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Fun Ideas for Teaching Kids to Serve in Secret

Teaching Kids to Serve in Secret - Parenting Like HannahOur culture often shouts from the mountain tops when someone helps someone else. As an educator, I understand. Society wants to encourage others to serve. They believe giving special attention and praise to people when they serve others encourages people who are more reluctant to serve others also.

Unfortunately, even in our churches we have had to point out the “good deeds” of members to reinforce and give examples of how God wants us to live our lives as Christians. Our ministries have to post the good things they do to encourage others to get involved by serving or giving. As a result, our kids may grow up believing they deserve a “pat on the back” every time they serve someone else.

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Can Your Kids Find the Hidden Messages in Their Entertainment?

Can Your Kids Find the Hidden Messages in Their Entertainment? - Parenting Like HannahWhen I was a kid, I remember someone telling us about “hidden messages” in albums if they were played backwards. Frankly, I was more curious about how in the world you could get your album to play backwards than any possible hidden messages.

As I reached my teen years, the emphasis switched from possible subliminal messages to the lyrics of songs. While I understood the concern, anyone who knows me knows I totally mis-hear most song lyrics and what I sing is nothing close to the real lyrics. (And don’t even get me started on the Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds revelation by my dad when we played it in orchestra!)

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9 Tips for Raising Hope-Filled Kids

9 Tips for Raising Hope-Filled Kids - Parenting Like HannahRecently an elementary school teacher shared they were getting suicide prevention training, because suicide rates for children were rising so drastically. There are many reasons for the rise in suicides, but one contributing factor is often that the person has lost all hope. While raising hope-filled kids won’t guarantee they will never commit suicide or harm themselves in other ways, it does greatly improve the chances they will be less likely to feel there is no hope in their lives or their worlds.

Although some children seem to be more naturally hope-filled than others, any child can become more hopeful when taught some important principles and skill sets. While there are probably many things you can do to give your kids hope, here are a few of my favorites:

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Education and Christian Kids

Education and Christian Kids - Parenting Like HannahOne of the topics that interests parents the most is the education of their children. The quality of your child’s education can change where they attend college or trade school, what types of jobs they will have and even the types of activities they can experience.

For Christians, the stakes are even higher. Your children are in school for six to ten hours a day (with extracurricular activities on site). The attitudes, philosophies, beliefs, and behaviors your children are taught by teachers or peers can shake, destroy or help build the faith foundations of your kids.

Sweeping generalizations are great, but often don’t work in education. My child had a very godly teacher in a public school. My friends have had “interesting” things taught to their kids in Christian schools. Even homeschooling has its share of questionable religious teaching hidden in some of the available textbooks and curricula.

So how do parents sort through all of the choices and pick the best option for their children? Everyone thinks their child’s school is the best, but is yours really good for your children? How do you know for sure? It can be overwhelming, even for those of us with degrees in education.

So, I was interested when offered the chance to review Education A La Carte by Dr. Kevin Leman. Leman looks at all of the options available to parents and discusses the pros and cons. Throughout, he weaves the story of his own somewhat disastrous educational experiences as well as some experiences others have had with the various options.

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Kids and Violence

Kids and Violence - Parenting Like HannahAs I write this, the U.S. has just experienced the worst mass shooting in its history. After every mass shooting, it seems like everyone has an opinion as to whether gun control, mental health, protective screenings and law enforcement changes are necessary to stop these incidents in the future.

What happens in my mind is different. I wonder what happened to create a heart that could plan and execute such a horrific plan. A heart that held no value for human life. A heart and mind that thought violence was the answer to whatever they believed was the problem they were trying to solve.

I am sure for every mass shooter, there are multiple reasons why their heart became so horribly ungodly and evil. Obviously, they rejected God’s path for living life at some point in their journey. They may have experienced horrible pain in their life or been horribly spoiled. They may have mental health issues.

What I don’t hear anyone address is the very root of much violent behavior. Study after study has shown a direct correlation between this and increased violent and aggressive behavior even in young children. In fact, when I googled for studies on this topic and its connection to aggression and violence in children and adults (male and female) I was overwhelmed at the sheer volume and quality of studies and horrified by their results.

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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)