Archive | Faith Development

Fun Activities to Teach Your Kids About Prayer

Fun Activities to Teach Your Kids About Prayer - Parenting Like Hannah

I would guess of all the things Christian parents do at home to build faith foundations, the most consistent is teaching kids to pray. For many families though, the instruction stops after teaching kids how to say a couple of rote prayers like “God is Great” or “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”. To have a rich, full, active prayer life, there are a few more things you to need to teach your children.

Fortunately, prayer is extremely concrete in many ways. There are a lot of fun things you can do with your kids to teach them some prayer concepts and to help them develop good prayer habits. Here are a few of my favorites:

    • Praying Colors: This activity is great for the very youngest of children. Cut up little pieces of paper in different colors. Then when you pray as a family, have each person draw a slip of paper. They then need to thank God for something that is that color. So if your child pulled a green slip of paper, he may decide to thank God for frogs. This activity is great for kids who aren’t quite old enough to easily think of things for which they need to pray. It also reinforces the concept that all good things are from God – even frogs!
    • Prayer Jars: Find empty, clean containers of any sort. It can be a jar or a juice can (make sure all rough edges are removed and small children have unbreakable containers). Encourage your kids to decorate their containers. Then give them slips of paper or wide craft sticks. Talk with them about all of the different types of things they might want to share with God in their prayers. Have them write each type of thing on a separate slip of paper or craft stick. Then when it’s time to pray, they can pull as many as they want out of their container to remind them of something they can share with God. This activity is great for all kids, but especially those transitioning to their own more private prayer life. It helps them to remember that the entire time in prayer shouldn’t be about them giving God some sort of to-do list of everything they personally want from Him. It encourages them to make their prayers a little broader and less selfish.

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Fun Ways to Get Glimpses of Your Children’s Hearts

Fun Ways to Get Glimpses of Your Children's Hearts - Parenting Like HannahTo be an effective Christian parent, you really need to understand your children’s hearts. You need to know their priorities, what they love and what gets them excited about life. Those insights can help better guide you as you dedicate your kids to God. Unfortunately, no matter how well you know your kids, you can ultimately only see the parts of their hearts they allow you to see.

If your child is quiet, very private or going through a tough time, those glimpses of his or her heart can be hard to find. There are some fun things you can do though, that will give you sneak peeks into the hearts of even the quietest child. Some of these you may already be doing with your kids, but didn’t realize the important information the results of those activities was giving you about their hearts.

Here are a few of my favorites and how to start interpreting them.

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11 Tips for Teaching Kids to Make Great Choices

11 Tips for Teaching Kids to Make Great Choices - Parenting Like HannahIf you think about it, Christianity is about choices. When God gave us freedom to make choices, He also gave us the freedom to make good choices and bad choices. Sadly, most of us make more bad choices than good ones. It’s the reason Jesus had to die on the cross – for those bad choices that are sins.

Sins are bad choices that can eventually separate your kids from God and prevent them from entering Heaven one day. Your primary goal as a Christian parent is to do whatever you can so your kids make the choices that will lead them to living a Christian life and spending eternity in Heaven.

Unfortunately, like most things in parenting, children are often left to figure out how to make choices on their own. Nobody takes the time and effort to teach them how to make a good, godly choice. The results of this lack of instruction means your kids will be making a lot of unnecessary bad choices – in large part because they are experimenting with the process of making a choice. For many young people, this lack of training means they often default to choices that “feel good or right”. Feelings are often the worst thing to trust when making a choice in life – what we want isn’t always what is best for us.

The good news is the process for teaching kids how to make good choices isn’t really that difficult. The down side is that it can take you quite a bit of time to guide them through this process before it becomes a habit for them at decision making time.

So what do you need to do to teach your kids how to make good choices and make them more consistently? Here are a few of my favorites:

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Fun Special Outings for Christian Moms and Their Daughters

Fun Special Outings for Christian Moms and Their Daughters - Parenting Like Hannah

PC Tamara Behlarian

In Why Christian Moms Need Special Outings With Tween Daughters, I shared some of the reasons I believe it’s so important for moms to take the time to go on special outings with their tween daughters. Honestly, I would encourage you to continue the practice well into adulthood. Your daughters will need your love, attention and mentoring all of their lives.

Maybe you love the idea, but have no idea what would be a good outing after you have been to the movies, had a manicure or gone shopping. Below, I’ve shared some of the things I did with my daughter as well as some things my friends have done with their daughters. Unlike other areas of Christian parenting, I don’t think these outings have to revolve around a spiritual or religious activity. Some of our best conversations have happened in tea rooms or on walks on the beach.

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7 Tips for Helping Kids Reach Their Godly Potential

7 Tips for Helping Kids Reach Their Godly Potential - Parenting Like Hannah

This whale shark has yet to reach it’s godly potential of 40 feet!

One of the hardest things about this ministry is seeing all of the wasted potential in the church and in the lives of children and teens. God gives each of us potential to make an impact on the world by serving the church and others and sharing our faith. Yet much of it lies untapped for a variety of reasons. Most are living lives that are a mere shadow of what God had intended for them to be.

Those who reach the potential God gives them have some of the richest, fullest lives I have ever witnessed. They know their purpose. Their lives have meaning and their connection to God is strong. Their faith allows them to cope with the problems of living in a fallen world with grace.

So, what do you need to do to help your kids reach their godly potential? These tips should get you started.

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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)