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Is Christian Parenting Too Hard?

Is Christian Parenting Too Hard - Parenting Like HannahIf you have ever homeschooled your child, I am sure you have had this conversation many times. You mention you homeschool and the other parent very quickly says “I could never do that. It’s too hard. (Fill in excuse.).” Now most parents aren’t quite that brave about admitting 100% Christian parenting is too hard, but you can tell they are thinking it. Or that’s it really not that necessary to “try so hard” or “do so much”.

After having ministered to kids and their families for several decades now, I can see a lot of patterns. I watch as parents parent young children in certain ways and then I see how the children grow (or don’t grow) in their faith as they become teens and then adults. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is pretty close. The parents who do certain things and avoid others almost always raise children who become faithful, productive Christians. Those who don’t, may get lucky once in a blue moon or may have adult children who attend church for family, social or business reasons, but there is a definite difference.

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Christian Kids and Summer

Christian Kids and Summer - Parenting Like HannahIn Atlanta, summer breaks begin in about a month from now. Summer is not what it used to be. With more parents working, many school systems are going to an almost year around calendar. Your children’s summer break may only be six to eight weeks compared to the three months we had as kids. Yet, those six to eight weeks are a special gift to your family.

If you aren’t careful, summer can quickly become as over scheduled as the school year. Or you may be tempted to send your kids away to camps for the majority of it. Or maybe your family just sort of fritters the days away with no real plan.

Don’t waste this gift of increased time with your kids. Here are some ways to make the most of this summer.

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Kids, Museums and God

Kids, Museums and God - Parenting Like HannahOne of my favorite things to do is watch parents literally drag young children through museums. If you are new to this experience, let me enlighten you. Young children generally do not find walking through one of the largest buildings they have ever seen with room after large room of paintings, sculptures and random objects fun. Sure, a few will catch their attention. Trust me though if you are on day three of a touring vacation or your child is tired and hungry, it can be painful.

If you persevere through the whining and complaints… If you make enough bargains of “let’s just treasure hunt to see if we can find this painting” or “just look at this one gallery”, you most likely will raise a child who appreciates museums. You may even find your children ask you at some point to take them to a particular exhibit or museum.

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Great Resource on Why Young People Abandon Their Faith

Great Resource on Why Young People Abandon Their Faith - Parenting Like HannahPerhaps, the scariest thing to me about parenting is the fear of my daughter rejecting God. Many of my parenting decisions were made because I wanted to be able to honestly say I did everything I knew how to do to help her be strong spiritually. And yet there are no guarantees your child will be a faithful, productive Christian as an adult. Or are there?

The new book Abandoned Faith by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez examines why many young people are abandoning their faith and what parents can do about it. I won’t lie. This is one scary book. If your children are still at home, it will scare the pants off of you – and it should. As someone who works with kids and teens on a regular basis, I can tell you very few parents are doing what they need to do to prepare their children to live an active, productive Christian faith as an adult.

Most of you will lose your kids – watch them reject God and His teachings – because you aren’t doing what you could do now to greatly lessen the chances it will happen. This book does a great job at pointing out the main mistakes parents make when helping their kids develop a strong spiritual life.

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Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids the Parables of Jesus

Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids the Parables of Jesus - Parenting Like HannahHave you ever thought about why Jesus used parables at times to teach people? Perhaps it was because he was trying to help the people understand concepts that were difficult to understand or entirely new to them. Jesus knew that by comparing them to relatable things and circumstances, they could better understand the lessons he wanted them to learn.

For your children, many of the common every day things Jesus talks about in his parables have little if any emotional connection to your kids. Adults can process them intellectually, but kids and teens may not have the life experience or empathy to do so. Yet these are vital lessons Jesus wants your kids to understand.

Thankfully, there are some fun ways to help your kids experience and better understand those parables. You can do them as a family devotional or just a little life lesson during your day. There are probably a lot of things you can do, but here are some ideas to get you started.

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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)