Archive | Parent/Child Relationship

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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5 Important Facial Expressions for Parents

5 Important Facial Expressions for Parents - Parenting Like HannahIf you were told the only food you could eat for the next week is your least favorite food, what expression would be on your face? You almost don’t need to think through the process of how to show the disgust you are feeling. After years of practice, it comes naturally when faced with an unpleasant situation.

Unfortunately, children often see expressions on the faces of their parents that can cause them unnecessary pain. Over the course of their childhood, these parental facial expressions can also mold your child’s character and self-image in positive or negative ways.

It is crucial for you to realize what expressions your face makes in certain situations and intentionally work to send the appropriate messages to your kids with your facial expressions as well as your words.

Here are five important facial expressions to use intentionally  when interacting with your kids:

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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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A Great Way to Help Your Child Learn About Love

One Great Way to Help Your Child Learn About Love - Parenting Like HannahWant to help your child have a better dating life? Want to stack the deck so your kids are more likely to want to date godly young men and women? Want to make sure your kids know when the person they are dating is going to make a great Christian spouse? There are no guarantees, but there is one fun thing you and your spouse can do to give your kids a great start on dating, love and marriage.

What is it? From the time your kids can talk, each child should have regular “dates” with the opposite sex parent. Although obviously the dynamic is very different than a “real” date, make sure you do something you both enjoy. Use the time together to demonstrate how to be considerate and thoughtful on a date. As your children get older, start talking about the type of person who makes a great date, a great boyfriend or girlfriend and eventually a great spouse.

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6 Top Tips for Handling “Sassy” Kids

6 Top Tips for Handling "Sassy" Kids - Parenting Like HannahWith the amount of constant conflict in our society, it’s no surprise our children believe they can say whatever comes into their heads to anyone at any time. “Good” kids probably won’t say things that will have them labeled as bullies, but often the things they say (which in their minds are smart and funny) are actually very rude and disrespectful.

The problem is there is no real societal standard the way there was several decades ago. Chances are if your child says something “sassy” or disrespectful, it is just as likely to be given positive labels as negative ones. Yet, as Christians, we are held to God’s standard – not society’s. We know God wants our children to speak in ways that are loving, kind and respectful. How can we train them to speak the way God wants them to speak to others?

It’s definitely easier to train or disciple your child in any godly behavior when you can count on other adults to reinforce what you are teaching them. Even if you don’t have that support system though, there are things you can do at home to move your child towards more godly speech.

Here are my six favorite tips:

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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)