Archive | Parent/Child Relationship

Christian Kids and Loneliness

Christian Kids and Loneliness - Parenting Like HannahIt seems like every day another young person commits suicide. There are many different reasons some children choose such a drastic route to end their pain. One reason that is often cited is an intense feeling of loneliness, sometimes caused by the rejection of peers and others. Young people can be surrounded by peers, live in an urban area with millions of people and still feel as if they are all alone.

Assuming the young person does not have an underlying mental health issue though, there are some things parents can do to help their children prepare for loneliness, being alone and solitude.  You can’t solve all of their social issues – especially as they reach the teen years, but you can give them extra layers of protection from severe loneliness.

The best time to help your children be ready to prevent or handle loneliness is before they become lonely. Studies have shown that not only is the need to feel like they belong a basic need, but also when they are lonely, it only increases their sense of needing to feel like they belong somewhere. (Making them more susceptible to the temptations of peers to do ungodly things in order to belong.)

So what can you do as a parent to help your kids be prepared to handle the loneliness we all feel on occasion? Here are some of my favorites (Please note: These may not work for young people who have underlying mental health issues. Please have your child checked by a doctor for loneliness that seems to last more than a few days.):

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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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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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Join Our New Parenting Like Hannah Community

Join Our New Parenting Like Hannah Community - Parenting Like HannahWe are so excited about our latest free resource for Christian parents! Many of you have been asking for a private community Facebook group. We heard you and it’s live now! The Parenting Like Hannah Community is a safe place for Christian parents to be encouraged and challenged on their Christian parenting journey.

 

Community members will have access to special content including:
– live chats
– in depth discussions of blog content
– first look at new resources
– priority registration for learning intensives
– opportunities to have your parenting questions answered by more experienced moms

Christian Families and the Kindness Challenge

Christian Families and the Kindness Challenge - Parenting Like HannahUnless you have been living on another planet for the last few years, you may have noticed there is an increasing lack of kindness in our world. It seems everyone has lost the filter that keeps them from saying and doing every hurtful, hateful thing that enters their minds. Sadly, even Christians have not seemed to be totally immune to this virus of unkindness.

When anyone teaches on the Fruit of the Spirit, they seem to fly right over kindness. It’s definitely on the list though, right after love, joy, peace and patience. Yet, I have never heard sermons or read articles and books on the idea that God expects his people to be kind. Period.

I was interested naturally, when a book on kindness was finally offered to me to review. It was by one of my favorite Christian authors, Shaunti Feldhahn. Her books on marriage are great, because they combine God’s commands and principles with hard, cold facts, leaving no wiggle room for avoiding what you must do.

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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)