Encouraging parents in their efforts to raise their children to be enthusiastic servants of the Lord.
Author: Thereasa Winnett
Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking. Their daughter Katrina, who has been an integral part of their service adventures, attends Pepperdine University.
Most people look at me as if I am a little addled when they discover my major in college. In fact, they usually won’t continue the conversation until I have offered an explanation for my choice.
You see, I majored in education with a specialization in 4th through 8th grades. There are tons of people who love the cute little kids and even a lot who prefer the older teens and young adults. Rarely, do you find people who adore children in those tween and early teen years. I am one of those rare individuals.
Why do I love tweens? Because they are the best age to teach. They have already picked up most of the basics in life and are ready to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Even with the push to early adolescence in our culture, the tween is usually not finished polishing their veneer. They love to discover new things and you can see the light in their eyes when you show them how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together in a really fun way. When I see a tween, I see a teaching opportunity that is probably only matched in very young children and college kids.
My daughter has read probably almost every one of Nancy Rue’s books for girls. Ms. Rue’s books represent something which is difficult to find in much of today’s fiction: Christian literature that is age appropriate, realistic and inspiring. I appreciate Ms. Rue for agreeing to guest host today’s Parenting Like Hannah. As an expert on writing for tweens and teens, Ms. Rue is giving you a devotional to share with your tween daughters. Be sure to check out her free resources and enter the contest at the bottom of the post! In future posts, I will be discussing some of those parenting issues that seem to hit mothers the hardest beginning in the tween and teen years. For today, have some Valentine fun sharing this devotional with your daughter!
I want to give a big Mini-Women thank you to Thereasa Winnett of Parenting Like Hannah, for being a part of our 10-Day blog campaign. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you moms who are reading this. The eye-rolling and “Mo-om!” notwithstanding, you are still the most important influence in your tween daughter’s life. I hope you’ll share this with her:
A strong work ethic isn’t necessarily about working harder or smarter. It is about being the kind of worker God has called Christians to be. Not only in our secular roles, but also in our Christian service and testimony.
A little research has convinced me the four main components of a strong work ethic are honesty, personal responsibility, self-discipline and perseverance. For our children to have a strong work ethic, they need to be trained to incorporate all four qualities into their lives. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as helping our children develop their talents or encouraging their creativity.
Know the fastest way to get a child to whine? Make them get up and do a boring chore while they are doing something they love to do! Let’s face it, work can be boring. If it’s physical work, you can become sore and tired. Mental work can cause mental exhaustion and even headaches. The problem is, God calls us to work and work hard. Not to receive forgiveness for our sins, but because we want to do what God calls us to do.
Employers, teachers and other leaders will tell you the children, teens and young adults they work with are beginning to show severe deficits in their work ethic. Interestingly, if you do a little research on what skill sets are considered part of a strong work ethic, many of them are also Christian values. Could that be one of the reasons God calls us to have a strong work ethic? Can the way we work in our jobs point others to God? I think besides work keeping us occupied in productive rather than destructive behaviors, the way we work can indeed not only glorify God but also point others to him.
When our daughter was starting to walk, we told her she was not allowed out of bed without permission. We had heard too many horror stories of what happened to babies who wondered out of their cribs and rooms during the night. Our daughter was great about playing quietly or looking at books until we came and got her in the morning or calling for us if she had a more immediate need.
When we potty trained her, we wanted to get rid of the rule. I didn’t want her to wait for me to respond if she had to potty. I wanted her to run for the potty so she wouldn’t have an accident. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to convince a child who had been told a behavior was a “no” for so long that the behavior was now a “yes”. “No” was easy and safe. She knew what that looked like. “Yes” was scary. How could she know she wasn’t doing “yes” wrong?