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.
School starts early in Georgia. Before the weather cools or the leaves begin to turn, our children are back in school. We live in a town where the parents are very involved in their children’s education. Almost all of the parents walk their children to class on the first day of school. PTA meetings are packed and home work is a high priority.
Most children in public school spend six to eight hours a day at school. We worry if they are getting taught enough to make them competitive for college admissions. We find tutors if they struggle and push them when they procrastinate. It often seems like their entire future depends on how well they do in first grade.
We just returned from a two week vacation. The first week my daughter and I stayed with a friend of mine from college. We had lots of fun doing “girlie” things and exploring an area of the country that was new to us. The second week my husband joined us for a family vacation. My daughter made a very interesting comment when my husband arrived at the house a few minutes past her bedtime. She wanted to stay up late and spend a few minutes with “both of you”.
Her comment reminded me of a story one of my friends told of her daughter when she was a toddler. My friend and her husband had been away for a couple of weeks on business. When they returned, their youngest daughter did not want to have much to do with them. After a few days she was her normal affectionate self. It finally dawned on my friend that her daughter was “angry” at her parents for being gone.
I love holidays. Weeks before a holiday (even the minor ones), I start planning. I am not particularly big on decorating, but I love the celebration part. Most holidays, I am in the kitchen preparing goodies for family and friends. At Christmas, I am that annoying person who has spent weeks making sure everyone has at least one handcrafted gift. I am also the one taking baked goods or candies to just about every neighbor on our street.
It is not that I necessarily want an extra long to do list several times a year. For me, holidays are a way for me to show the people I care about how much I love them. I want everyone who is special to me to feel special and to know how much they mean to me.
Have you ever had a “light bulb” moment? Something dawns on you for the first time and you wonder why it took you so long to realize it. I had a really disturbing one the other day. I was writing some free downloads for the readers of Parenting Like Hannah. I wanted to create a list of great stories in the Bible for girls to read. Suddenly it hit me. We teach our daughters some of the Bible stories that “star” women. Do we ever teach them what characteristics these women had? These women displayed Godly traits we and our daughters should be trying to develop in our own lives.
Recently, I was involved in a discussion about movies and which movies were appropriate for children to watch. As the discussion continued, Philippians 4:8 kept coming to mind. Why did Paul think it was important to remind us to think on things that were good, pure and holy? I think he knew there is a side of man that is drawn to things that are scary, dark and sometimes even evil.
I have heard many parents defend letting their very young children watch PG-13 movies. They believe the children have fun and understand it is just pretend. Interestingly, the subject often comes up because the child, who supposedly loved the movie, is still talking about it days later. Not in a joyful way, but in such a manner it is obvious the child was very upset by the images she saw. I have even seen parents puzzled why their child is having nightmares or acting out violent scenes from the movie.