen can be tough. Even under the best of circumstances a Christian teen trying to live his or her faith will feel isolated. Many will be teased or ostracized for making godly choices. So many teens end up abandoning their faith in an effort to fit in and be accepted.

I was really interested when offered the chance to review the new book I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire by Melba Pattillo Beals. In the late 1950’s, Beals was one of nine teens chosen to be the first to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was a dangerous assignment for anyone, but leaders knew it was necessary to break down racial barriers in education.

Since this happened before I was born, I am sure none of you were alive at the time either. In fact, I was young enough/old enough that what happened during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s were the vague memories of a very small child and weren’t a part of school curricula yet. Most of what I learned, I absorbed after moving to Atlanta as an adult and hearing the stories from the survivors themselves.

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5 Tips for Raising a Quiet Child

5 Tips for Raising a Quiet Child - Parenting Like Hannah“Fine” That’s often the favorite word of the quiet child. If you have a quiet child, you may feel like it takes an enormous amount of effort to get him to speak a complete sentence, much less pour his heart out to you. Quiet kids can be male or female and any age, although parents seem the most frustrated trying to communicate with quiet teen boys.

You may be tempted to give up and not try after a few hundred failed attempts at conversation. Unfortunately, parenting is much more difficult when your child doesn’t open up and talk. Christian parenting is virtually impossible because a child who doesn’t tell you what’s on her heart and mind leaves you guessing by the behaviors you see. (Which can be a very inaccurate measure of the heart.)

Your quiet child is also very likely introverted and likes to go off and be alone for hours at a time. You can’t change how God created your child’s nature, but you can soften it a bit. (The strengths God gave your kids can become detrimental when taken to the extreme. God provides parents to mold those gifts to God’s original design and plan – often softening them from the extremes to which kids will often take their gifts.)

If you have a quiet child, doing these things should help if done consistently over a period of time.

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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)