Creative Dating as Parents

Creative Dating as Parents - Parenting Like Hannah
Little Book of Great Dates by Greg and Erin Smalley

Do you remember dating your spouse? If you were like us, there was some attempt to be creative and interesting on dates. After all, we were trying to impress each other. Fast forward a few years and with children, you are lucky if you even have a date night. When you do, who has the energy to be creative? So, most of us end up eating out and talking about the kids and what needs to be repaired or falling asleep in a movie theater.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Greg and Erin Smalley have written a great little book, Little Book of Great Dates: 52 Creative Ideas to Make Your Marriage Fun. The book contains ideas for fifty-two different dates you can have with your spouse.

The set-up is a little unique compared to similar books. Each date has a theme, but most include several suggestions for where to have the date. My favorites were the ones that encouraged the couple to step out of their comfort zones during their time together. They even suggested some specific activities and one-time classes if you have trouble thinking of ideas within a category. (They even have ideas for “at home – no money” dates).

Continue reading Creative Dating as Parents

Daddy Daughter Date Ideas

Daddy Daughter Date Ideas - Parenting Like Hannah
88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates by Rob and Joanna Teigen

When my daughter was younger, my husband took her to lunch at the revolving restaurant in our city. I will never forget how animated she was on their return, describing to me the pros and cons of eating while the restaurant moves in circles. I loved the years when the local Girl Scout Council threw a 1950’s daddy/daughter event. The pictures of them dressed in their ’50’s finery are some of my favorite ones of them together.

There is nothing more special than the bond between a father and daughter. That relationship can change everything from how your daughter views her body to the husband she chooses to how she sees God. Yet, many fathers have only a passing relationship with their daughters. They know nothing about the young woman their daughter has become and as a result have much less influence in her life than is best for her (or her father).

Years ago, someone started the idea of dads taking their daughters on “dates” – doing something special together. A special time when fathers can really get to know and bond with their daughters while creating lasting memories.

Continue reading Daddy Daughter Date Ideas

Sisterchick Devotionals

Sisterchick Devotionals - Parenting Like Hannah
Take Flight by Robin Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan

My daughter went through a phase when she read Robin Jones Gunn’s series for girls – the Christy Miller series and the Sierra Jensen series. She enjoyed the books and I was thrilled my daughter had some wholesome fiction to read.

When I learned Robin Jones Gunn had paired with Cindy Hannan to write a devotional book for “sister chicks” (A SisterChick’s Devotional: Take Flight), I was curious. Would the book appeal to mothers and daughters? Could it encourage mother/daughter devotional times for teen girls and their moms?

Gentle is the word that comes to mind after reading this devotional book. Now, I am the first to admit, most devotional books don’t do anything for me. I think it has something to do with the hurried feeling many of them have. Sisterchick’s was different. Instead of feeling restless after reading several entries, I wanted to continue reading to see what was next.

Continue reading Sisterchick Devotionals

Books to Help Christian Girls Think About Their Faith

Books to Help Christian Girls Think About Their Faith - Parenting Like Hannah
My Name is Erin series by Erin Davis

Trips to bookstores are one of my favorite ways to relax and even splurge occasionally. I enjoy lingering through many sections just to see what interesting books are being published. I have even been known to purchase a children’s book so I could read it for myself.

There is one section though that disturbs me. The next time you walk into a place selling books, amble over to the teen section. Most likely, you will find it overflowing with very dark books. Yes, the covers are almost all dark now, but what lies inside the covers is often worse. Stories are crammed with demons, wizards and dark magic. Not to mention the ones encouraging ugly behavior or making girls think they are somehow defective if they aren’t experimenting with alcohol, sex and/or drugs.

Continue reading Books to Help Christian Girls Think About Their Faith

Ten Important Date Nights

Ten Important Date Nights - Parenting Like Hannah
10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love, and Marriage by Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp

Remember when you and your spouse started dating? If you were like us, you spent hours talking about everything under the sun. You learned about each other’s families, shared hopes and dreams and eventually decided to share your lives permanently.

Fast forward a few years and now you have a child. Or children. Perhaps lots of children! Each child seems to come with his or her own set of needs and dreams, which often keeps us in constant motion. Some days, you are lucky to give your spouse a quick kiss before collapsing in exhaustion. An actual meaningful conversation seems an impossible dream.

Our marriages aren’t necessarily bad, but over time couples with children can slowly start drifting apart and may even divorce. Yet study after study teaches us children fair better in homes with healthy marriages. I would imagine the stronger the marriage, the better the possibility for positive results.

We know the health of our marriage is important, but that requires work we don’t think we have the time to do right now. All of those meaningful conversations during dating have long sense dissolved into discussions of who will take whom where and what needs to be fixed around the house. You are not even sure you have time to know yourself anymore and your spouse is slowly becoming an acquaintance.

Continue reading Ten Important Date Nights