What the Beach Can Teach Your Kids About God

Many families make at least a day trip to the beach during the summer months. It’s a great way to enjoy nature, get some exercise and just have fun. Did you know though you can also have fun at the beach using its resources to teach your kids about God? You don’t have to “sermonize”, just work in casual observations and conversation as you do various activities.

There are probably a ton of things you can do at the beach to point your kids to God, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Watch the sunrise or sunset. Take your towels and sit with your kids enjoying the beauty. It’s a great quite time to have a family devotional. Or just talk with your kids about the beauty of God’s creation and how much He must love us to give us so many beautiful things to see in our world. End your time with a prayer thanking God for His blessings.
  • Take a walk along the shoreline. This is a great time to have those important parent/kid talks about anything and everything. Let your children take the lead. If they are reluctant to talk, asking an open ended question might get them talking. This isn’t a time for lecturing, just listening and trying to get to know your children’s hearts.
  • Collect seashells (Don’t keep any with animals still inside.) This is a great way to get your kids to notice God’s creativity. Talk about the diversity in the shells you find. If you keep finding the same type of clam or oyster shells, challenge your kids to look closer and see if they can notice differences in the same type of shell. Talk about the creativity we have if we are reflecting God’s image. Discuss the gifts God has given them to serve Him. Encourage them to think of creative ways to use those gifts to serve others and share their faith.
  • Notice the waves and the tides – high and low. Talk about how God knows what the world needs – and more importantly, what we need. What are the advantages of each tide? Or just tides and waves in general? (For example, coral needs the action of waves to grow. Coral tanks in aquariums have to create fake waves to keep the coral alive and growing.) What things does God give us that we need? Or have a discussion about needs versus wants. There are a lot of possible application lessons in the waves and tides.
  • Do something with your child that is exercise – running, swimming, biking on the boardwalk bike path, peddle carts, etc. Afterwards talk about the importance of keeping our bodies healthy so we have the strength and health to serve God. Talk about the other areas of health like mental, emotional and spiritual. What does God want us to do to stay healthy in those areas? What new healthy habits can your family develop?
  • Build a sand castle. If you build it near the water’s edge, you know what will eventually happen. When your castle is damaged or destroyed by a wave, you can talk about the things that can destroy or damage us. Talk about the ways you could protect your sand castle. Then talk about the ways God tries to protect us by giving us commands to follow.

The beach can be an amazing fun family vacation. It will create lots of family memories. Why not also use that special family time and the teachable moments at the beach to strengthen your children’s spiritual foundations? It’s time well spent.

Teaching Your Kids to Honor You (Their Parent)

Teaching Your Kids to Honor You (Their Parent) - Parenting Like HannahIf you’re a Christian parent, you are well aware there are a couple of verses in the Bible about children obeying their parents. You may have even used them from time to time to remind your kids to obey you.

As your kids get older, the obedience part becomes more natural (hopefully!). The part that causes them issues at times is the part we forget is in the verse. Here’s the entire passage found in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on the earth.”

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Do Your Kids Understand the Power of Social Media?

Do Your Kids Understand the Power of Social Media? - Parenting Like HannahYou’ve probably seen many articles about kids and social media. Maybe you are worried about even allowing your children access. Or perhaps you think it’s overblown hype that won’t touch your kids because they are different from others their age.

Your teens may want to use social media as a platform for the things that are important to them. Yet, few have adult led conversations about the positive ways they can use social media to serve others and share their faith.

If your teen is getting ready to join social media or has been on it for several years, it’s great to have a family discussion about the many ways they can use their social media platform for God’s glory. It’s also important though to help them think through the ways people often think they are making a positive difference, but may actually be making things worse or drive people away from their interest in God and Christianity.

There are a lot of things you can discuss, but these can help get the conversation started.

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Should Christians Raise Victims?

Should Christians Raise Victims? - Parenting Like Hannah“It wasn’t my fault!” This one sentence from your children can test every bit of godly patience you have managed to acquire in a lifetime. Why? Because it is often followed by a long list of excuses – most of which are just ridiculous.

The reality is your child made a choice – probably not a great one from his or her response. The “it’s not my fault conversation” is merely an attempt to wiggle out of personal responsibility and consequences.

Sadly, we live in a world that actually encourages people to define themselves by their victimhood. While some people actually are the victims of crimes, manipulation and the evil actions of others, many are the victims of their own poor choices. Encouraging them to have a lifelong victim mentality is not in anyone’s best interest.

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Is “Do Your Best” Bad Parenting?

Is "Do Your Best" Bad Parenting? - Parenting Like HannahWhen I was in school and worried about a test, my parents would usually say, “Just do your best.” I knew they meant study, get help from my teacher if I needed it and try to answer the test questions in the best way I knew how to do. No one called this being a perfectionist or worried about our mental health.

Yet at some point, someone noticed there were a few people who took things to an extreme. They expected themselves and everyone around them to be perfect all of the time. So we started being told to “chill” a bit and not worry so much about being “perfect”.

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