Archive | Service

5 Tips for Serving Others As a Family

5 Tips for Serving Others As a Family - Parenting Like HannahA great way to help your kids understand the biblical concepts of serving others and sharing your faith, is by serving others as a family. The concept may sound overwhelming, or even scary.

With a little preparation though, it can become a treasured family memory in addition to strengthening the faith foundations of your kids.

Of course, the easiest way to serve together as a family is to participate in service projects and/or mission trips with your congregation. You can also search through non- profit data bases to find organizations who are looking for volunteer help. Find someone to help that resonates with your family – there really are so many options.

Once your family has decided whom you want to serve, keeping these 5 tips in mind will help your kids get maximum spiritual impact from the experience.

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Teaching Kids How to Help Others In Crisis

Teaching Kids How to Help Others In Crisis - Parenting Like HannahIf you volunteer in your child’s school, Church Bible classes or even their extracurricular activities, you have probably realized there are entirely too many children living in crisis. Often, these children will never turn to an adult for help. Instead, they will share their concerns, fears and problems with a peer.

If your children are loving, kind and supportive in their interactions with other kids, they may be the ones to whom these hurting children turn. Unfortunately, no matter how mature and godly your kids may be, they just don’t have the training and life experience to handle this vital task fully.

You can however, teach your kids some important Christian Life Skills that will help them step in and give their peers some hope and direction while facing life’s problems. So what are the skills most children should be able to handle when trying to help a peer? Here are some of my favorites.

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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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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)