Helping Kids Avoid the Comparison Trap

Helping Kids Avoid the Comparison Trap - Parenting Like HannahI’m pretty sure the tradition goes back for decades – if not centuries. Christmas afternoon, kids suddenly begin communicating with their friends. “Gabby got a new iPhone.” “Tommy got the latest gaming system.” Even the least materialistic kids in the world, begin turning the slightest shade of green with envy. The gifts that were “awesome” a few hours ago, now seem a bit sad by comparison.

Let’s be honest. We’ve probably all been there. Your engagement ring, car or house are perfectly wonderful…until you see one a friend has that’s much newer and nicer. In fact, comparisons can even have you wanting something very badly you had said you would never want only hours earlier.

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Gifts to Help Kids Reach Their Godly Potential

Gifts to Help Kids Reach Their Godly Potential - Parenting Like HannahGift giving to kids always fascinates me. There are the families who encourage their kids to ask for donations to charity instead of gifts for themselves. There are families who have a three or four gift limit. There are grandparents who shower kids in presents. There are uncles, aunts and friends who purposely seek out the most annoying gifts possible for your kids in order to amuse themselves.

My theory is that if you want your kids to reach their godly potential and become mighty men and women of God, there are special gifts you should give them. Don’t worry. Many of them are actually more fun than those plastic toys with a million pieces (although some of these are probably also plastic with a million pieces…). Yet these gifts have a secondary purpose. They are gifts that make your kids think or help them discover some of the gifts God may (or may not) have given them. Hopefully, they will point your kids towards who God created them to be.

So what are these gifts? In the list below, I have given you categories, but also a link to an example in that category to start your thinking. (I am not endorsing any particular company, brand or product including the website to which the link takes you. I merely want to give you a visual of the types of things I am suggesting.)

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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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What a Lemonade Stand Can Teach Your Kids About God

What a Lemonade Stand Can Teach Your Kids About God - Parenting Like HannahEvery summer, the lemonade stands start popping up in our neighborhood. Youngsters set up their wares on the side of our streets. They enthusiastically wave to cars passing by and talk with those out for walks and runs. Most of them usually hang in there for a couple of hours before something else seems more fun.

Did you realize the humble lemonade stand can teach your child about God and His commands and principles? Adding a few twists to the experience can teach your child more than just how to make lemonade and count change.

Here are a few ideas you might want to try the next time your kids want a lemonade stand.

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Teaching Kids About Needs and Wants

Teaching Kids About Needs and Wants - Parenting Like HannahYears ago when I lived in New York City, there was a well known “preacher” who promised people if they gave him $500, God would give them a new Cadillac. Most of the members of his congregation were some of the poorest people in New York City. I always wondered what happened when the promised car failed to appear.

God never promised us everything we want in life, no matter what we give Him. A quick look at the lives of the Apostles and how they ended, will reinforce this concept. As far as we know, none of them gathered great wealth and power. In fact, they all experienced periods of imprisonment, beatings, exile and rather horrid deaths (except for the Apostle John who apparently died of old age). Yet, through it all, their faith remained strong and they stayed focused on God’s mission for their lives – no matter the cost.

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