Archive | Courage

Christian Kids and Loneliness

Christian Kids and Loneliness - Parenting Like HannahIt seems like every day another young person commits suicide. There are many different reasons some children choose such a drastic route to end their pain. One reason that is often cited is an intense feeling of loneliness, sometimes caused by the rejection of peers and others. Young people can be surrounded by peers, live in an urban area with millions of people and still feel as if they are all alone.

Assuming the young person does not have an underlying mental health issue though, there are some things parents can do to help their children prepare for loneliness, being alone and solitude.  You can’t solve all of their social issues – especially as they reach the teen years, but you can give them extra layers of protection from severe loneliness.

The best time to help your children be ready to prevent or handle loneliness is before they become lonely. Studies have shown that not only is the need to feel like they belong a basic need, but also when they are lonely, it only increases their sense of needing to feel like they belong somewhere. (Making them more susceptible to the temptations of peers to do ungodly things in order to belong.)

So what can you do as a parent to help your kids be prepared to handle the loneliness we all feel on occasion? Here are some of my favorites (Please note: These may not work for young people who have underlying mental health issues. Please have your child checked by a doctor for loneliness that seems to last more than a few days.):

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Kids, Anxiety and God

Kids, Anxiety and God - Parenting Like Hannah

Growing up can make even the most resilient child anxious. Whether it’s the proverbial monster under the bed or a college mid-term, your kids may find themselves feeling quite anxious from time to time.

If it’s constant and severe, you need to talk with your pediatrician to find the underlying causes. For most kids though, teaching them a few godly coping strategies will help them tame those knots in their stomachs.

There are a lot of things you can do to help your kids handle anxiety. What works well for one child may not work as well for another one. In general though, these tips will keep your children focused on God while also providing some peace in the current “storm” they are experiencing.

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Must Read For Christian Tweens and Teens

Must Read for Christian Tweens and Teens - Parenting Like HannahOur family was introduced to the Harris brothers about the time the first edition of this book came out several years ago. Our then young teen daughter loved reading the book and realizing she wasn’t the only kid on the planet who made God, serving others and sharing their faith priorities in their lives.

Do Hard Things (New 5th Anniversary Edition) by Alex and Brett Harris is a must read for all tweens and teens. It does a great job at banishing the myth that the teen years should only be about playing and avoiding responsibility as the way to have fun and enjoy life. Instead, they make a strong case that actually living a life doing the hard things is where real joy and fulfillment are to be found for young people.

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Raising Missionaries

Raising Missionaries - Parenting Like Hannah

Preparing for a mission trip

This week, I am actually on a mission trip to the country of Honduras. Our team will be working with several hundred public school children and serving others in the community. This trip is a little bittersweet for me, because it is the first time in many years I have gone on a mission trip to another country without my husband and daughter. This time my husband didn’t have enough vacation time and our daughter is completing her study abroad year in Europe. Our family has always loved our family mission trips and yours can too.

Below is a post I wrote some time ago about things we were doing with the kids in our church to encourage them to do mission work. Many of these things you can do on a smaller scale at home. Prayerfully consider taking your family on a mission trip. Done properly, mission trips can help others and provide opportunities for spiritual growth in your family.

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Teaching Kids Godly Tolerance

Teaching Kids Godly Tolerance - Parenting Like HannahImagine your child has invited a friend to your house. They volunteer to cook dinner on the stove. Before you leave the kitchen you say, “Do you remember the safety rules for the stove?” The visiting child replies, “Our family doesn’t believe in rules for the stove. We think the red burner is a symbol of joy and can’t hurt you.” “Well,” you say kindly “that’s an interesting perspective, but..” Before you can say anything else, your child interrupts, “Mom, please don’t be so intolerant. My friend is entitled to her beliefs and I think it is wonderful she feels so strongly about stoves. Don’t insult her by trying to force your beliefs about hot stoves and consequences onto her!”

So what do you do next? Let the visiting child potentially get a serious burn because you didn’t want to appear intolerant and question her “truth”? Or do you gently explain the reality of hot stoves and burns to her?

Tolerance has been redefined in our world. Your children are exposed to a very interesting definition of tolerance by society, probably by educators and even possibly by ministers and teachers in their church.

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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)