First things first. Let’s be really clear on the meaning of stubborn. Stubborn is not being disobedient and disrespectful – even when corrected. That is rebellion. Stubborn is not insisting on having your way – no matter what. That is selfishness. Stubborn is not continuing an argument forever because you are determined to be right despite the costs. That is being controlling.
Stubborn is what used to be called perseverance. We don’t use that word any more, and it’s a shame. Stubborn sounds ugly and often it is, because people don’t define it properly. Stubborn – in the perseverance sense of the word – is a wonderful quality you need to train your child to have. Perseverance is your child’s ability to stick to doing, saying and thinking what is godly, loving, pure, good, uplifting, giving and beautiful no matter the circumstances.
Stubborn is sticking to an important godly task and seeing it through until its completion. It is doing what God needs you to be doing for the Kingdom whether it is serving or sharing your faith – even when things get tough. Raising a truly, godly stubborn child will result in a child who:
Continue reading Why a Stubborn Child Is a Good Thing
Want to hear something scary? A recent poll of 18-32 year olds revealed 80% of them felt it was perfectly fine to lie to get out of an awkward situation. Eighty percent of young adults think lying is perfectly acceptable!
I will admit lying will send me over the edge quicker than just about anything. I struggled with lying as a young child. That is until my parents decided to trot out every Bible verse about how much God absolutely detests lying. I am sure I have told an occasional lie since then, but I try to keep it to none. I am honestly still too frightened by the sheer number and emphatic nature of those Bible verses!
In today’s society, trotting out the Bible verses unfortunately, probably won’t stop your child from lying. Why? Because lying has been given such an extremely narrow definition by the world, your child will think she isn’t lying even when she is. In today’s world, a lie is a huge untruth told on purpose to hurt someone else. Partial truths, hidden truths, lies told to “spare” someone else, little “white” lies and more are considered acceptable and “not really lies” in the world.
Continue reading Teaching Kids About Absolute Truth
School has started in many places and with it is a new campaign to stop bullying. As usual, there is an educational component and some sort of pledge to sign. While I applaud any efforts to change something for the better, the solution may be simpler than we think. Drastically limit or eliminate screen time for children and teens. Sounds simplistic and a little extreme? Keep reading.
The other week my teenage daughter came home horrified. She had watched in shock as a parent gave a child about a year old an iPhone to play with for an extended period of time. She has regaled me with stories from her acquaintances of parents encouraging their children to watch multiple hours (6-8+) of television during the day or children watching totally inappropriate media at very young ages. I thought television viewing was bad in my day, but between television, video games and other “screens” the average child spends most of their waking, non-school hours looking at some sort of screen.
Continue reading Stop Bullying by Cutting Screen Time?
My daughter just started her freshman year at a Christian college on the West Coast. The minister at her church on campus is a wonderful Australian surfer dude preacher (not his real name). The last time we worshipped there, he shared something I thought was profound.
“The sun is always shining.” Think about it. Even on the cloudiest, rainiest days we have enough light to see (even barely). Those are rays of sun breaking through the clouds. At night, the sun hasn’t left, we have just turned around from it. When we come back around the next morning, the sun is there waiting for us. Some nights the sun even sends us a reminder it is still there by reflecting its rays off of the moon, making it light up our night sky.
When we say I wish the sun were shining, it is our perspective that is off a bit. You see the sun is shining, we just aren’t able to see it because of our somewhat depressed perspective. Think about the expressions people use to “help” someone through a rough time. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” “The sun will come out tomorrow.” All ignore the fact that the sun has been there all the time, we just couldn’t see it.
Continue reading Teaching Kids the Sun Always Shines (And God Is Always Here)
Electric fences amaze me. You can’t see the lines, but even very large animals soon learn to avoid them. I like to think those fences are to protect me when I walk by the animals. Actually, the owners install those fences to protect their animals. They know if the animals leave the safety of the yard or field, bad things can happen. If the animal stays far from the fence, it enjoys easily found food and water in abundance. It is protected from cars and hunters. Even though life on the other side of the fence may look more interesting, in reality it is fraught with dangers the animal is unprepared to handle.
The biblical concepts of laws and freedoms can be confusing, especially to kids and teens who are constantly exploring the boundaries in their lives. Since we are all too aware of the consequences of crossing the lines God has drawn, we become tenacious about repeating God’s laws. Teaching your child God’s laws is essential. If you have followed Parenting Like Hannah for very long, you know I believe it is vitally important for our kids to have firm and consistent boundaries.
Continue reading Helping Kids Find the Freedom in Boundaries