Teaching Kids About Opportunists

Teaching Kids About OpportunistsRecently, I was conducting a workshop for an urban ministry. As I looked around the space, I noticed a white board with the heading “Watch Out For Opportunists”. Under the heading, someone had listed people like drug dealers, shady employers, and several more. I asked someone about the list and they said the list was part of a discussion from Proverbs with older kids.

As I thought about it later, I realized all of our children are exposed to opportunists. The list of opportunists our children may encounter could be slightly different or exactly the same. Jesus told the Apostles as he sent them out to teach, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16 NIV) In today’s world, I think this verse applies to all Christians as much as it did to the Apostles.

We desperately need to train our children how to recognize and avoid those opportunistic wolves in life. How do we do that though, without making them anxious and untrusting of everyone they meet? What if they become so cautious, they are afraid to serve others and share their faith?

The good news is you can train your kids to be cautious without making them anxious around everyone. The trick is to teach them to observe carefully everyone they meet. If they see these warning signs of an opportunist, they need to be very careful about what they say and do around them. Caution them to check anything someone says against what the Bible says. If the two conclusions are different, teach your kids to not follow the advice of the opportunist.

So what are the qualities of an opportunist? There are probably plenty, but here are some that would be easy for your children to notice:

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Raising a Child To Be Different (For Christians)

Raising a Different Child (For Christians) - Parenting Like HannahI love little girls when they are in that three to five year old range. They will put together the most creative outfits you have ever seen. I remember I left our sleeping daughter with my husband when she was that age. He was going to help her get dressed and then they were meeting me somewhere a little later. She showed up in let’s just say a very innovative outfit.

Now to the average person, this particular outfit looked as if it had been pieced together by someone who was slightly color blind. When I asked her about it, she proudly replied “It’s all pink!” And she was right. In all of it’s mismatched, clashing glory, it was all pink. She was beautiful because she was confident in her beauty and fashion choices. She didn’t care what anyone else thought in that moment, because she was “pink”!

How great is that? What if we could somehow teach our children to be that confident about their Christianity? About making godly choices even when no one else does? About loving and serving those viewed as unloveable? About sharing their faith confidently with anyone and everyone?

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Teaching Kids the Sun Always Shines (And God Is Always Here)

Teaching Kids the Sun Is Always Shining (And God Is Always Here) - Parenting Like HannahMy 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.

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Helping Kids With Fear and Anxiety

Helping Kids With Fear and Anxiety - Parenting Like Hannah

Fear is a natural part of childhood. From the monster under the bed to the first day of school, your children may experience all sorts of fears from time to time. Much of this is a natural reaction to trying something new and unfamiliar. With some children though, the fears and anxieties begin to negatively affect their quality of life.

I don’t normally review a lot of books outside of the Christian genre, but I have heard so many parents discuss the topic of childhood (and adult) fears and anxiety, I really felt this was an area I needed to explore. I was excited when a publisher offered me the chance to read and review the book, Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, Revised and Updated Edition: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life–from Toddlers to Teensby Tamar Chansky, PhD.

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Adding God to Your Child’s School Day

Adding God to Your Child's School Day-Parenting Like HannahIf you homeschool or your child attends a private Christian school, God is hopefully a part of your regular school day. You and/or the other teachers can not only teach an entire class on Bible, but your child may also hear God’s teachings and principles in numerous ways throughout the day. If your child attends public school, you may believe your children have no rights to be exposed to God at school – even if you would like them to be.

A lot of misinformation floats around every year about how “much” God is allowed into public schools. The reality is our God is bigger than any person or group of people who may want to get rid of Him. Over the years, I have done a lot of research to learn what we can and cannot do to remind our children of God throughout their school day. In spite of all of the depressing reports you may have read, there are several ways you can make sure your children are still exposed to God – even if you have enrolled them in public school. (Please be aware I am not an attorney. Double check your child’s school policies if you have any concerns. There are groups who will help you fight illegal anti-God school policies.)

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