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Christian Kids and Rewards

Christian Kids and Rewards - Parenting Like HannahWhen I teach kids, I will sometimes challenge them to accomplish something or allow them to compete in some way. Inevitably, one of them will ask “What do we get?”. Parents, schools, even extra-curricular activities give awards for anything and everything. Some even reward children for doing the bare minimum of what used to be considered common good behavior.

While this is not an article on entitlement, too many rewards can create children who expect to be rewarded for everything they do. It can create laziness, because why bother to do your best if you are rewarded for any minimal effort at all. It can create pride and destroy realistic expectations of what one can achieve with one’s current skills and knowledge. They can even create an attitude that doing what is right or expected will only be done when the reward is present – remove the reward and the behavior disappears.

In short, too many rewards cause more problems than they solve. Yet, rewards persist in our society. There are actually some good things that can come from using limited rewards. In fact, whether you realize it or not, the Bible addresses the subject of rewards – especially in the New Testament. What can the Bible teach Christian parents about using rewards in healthy ways?

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Tips for Teaching Kids and Teens How to Sort “Wisdom”

Tips for Teaching Kids and Teens How to Sort "Wisdom" - Parenting Like Hannah“Just because you are right, does not mean I am wrong. You just haven’t seen life from my side.” Anon. “Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.” Deepak Chopra. That’s just a tiny sample of the “wisdom” I found on my social media today.

Young people are exposed to so many bits of “wisdom” from so many people. Some of it sounds really great – until you think about what it actually means. Or your kids may have been told by peers or teachers that someone like Chopra is just amazing and they should do whatever he says. Worse yet, much of this “wisdom” is totally anonymous. Unless you know for sure, it could be a quote from the Bible or something the mass murderer in Cell Block C said. Yet often teens will soak it in and pass it on to their peers.

That’s why it’s so vitally important we teach young people how to filter wisdom before they accept it, and especially before they pass it on to others. A great way is to encourage them to ask themselves these important questions before they accept anything as wisdom.

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Teaching Christian Kids About Cause and Effect

Teaching Christian Kids About Cause and Effect - Parenting Like HannahWhen you read through secular research on young people and decision making, one thing is mentioned repeatedly. Young people have a tough time making consistently good choices. The causes behind it are many and vary some from child to child. What is problematic for Christian parents is that these bad choices can have not just long term, but eternal consequences.

There is a developmental aspect to making good choices, which is probably why God requires baptism of young people only at the age of accountability. As your kids approach that age, it’s important to really focus on decision making skills – especially in relation to what God wants our decisions to be. You can and probably should, start some early training with even very young children. The earlier you start training them, the easier making good choices will be for most kids.

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Fun Activity to Teach Kids About Lies

Fun Activity to Teach Kids About Lies - Parenting Like HannahLies are often like potato chips. It’s hard to tell just one. Children often think telling “one little lie” will keep them from getting in trouble and receiving consequences. What they don’t realize is that it is very difficult to cover up something that happened with just one lie. Often, the first lie leads to many others being told to back up the original deception.

There is a fun activity you can do to help your kids realize how difficult it is to tell “just one lie”. Start by telling your kids the story of Jacob tricking Isaac found in Genesis 27. Ask your kids how many lies and “tricks” Jacob had to tell/do to get Esau’s blessing for himself. Ask them why Jacob couldn’t get the blessing from Isaac just by telling the one lie that he was Esau.

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Kids, Dinosaurs and God

Kids, Dinosaurs and God - Parenting Like HannahIf you have a young child, you are probably in or about to enter the dinosaur phase. It’s a lot of fun for kids to learn about those often giant and unique animals. Unfortunately, some atheists have tried to use dinosaurs to convince people Christians hate science and are basically uneducated rubes. Your child may even have a teacher or professor at some point who will actually say “Christians are idiots, because they don’t believe in science.” I know I did.

We often forget science, like every other field, is highly competitive and politicized. Many scientists are under pressure to “publish or perish”. Scientists, like those in other fields, all want to be viewed as experts. For many, this makes them feel as if they must state theories as absolute truth in order to avoid uncomfortable questioning about their research. Those with theories opposing their own must be “destroyed” in order to protect their own reputation and theories.

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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)