Archive | Manners

Why Your Kids Need An Imperfect Thanksgiving

Why Your Kids Need An Imperfect Thanksgiving - Parenting Like HannahI blame Norman Rockwell. Or maybe the Saturday Evening Post. Somehow they took a holiday that was created to be about families thanking God for His blessings and created a competitive holiday. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your local magazine rack. Thanksgiving issues are all about having the best turkey or sides ever. The photos are absolutely stunning, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a turkey come out of the oven even closely resembling those.

So, around the country moms start planning and purchasing days and even weeks before. Many start cooking on Wednesday and cook all day Thursday. Often the kids are shooed out of the kitchen and told to watch the parade on television or go outside and play with their siblings or cousins. Why? Because in order for everything to be “perfect” for the most important meal of the year, we just don’t want all of those little ones “under foot”.

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Christian Kids and Board Games

Christian Kids and Board Games - Parenting Like HannahWhen our daughter was younger, we played lots of board games. Over the years, the games changed as we moved from CandyLand (one of the happiest days of my life!) to Monopoly to the challenging family and friend games my husband now invents. I also began to realize these days and nights of game playing helped us teach and reinforce many lessons on godly behavior.

The great thing about board games is that you can often find them at yard sales for a couple of dollars. Many families may be willing to give or loan you some of their old board games. In fact, some older versions of games are an interesting look back at how popular culture has changed over the decades. You can also create your own games with some poster board or your computer.

Once you have your board games, what lessons can your kids learn from them about how God wants them to live their lives?

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Fun Activity to Teach Preschoolers About Empathy

Fun Activity to Teach Preschoolers About Empathy - Parenting Like HannahEver watched two toddlers play “together”? If you have, you have probably seen a child come and basically grab another child’s toy without asking. What happens next is rarely pretty! The child who took the toy needs to learn more about sharing, but that same child also lacked empathy.

We don’t realize it, but empathy is a skill that must be taught. Your children will eventually pick up some empathy training from watching you (If you are consistently empathetic.). To raise children who are the Christians that defend and serve others while effectively sharing their faith though, they need to be empathetic more than the average person. That amount of skill requires some intentional teaching.

There is a fun game you can play with young children to help develop these skills. All you need are things you may already have around the house. First print or draw simple faces expressing emotions. For young children, you want to stick to the basics – happy, sad, mad, excited, scared, loved and possibly confused.

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4 Tips for Helping Kids Deal With Emotions in Godly Ways

4 Tips for Helping Kids Deal With Emotions in Godly Ways - Parenting Like HannahGrowing up is emotional. Your body is constantly changing. You are learning all sorts of new things – sometimes the hard way. Bad things happen because you live in a fallen world. You often feel like you are never doing things the way everyone else expects you to do them. Your emotions are swirling and confusing. The emotions you are feeling are often so very strong, they surprise and frighten even you.

Unfortunately, all of the emotions caused by life as a child can become overwhelming. As a result, kids are often tempted to act out in not so godly ways. They may say or do things they would normally never even think of saying or doing. They may cause harm to themselves or others. They often lash out at the people who love them the most. Some young people become so tired of the pain and confusion they will try anything – even things they know are harmful – in an attempt to get relief.

The good news is you can help your kids process their emotions, while making godly choices. In fact, even toddlers can often put the lid on tantrums by learning these tricks. (Although they may need your help – especially if they are already in the habit of throwing a tantrum.)

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Is Christian Parenting Too Hard?

Is Christian Parenting Too Hard - Parenting Like HannahIf you have ever homeschooled your child, I am sure you have had this conversation many times. You mention you homeschool and the other parent very quickly says “I could never do that. It’s too hard. (Fill in excuse.).” Now most parents aren’t quite that brave about admitting 100% Christian parenting is too hard, but you can tell they are thinking it. Or that’s it really not that necessary to “try so hard” or “do so much”.

After having ministered to kids and their families for several decades now, I can see a lot of patterns. I watch as parents parent young children in certain ways and then I see how the children grow (or don’t grow) in their faith as they become teens and then adults. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is pretty close. The parents who do certain things and avoid others almost always raise children who become faithful, productive Christians. Those who don’t, may get lucky once in a blue moon or may have adult children who attend church for family, social or business reasons, but there is a definite difference.

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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)