Archive | Service

Fun Family Service Project Serving Foster Children

Fun Family Service Project Serving Foster Children - Parenting Like HannahAre you looking for a service project your extended family can do together? One that will celebrate your family, while helping children who are being sent to foster care? This project can be done on any scale and can make a huge difference to a scared child and his/her new foster family.

Often children are removed from their home quickly when their parents have been deemed unfit. Even clothes may not be grabbed as children are quickly whisked to safety. They can arrive at a new foster home with little more than the clothes on their back. These children are frightened and confused.

Having a “welcome care package” to greet them can help ease the transition just a little. Check with a local agency serving foster children. Often private agencies are more open to help than governmental ones, but call before assembling your care package. Ask what items they would suggest and if there are any items they will not accept (some places frown on stuffed animals for example).

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Fun Activity to Teach Preschoolers About Empathy

Fun Activity to Teach Preschoolers About Empathy - Parenting Like HannahEver watched two toddlers play “together”? If you have, you have probably seen a child come and basically grab another child’s toy without asking. What happens next is rarely pretty! The child who took the toy needs to learn more about sharing, but that same child also lacked empathy.

We don’t realize it, but empathy is a skill that must be taught. Your children will eventually pick up some empathy training from watching you (If you are consistently empathetic.). To raise children who are the Christians that defend and serve others while effectively sharing their faith though, they need to be empathetic more than the average person. That amount of skill requires some intentional teaching.

There is a fun game you can play with young children to help develop these skills. All you need are things you may already have around the house. First print or draw simple faces expressing emotions. For young children, you want to stick to the basics – happy, sad, mad, excited, scared, loved and possibly confused.

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Christian Kids and Rewards

Christian Kids and Rewards - Parenting Like HannahWhen I teach kids, I will sometimes challenge them to accomplish something or allow them to compete in some way. Inevitably, one of them will ask “What do we get?”. Parents, schools, even extra-curricular activities give awards for anything and everything. Some even reward children for doing the bare minimum of what used to be considered common good behavior.

While this is not an article on entitlement, too many rewards can create children who expect to be rewarded for everything they do. It can create laziness, because why bother to do your best if you are rewarded for any minimal effort at all. It can create pride and destroy realistic expectations of what one can achieve with one’s current skills and knowledge. They can even create an attitude that doing what is right or expected will only be done when the reward is present – remove the reward and the behavior disappears.

In short, too many rewards cause more problems than they solve. Yet, rewards persist in our society. There are actually some good things that can come from using limited rewards. In fact, whether you realize it or not, the Bible addresses the subject of rewards – especially in the New Testament. What can the Bible teach Christian parents about using rewards in healthy ways?

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What a Lemonade Stand Can Teach Your Kids About God

What a Lemonade Stand Can Teach Your Kids About God - Parenting Like HannahEvery summer, the lemonade stands start popping up in our neighborhood. Youngsters set up their wares on the side of our streets. They enthusiastically wave to cars passing by and talk with those out for walks and runs. Most of them usually hang in there for a couple of hours before something else seems more fun.

Did you realize the humble lemonade stand can teach your child about God and His commands and principles? Adding a few twists to the experience can teach your child more than just how to make lemonade and count change.

Here are a few ideas you might want to try the next time your kids want a lemonade stand.

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Fun Twist on Inspiration Boards for Christian Kids

Fun Twist on Inspiration Boards for Christian Kids - Parenting Like HannahIf you have been on Pinterest or have a creative hobby, you have probably heard of inspiration boards. They are large pieces of poster board (or they can be virtual) and contain words and photos (or magazine clippings) that inspire the person working on a particular project. They probably started with planning weddings or decorating rooms, but have expanded way beyond that today. In fact, in New York City, there is a museum that positions itself as an inspiration board of sorts.

Your kids might appreciate the inspiration one of those boards can give them. It also makes a great project for a rainy day or when your kids are “bored” by their current life. For Christian kids, I would add a twist to the boards though. Often they end up just being a wish list of things someone wants to buy. It’s probably not a great idea to promote this kind of materialistic attitude in your kids.

There are however some inspiration boards your kids (and teens) can create that could also help them on their faith journey. Here are a few ideas to get them started.

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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)