Archive | Encouragement

How to Listen So Your Kids Feel Heard

How to Listen So Your Kids Feel Heard - Parenting Like HannahThe old adage “Children should be seen and not heard” makes me think of the movie Mary Poppins. Those adorable children spent every day with their nanny, because their parents were just too busy to be bothered with them. Thankfully, Mary Poppins was able to help the parents realize the most important thing they could do was to spend time together as a family.

Parent/child relationships are important in any family, but they are crucial in the Christian family. You want to be able to help point your kids and eventually their kids towards God as long as you possibly can. If you have a poor relationship with your kids though, it is highly unlikely they will listen to anything you have to say – especially advice about obeying God.

Which is why it is vitally important you really listen to your kids when they are young. As much as some adults refuse to admit it, children will listen best to those they feel listen best to them. (Which is why predators tend to prey on children who have bad or virtually non-existent relationships with their parents.)

So what do you need to do to listen to your kids so they will feel heard (and hopefully listen to you in the same way)?

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Two Questions Every Christian Parent Must Ask

Two Questions Every Christian Parent Must Ask - Parenting Like HannahChristian parenting is interesting. You know you are parenting differently than most of the other parents in the world. You know it isn’t easy. You want your kids to grow up to be Christians. You don’t mind them having different values from other kids, but part of you still wants them to be popular, successful and happy.

Unfortunately, what we want and what God wants often collide. Satan is slick. He knows how to turn a phrase or work our emotions so we take our eye off the prize. He knows how to distract us and make worldly goals seem a lot more important than God’s goals for us. He knows how to make sinning look like more fun than obeying God. He knows exactly how to make Christian parenting look like more trouble than its worth. He knows how to make us think taking our kids to church and praying before meals will be enough to guarantee they will be active, productive Christians as adults.

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Mother’s Intuition: Fact or Fiction

Mother's Intuition: Fact or Fiction - Parenting Like HannahWhen my daughter was getting ready to enter kindergarten, I asked her doctor if she should get the flu shot. He was an older doctor at a time when flu shots for kids were considered optional. He counseled she should go without, because catching the flu would strengthen her immune system. It felt wrong, but I gave into what I thought was the doctor’s wisdom.

Fast forward a few months, and neither my daughter nor I will forget the week long fever followed by several weeks of iffy health when she of course caught the flu. As I watched helplessly while she suffered, I was angry with myself for ignoring “my gut”. If only I had listened to my mother’s intuition, my child would not have gotten sick.

Was that my mother’s intuition which would have saved the day? Perhaps. But what about the many times I have probably long since forgotten when my mother’s intuition didn’t prove to be quite so accurate? Is a mother’s intuition really always right? Should our parenting decisions always follow our gut?

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8 Tips for Raising Kids Who Survive and Thrive

8 Tips for Raising Kids Who Survive and Thrive - Parenting Like Hannah

Cacti can survive and even thrive in very harsh conditions.

In Are You Accidentally Raising a Victim, I shared why you need to raise kids who don’t see themselves as victims. 10 Signs Your Child Has a Victim Mindset explained how to tell if your kids are beginning to view themselves as victims. Whether your kids already view themselves as victims or you just want to make sure they never see themselves in that light, it’s important to know how to give your kids the tools to survive and even thrive in the face of adversity.

There are a lot of things you can do to help your children become survivors instead of victims. In fact, the Bible is full of stories of people like King David who experienced a lot of really negative things.  Have your kids read how David shared his feelings about his adversities in Psalms. Then have them read the stories of how God helped David survive and even thrive in spite of the adversity in his life. If you regularly share these stories with your kids, they will begin to see the pattern of how God still works in the lives of His people.

There are other things you can do to give your kids the tools to avoid developing a victim mindset. In the case of serious trauma, your child may also need help from a mental health professional to process the event in healthy ways. For those with less traumatic negative experiences, here are a few more of my favorite tips for helping kids survive and even thrive.

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10 Signs Your Child Has a Victim Mindset

10 Signs Your Child Has a Victim Mindset - Parenting Like Hannah

My New Favorite Warning Sign!

 

In Are You Accidentally Raising a Victim, I shared the negative effects a victim mindset can have on your children and the best way to stop it from developing. Unfortunately, your kids may have already started developing a victim mindset – even if they have never experienced a particularly traumatic event. Our society loves convincing all of us we are victims. It’s a great way for others to gain power and money, by promising to “fix” our victim status.

So what are the signs your kids may already think of themselves as victims? Here are some of the most obvious ones.

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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)