Archive | Parent/Child Relationship

9 Ways You Should Be Your Child’s Friend

9 Ways You Should Be Your Child's Friend - Parenting Like HannahIf you have been a parent for more than five minutes, you have probably heard the old adage, “Be your child’s parent, not their friend.” There is some truth to that. You have to be able to set firm, but loving boundaries and enforce them in order for your child to grow.

If you only view yourself as the authority in your relationship with your child though, your relationship will miss some of the closeness it can have. Contrary to popular belief, you can be both a parent and a friend, if you know when to play each role. It’s when the roles get confused that problems arise – not the fact that the parent and child are friends in some ways.

So how should you be your child’s friend? These are qualities I have found in my best friends, that I believe will enhance your relationship with your child, too.

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Fun Way to Raise Family Encouragers

Fun Way to Raise Family Encouragers - Parenting Like HannahFamily dynamics are interesting. The people who supposedly love you the most in the world, also know exactly what to say or do to make you feel the most unloved. Sadly, we have all been guilty of saying something hurtful to a spouse, parent or sibling. In some families, it quickly becomes a bad habit. Everyone feels safer taking their frustration, hurt and anger from their day and punishing family members with it – even when they had absolutely nothing to do with it.

There’s a fun way to flip that dynamic and make your family a place where the members come home to be loved, encouraged and built up to face the world another day. It’s simple, cheap and can even become an ongoing family project.

Grab some cute blank books. You can find these cheaply at Target dollar spot or at craft stores like Michael’s. Have each family member decorate their book in any way they would like. Have a short devotional explaining that each family member is to write encouraging messages to the person in their book. It can be a scripture, a complement, or just encouragement. (“I know you will do great on the test this week – you’ve studied so hard!)

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Worshipping With Your Kids

Worshipping With Your Kids - Parenting Like HannahIn many churches, children never worship with the adults in worship services. Others whisk them away before the sermon begins. Some may provide other options during worship for children, but only during the school year. A few congregations only offer worship activities for infants, while children remain in worship.

Personally, I think we can learn a lot from how children were treated in the Old Testament. From what we can tell, often the Law was read in front of the entire population – including children. To me, it seems the best place to learn how to worship God is by worshipping Him with your family. For many children the only time God and their family are together is in the church building. As a result, the only time children can worship with their family is during worship service at church. Even if you also worship with your kids at home during the week, there is a special emotional connection that happens when families worship together in a church worship service.

Regardless of how you feel about your kids being in the worship service with you (and I strongly encourage you to arrange that no matter what is available), you will find yourself at some point with your children on the pew next to you in worship service. So what can you do that will allow you to worship and teach your children to worship at the same time? There are probably plenty of things you can do, but here are some of my favorite tips.

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Great Spiritual Legacy and Encouragement Gift for Your Teen

Great Spiritual Legacy and Encouragement Gift for Your Teen - Parenting Like HannahAs your children enter their teen years, you may begin to feel a sense of urgency in your parenting. You only have a few years remaining when you will see your child daily and have hours a day to help build their spiritual foundation. By your child’s senior year of high school, even the most proactive Christian parent can feel a sense of panic. What have you forgotten to teach? What more do you need to say?

There is a way though to create a special gift that will be a subtle (or not so subtle) reminder for your child of the spiritual truths that were so important to you – the ones you pray are also a part of who they are and who they will become. The great thing is you can put your own special touches on it that will also reflect your love for your child and the value you place on your relationship.

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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)