Archive | Encouragement

Christian Kids, Moods and Music

Christian Kids, Moods and Music - Parenting Like HannahAt the risk of dating myself, I have faint memories from my preschool years of my parents playing old Pat Boone “church song” records on our cabinet stereo as we got ready for church. I’m not really sure why they chose to play those particular records, but our family was very musical so the music part of it makes sense.

Whether you realize it or not, your children’s lives are somewhat of a musical. Their memories will be attached to certain songs or artists. Some songs will bring up emotions from the things that happened when they were popular. Did you know though that thinking of your child’s life as a Christian musical can help their moods and even their behavior right now?

According to an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal, it has been proven over and over that music affects children’s behavior, emotions and even their schoolwork and social interactions. Of course their article went on to analyze the harm that can be caused by listening to unacceptable music – with explicit violent and sexual lyrics.

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Great Resource on Why Young People Abandon Their Faith

Great Resource on Why Young People Abandon Their Faith - Parenting Like HannahPerhaps, the scariest thing to me about parenting is the fear of my daughter rejecting God. Many of my parenting decisions were made because I wanted to be able to honestly say I did everything I knew how to do to help her be strong spiritually. And yet there are no guarantees your child will be a faithful, productive Christian as an adult. Or are there?

The new book Abandoned Faith by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez examines why many young people are abandoning their faith and what parents can do about it. I won’t lie. This is one scary book. If your children are still at home, it will scare the pants off of you – and it should. As someone who works with kids and teens on a regular basis, I can tell you very few parents are doing what they need to do to prepare their children to live an active, productive Christian faith as an adult.

Most of you will lose your kids – watch them reject God and His teachings – because you aren’t doing what you could do now to greatly lessen the chances it will happen. This book does a great job at pointing out the main mistakes parents make when helping their kids develop a strong spiritual life.

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Motherhood As a Spiritual Discipline

Motherhood As A Spiritual Discipline - Parenting Like HannahOne of my concerns with feminism is that instead of giving women “more options” as advertised, it has instead marginalized the roles of wife and mother. We are constantly fed a diet that if we aren’t trying to “have it all” or making sure we “are happy and fulfilled so our children will be” -which evidently only happens in the work place – we are somehow not reaching our potential.

I was interested when I was offered a chance to review a new book Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood As A Spiritual Discipline by Catherine McNeil. McNeil takes the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and adds a new dimension to it. (The author and I agree Foster’s book is great.) She takes the twelve disciplines discussed by Foster and mourns the fact she no longer has time for them in the hectic nature of raising three little ones.

Then an unplanned event helps her reframe her season of motherhood as a spiritual discipline in and of itself. She discusses the areas in which the every day tasks of motherhood have helped her grow spiritually. Within each chapter, she also adds three shorter practical sections where she lists specific tasks common to most moms and gives tips for how to use them to grow spiritually.

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Will Your Child Leave God?

Will Your Child Leave God - Parenting Like HannahLet’s be honest. There are a lot of terrifying things about being a parent. Just the whole keeping them alive and relatively healthy thing can be a challenge at times. Yet, I think the thing that has always terrified me the most is some day my daughter might reject God. In fact, if I even let the thought enter my brain as a remote possibility for more than a few seconds, I get weepy.

I always get angry when preachers and youth minsters make it sound as if it is a given young people will turn their backs on God when they are young adults. According to them, the only hope is that your children will return once they marry and have kids. Yet, I have known plenty of young adults, who not only stayed faithful, but lived their faith, served others and shared their faith in their teens and 20’s. Unfortunately though, those ministers are right more than they are wrong. Studies show most kids will leave God when they leave home… and both for the rest of their lives.

What can you do to prevent your child from leaving God? There are no insurance policies, because your child has free choice and so do all of the people with whom they come in contact. You can greatly improve the odds your child will not only stay faithful, but grow to become a godly, servant leader in the church. You just need to remember this one tip.

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How “See Something, Say Something” Parenting Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting

How See Something Say Something Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting - Parenting Like HannahIf you have lived in or visited a major urban area recently, you may have noticed a sign that read “See Something, Say Something”. Designed to encourage citizens to report information that could help authorities prevent a terrorist attack, the phrase could also be the best Christian parenting advice I can give you.

Years ago when I was a child, we knew without a doubt that if just about any adult saw us doing something we weren’t supposed to do, they would correct us or worse yet, tell our parents. In fact, it wasn’t always misbehavior.

I had gotten carsick on a school field trip four states away. When we stopped for dinner hundreds of miles from home, by coincidence a family from our village had also stopped to eat there. We drove all night, but by the time our bus pulled into the school parking lot, my parents greeted me with “Why didn’t you tell us you got sick?!”

Oh, how times have changed. Most of us are terribly afraid of correcting a child who isn’t ours – even if their life is in danger. We would never think of allowing anyone to tell us anything about our kids – except on a rare occasion their school teachers. In fact, we were in a situation where a teen was making some scary choices and we were honestly afraid of being sued or worse if we let the parents know what was happening.

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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)