Archive | Parent/Child Relationship

How to Play With Kids (And Teach Them About God)

How to Play With Kids (And Teach Them About God) - Parenting Like HannahOne of our new Teach One Reach One workshops is for parents of children who have experienced trauma and abuse. As I was working through it, I realized just how much we can teach our kids about what God wants for them and from them by being more intentional when we play with them.

Playing with your kids is so important.. Learning through play only works well when your kids are playing with you. Playing with other kids the same age (with no adult interaction) doesn’t work well for learning godly principles and behaviors. In fact, it can reinforce bad habits. Having an adult interact with them during play is what really helps kids learn godly principles.

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Why Your Kids Need a Family Project

Why Your Kids Need a Family Project - Parenting Like Hannah


It’s almost time for the annual deck refresh. We wash off the deck and seal it. Deck furniture gets touched up with paint and the cushions are washed. We plant some pretty flowers in pots. After a couple of days, we have a beautiful, relaxing retreat for the warmer months. For years, this was a family project. We all worked together to make the work go more quickly and somehow managed to have a little fun in the process.

In fact, our family has had dozens of family projects. From creating a hurricane supply closet for an orphanage to painting church walls to washing the family car, our family has worked together many times over the years to achieve something. Sometimes it was something for our family. Often, it was something to help someone else. The end result in this case doesn’t matter as much as the process.

When your family works together on a project, your kids benefit in so many ways.

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5 Tips for Raising a Quiet Child

5 Tips for Raising a Quiet Child - Parenting Like Hannah“Fine” That’s often the favorite word of the quiet child. If you have a quiet child, you may feel like it takes an enormous amount of effort to get him to speak a complete sentence, much less pour his heart out to you. Quiet kids can be male or female and any age, although parents seem the most frustrated trying to communicate with quiet teen boys.

You may be tempted to give up and not try after a few hundred failed attempts at conversation. Unfortunately, parenting is much more difficult when your child doesn’t open up and talk. Christian parenting is virtually impossible because a child who doesn’t tell you what’s on her heart and mind leaves you guessing by the behaviors you see. (Which can be a very inaccurate measure of the heart.)

Your quiet child is also very likely introverted and likes to go off and be alone for hours at a time. You can’t change how God created your child’s nature, but you can soften it a bit. (The strengths God gave your kids can become detrimental when taken to the extreme. God provides parents to mold those gifts to God’s original design and plan – often softening them from the extremes to which kids will often take their gifts.)

If you have a quiet child, doing these things should help if done consistently over a period of time.

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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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I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me

I'd Like You More If You Were More Like Me - Parenting Like HannahLet’s be honest for a minute. No matter how much you love your spouse and children, there are just moments when you want to run away to Tahiti without them – permanently! Fortunately, God frowns on such things or Tahiti would be over run with runaway moms (and dads, and kids!).

Many of those days are a result of people living together in a confined space day after day. No matter how much alike you are, there are differences. Those differences can cause misunderstandings. Actually at times, even similarities can also cause conflict.

Most of us are totally unaware of this and honestly believe everyone else is somehow fatally flawed because they think and act differently than we do. While in some cases that may be true, the vast majority of those differences are perfectly godly and acceptable.

Unfortunately, those differences can cause us to pull away and create emotional distance – creating shadow marriages and families – not the deep intimate, beautiful relationships God designed them to be. John Ortberg’s book I’d Like You If You Were More Like Me is one of the very best books I have ever read for helping people recapture the intimate relationships God designed for them to have in their lives.

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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)