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The One Habit All Christian Kids Must Be Taught

The One Habit All Christian Kids Must Be Taught - Parenting Like HannahThe university I attended for my undergraduate degree was actually a part of Colonial Williamsburg. We were seeped in history and most of us loved it, no matter our major. Our library was full of rare documents from people like Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures. As a result, one of the principles we were taught was the idea of researching primary source documents.

A primary source document is considered to be the closest source you can find to an actual event or person. So for example, when I wanted to do a paper on the man who built many of the historical homes on the Appomattox River, I didn’t read a book about him. Instead, I went to the historical society library in Richmond and had them pull everything he had ever personally written – from letters to diaries to inventories and wills. Those documents painted a more accurate picture of the man than one painted by someone else who had their personal interpretation of his life added to the mix.

So what does this have to do with Christian parenting? For Christians, our primary source document is the Bible. (I’m not ignoring the translation aspect, but that’s a more advanced level of this topic.) All other writings on the topic are considered at best a secondary source. Any book on Christianity. Any theology treatise. Any commentary. Any document written by someone and not included in the Bible is a secondary source.

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8 Tips for Raising Kids Who Make Wise Decisions

8 Tips for Teaching Kids to Make Wise Decisions - Parenting Like HannahEverywhere you turn, it seems some parenting expert is telling us children and teens are basically incapable of making wise decisions. Often they talk about an under-developed pre-frontal cortex or some other “science” to back their theories. What’s interesting to me is that I know plenty of teens and young adults who regularly make wise decisions – my own daughter included. In fact, a quick look at the history of our own country will show teens and young adults were making decisions (and often very mature ones) at much younger ages than do young people today.

So what’s the difference? I have no scientific data to back my theory, but I believe the pre-frontal cortex is like the rest of the brain. It can be trained to do more than it currently does. You don’t refuse to teach your kids to read, because they weren’t born knowing how to read. Yes, different children are capable of learning to read at different ages and speeds, but there are many educators who have shown most kids can actually learn to read earlier than they currently do.

I believe the same theories apply to the part of the brain that helps us make wise decisions. Unless it is damaged, that area can be stimulated and learn wise decision making much earlier than we currently expect of many of our young people. But just like most kids must be taught how to read, most must be actively taught how to make wise – and in our case godly – decisions.

So what can you do to help your kids learn to make wiser decisions at a younger age than many of their peers? Every child is different, but here are some things that should help almost any child begin learning how to make wiser choices:

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Fun New Book for Christian Kids

Fun New Book for Christian Kids - Parenting Like HannahI love it when kids read their Bibles. It’s probably one of the most important gifts you can give your kids – the gift of loving reading the Bible. But let’s face it. The Bible can be an intimidating book for early readers. Some who haven’t heard many Bible stories may even think it is “boring” just because it’s thick. In other posts, I have shared some tips for helping kids overcome their concerns about Bible reading. For some kids though, you may want a little help from someone else.

Bible Trivia, Jokes and Fun Facts for Kids by Troy Schmidt is a fun new book that might spark an interest in some kids for reading the Bible. The book is actually a combination of riddles, jokes, trivia quizzes, word games, fun facts and more. To me, the book is worth it for the jokes and riddles as any parent of a riddle and joke crazed young child will tell you – any new material is most welcome. (And there are some really cute ones I hadn’t heard before.)

For those looking for activities to keep kids busy while traveling in the car or waiting somewhere, there is enough variety for most kids to find some sort of puzzles or fun facts that will interest them. The book has over 150 pages of activities, so it should keep your child busy for awhile. In fact there are even a couple of pages of table talk questions to discuss as a family.

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Teaching Kids About God While They’re Learning to Count

Teaching Kids About God While They're Learning to Count - Parenting Like Hannah

 

Often the “trick” to spending more time teaching your kids about God is to find ways to do it while you are working with them on something else. Teaching your kids to count is an important rite of passage for most kids.

Many of them will go through a stage where they will count…and count…and count. They aren’t counting things necessarily, but just counting to see how high they can get without making a mistake. Why not add a little fun and some Bible to the mix?

Here are some fun ways to mix learning to count and teaching your kids about God:
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Fun Ways to Use Zoos to Teach Your Kids About the Bible

Using Zoos to Teach Your Kids About the Bible - Parenting Like HannahOne of the most important gifts you can give your children is the ability to see God is alive and working in our world today. Some parents struggle with how best to show God to their kids. They get wrapped up in the difficulties of explaining God when He isn’t visible in the room. Sometimes their children will grow up to reject God because no one ever taught them where to look for Him.

The funny thing is the Bible tells us exactly where to show our kids God, so they will believe – in His creation. “Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I’m talking about his eternal power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So people have no excuse for what they do.” (Romans 1:20 NIrV) 

What’s more, God’s creation can also help your kids learn and understand more Bible stories and a host of other Bible skills. And what better place to see a great variety of God’s creation than a zoo? There are probably a lot of things you can teach your kids about God at the zoo, but here are some of my favorite things to do:

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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)