Archive | Encouragement

9 Tips for Raising Hope-Filled Kids

9 Tips for Raising Hope-Filled Kids - Parenting Like HannahRecently an elementary school teacher shared they were getting suicide prevention training, because suicide rates for children were rising so drastically. There are many reasons for the rise in suicides, but one contributing factor is often that the person has lost all hope. While raising hope-filled kids won’t guarantee they will never commit suicide or harm themselves in other ways, it does greatly improve the chances they will be less likely to feel there is no hope in their lives or their worlds.

Although some children seem to be more naturally hope-filled than others, any child can become more hopeful when taught some important principles and skill sets. While there are probably many things you can do to give your kids hope, here are a few of my favorites:

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Helping Your Kids Through Transitions

Helping Your Kids Through Transitions - Parenting Like HannahLife constantly changes. If you have been a parent for more than a few weeks, you have probably already realized that the minute you figure out the best way to handle something your child is doing – they move on to something new. For your child, all of that change can be even scarier. They don’t have the life experience yet to realize this transition will most likely lead to bigger and better things. Or that even though it doesn’t, they can survive and even thrive with a little help.

As a parent watching your child begin to struggle as they approach and move through transitions can be emotionally tough on you, too. Often fears bring tears and we all hate to see our kids cry. Yet, we can hold the secrets to helping them handle their transitions with a little more confidence and hopefully a few less tears.

So what can we do to help our kids as they approach a transition? Here are some of my favorite tips.

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Christian Parenting and Humor

Christian Parenting and Humor - Parenting Like HannahSome might think I’m being disrespectful, but there are a couple of Bible stories that I find funny. I mean seriously. Peter is rescued from jail in a miraculous way, goes to the house where he knows Christians are probably praying for him and Rhoda gets so excited at seeing him she basically slams the door in his face in her excitement to tell everyone.

As a parent, I also find the quail story in the Old Testament quite amusing. What parent wouldn’t have been tempted to say “Really? I got you out of slavery, give you free food (manna) and you really want to complain because I’m not sending meat? (my words obviously!) and then in God’s words which he told Moses to tell the people “Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” (Numbers 11)

“Until it’s coming out of your nose!” Now that’s “parenting” humor! If God has a sense of humor even when He was obviously angry, should Christian parenting be able to incorporate humor as well? The problem is that often when people try to be funny, they quickly descend into crass or mean humor. That’s not how you want to introduce humor into your Christian parenting.

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5 Important Facial Expressions for Parents

5 Important Facial Expressions for Parents - Parenting Like HannahIf you were told the only food you could eat for the next week is your least favorite food, what expression would be on your face? You almost don’t need to think through the process of how to show the disgust you are feeling. After years of practice, it comes naturally when faced with an unpleasant situation.

Unfortunately, children often see expressions on the faces of their parents that can cause them unnecessary pain. Over the course of their childhood, these parental facial expressions can also mold your child’s character and self-image in positive or negative ways.

It is crucial for you to realize what expressions your face makes in certain situations and intentionally work to send the appropriate messages to your kids with your facial expressions as well as your words.

Here are five important facial expressions to use intentionally  when interacting with your kids:

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Teaching Kids How to Help Others In Crisis

Teaching Kids How to Help Others In Crisis - Parenting Like HannahIf you volunteer in your child’s school, Church Bible classes or even their extracurricular activities, you have probably realized there are entirely too many children living in crisis. Often, these children will never turn to an adult for help. Instead, they will share their concerns, fears and problems with a peer.

If your children are loving, kind and supportive in their interactions with other kids, they may be the ones to whom these hurting children turn. Unfortunately, no matter how mature and godly your kids may be, they just don’t have the training and life experience to handle this vital task fully.

You can however, teach your kids some important Christian Life Skills that will help them step in and give their peers some hope and direction while facing life’s problems. So what are the skills most children should be able to handle when trying to help a peer? Here are some of my favorites.

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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)