Archive | Mentoring

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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The One Habit All Christian Kids Must Be Taught

The One Habit All Christian Kids Must Be Taught - Parenting Like HannahThe university I attended for my undergraduate degree was actually a part of Colonial Williamsburg. We were seeped in history and most of us loved it, no matter our major. Our library was full of rare documents from people like Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures. As a result, one of the principles we were taught was the idea of researching primary source documents.

A primary source document is considered to be the closest source you can find to an actual event or person. So for example, when I wanted to do a paper on the man who built many of the historical homes on the Appomattox River, I didn’t read a book about him. Instead, I went to the historical society library in Richmond and had them pull everything he had ever personally written – from letters to diaries to inventories and wills. Those documents painted a more accurate picture of the man than one painted by someone else who had their personal interpretation of his life added to the mix.

So what does this have to do with Christian parenting? For Christians, our primary source document is the Bible. (I’m not ignoring the translation aspect, but that’s a more advanced level of this topic.) All other writings on the topic are considered at best a secondary source. Any book on Christianity. Any theology treatise. Any commentary. Any document written by someone and not included in the Bible is a secondary source.

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8 Tips for Raising Kids Who Make Wise Decisions

8 Tips for Teaching Kids to Make Wise Decisions - Parenting Like HannahEverywhere you turn, it seems some parenting expert is telling us children and teens are basically incapable of making wise decisions. Often they talk about an under-developed pre-frontal cortex or some other “science” to back their theories. What’s interesting to me is that I know plenty of teens and young adults who regularly make wise decisions – my own daughter included. In fact, a quick look at the history of our own country will show teens and young adults were making decisions (and often very mature ones) at much younger ages than do young people today.

So what’s the difference? I have no scientific data to back my theory, but I believe the pre-frontal cortex is like the rest of the brain. It can be trained to do more than it currently does. You don’t refuse to teach your kids to read, because they weren’t born knowing how to read. Yes, different children are capable of learning to read at different ages and speeds, but there are many educators who have shown most kids can actually learn to read earlier than they currently do.

I believe the same theories apply to the part of the brain that helps us make wise decisions. Unless it is damaged, that area can be stimulated and learn wise decision making much earlier than we currently expect of many of our young people. But just like most kids must be taught how to read, most must be actively taught how to make wise – and in our case godly – decisions.

So what can you do to help your kids learn to make wiser decisions at a younger age than many of their peers? Every child is different, but here are some things that should help almost any child begin learning how to make wiser choices:

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Fun Way to Create Local Extended Family at Church

Fun way to Create Extended Family at Church - Parenting Like HannahYears ago, most people lived their entire lives within a few miles of where they were born. If they did move, often one or more members of their extended family would travel with them. Parents had the support of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and others in raising their children. The important role wasn’t back up child care, but reinforcing family values.

At times, your children are going to internally or externally question something you teach them. They may hear from peers or on social media that others are allowed to do things their Christian parents won’t allow. They might want a second opinion from someone they love and respect. When tensions rise at home, a loving older relative can often smooth the waters. Yet for many of us most or all of our extended family live miles and even states away.

Parents are suffering from the lack of extended family support and yet Christian parents have a great source of substitute extended family right at their fingertips. We often call congregations our church family, but have you ever taken the term seriously? We have with our child (and my parents even go to church with us).

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Fun Ways to Teach 5 Important Listening Skills to Your Kids

Fun Ways to Teach Five Important Listening Skills to Your Children - Parenting Like Hannah

 

In 5 Important Listening Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Kids, I shared the five types of listening skills you should be helping your kids master. The best way to teach kids almost anything is to find ways for them to have fun while they practice. Some of the listening skills we covered overlap the others a bit. Since they have a slightly different focus though, you should do activities focusing primarily on each particular listening skill.

You can probably find lots of fun things to try, but here are a few of my favorites for each listening skill:

 

 

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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)