Weekly Christian Parenting Challenges #18

We have actually had some Fall weather here this week. How was your week? Been to busy to check our daily challenges? Here’s a recap.

Monday: Did you know sounds can impact your kids? Sounds like water running and waves can soothe. Loud, chaotic noises can cause stress or distract them. Silence can encourage them to hear their own thoughts. Some classical music can help put them to sleep. Cheerful songs can improve their mood or raise energy levels. If you’re not sure, ask them questions like, “What kind of sounds make it easier or more difficult to pray/study your Bible/reflect, etc.”

Tuesday: Did you know flamingos’ coloring is because of what they eat? Your kids’ spiritual health will be determined in part by what they “consume” in games, books, movies, music and more. Teaching them how to choose entertainment that helps rather than hurts them is crucial if you want them to develop unshakeable faith foundations.

Wednesday: Struggling with some aspect of your Christian parenting journey? You’re not alone! We’ve all been there at some point. Ask your questions on this page, email us through the contact feature on our website or ask an experienced Christian parent you know. Don’t keep struggling alone. God gave us the body of Christ in part for godly support. Take advantage of that gift from God.

Thursday: This is a poison garden. Every plant in it is poisonous. They’ve put up signs to warn people in case they are tempted to taste the plants. Your kids need to learn the warning signs of temptation and what to do to keep from sinning when tempted. Otherwise, they will be more vulnerable to Satan’s poisonous suggestions.

Friday: Have teens who are passionate about a social justice issue? Unfortunately, many times the secular world has taken the lead in areas the church should have. Here are some great service projects involving popular issues your family can do together. Not only will they help others, but it will give you a great opportunity to teach your kids the difference between biblical and secular social justice. http://teachonereachone.org/meaningful-social-justice…/

Weekly Christian Parenting Challenges #15

It’s a holiday weekend. Time for family fun and resetting your family goals and schedule. Here are this week’s social media challenges to give you some ideas to consider.

Monday: There are people that will tell you science and Christianity are incompatible. The truth is since God created the world and the science behind it, science is only incompatible when scientists totally reject God and His place in the world. Answers in Genesis has lots of great science materials written by Christian scientists that will help your kids learn science without also being told they need to reject God. They have quite a few free online resources to help you explain things to your kids.

Tuesday: Notice the small sign on the window? This is a cafe in the town where Prince William and Kate attended university. If you don’t notice the small print on the sign, you would believe they actually met in the cafe. Your kids need to learn to look for the fine print, the “rest of the story”. Satan will make sure your kids will hear lots of lies meant to pull them away from God. Often these lies have just enough truth in them to make them even trickier. Make sure your kids understand that unless a total statement is true, in reality they are hearing or telling a lie. Knowing to look for the bits of deception can protect them from a lot of pain.

Wednesday:These people were thrown into the bogs in Ireland to punish them back in the Iron Age. Evil has always been on the Earth since the Fall. It may seem more obvious now, for a variety of reasons. Your kids need to know some important things about evil. Read our blog post today on teaching your kids about evil. It’s on our Parenting Like Hannah website (.com).

Thursday: Lions are known for protecting their cubs. You protect your kids, but are you protecting them from the right things? Sometimes kids need to fail to learn resilience. On the other hand, kids need their exposure to evil to be as limited as possible. Scripture teaches we are to fill our minds with things that are good, pure and praise worthy. Studies show that filling kids heads with images of violence and sex have negative effects on their brains that can literally change those young brains. So be that lion. Just protect your kids from the right things.

Friday: Your family may not have felt much like celebrating the last few months, but celebrating tied to gratitude to God for His blessings is great for your kids. So find something to celebrate and thank God for those blessings.

Weekly Christian Parenting Challenges #13

Have your kids started back to school yet? Whether they are involved in distance learning, in person classes or homeschooling, this is a great time of year to reintroduce family Bible study to your home. Our parent website teachonereachone.org has lots of free activity ideas to help. In case you missed them, here are our social media challenges from the week.

Monday: Because of their lack of knowledge and life experience (amongst other things), your kids will see the world differently than you do – at least in some ways. Sometimes, it can be enlightening or fun. At other times it can cause fear – especially when those differences show a tendency to reject God or His commands. The trick is to constantly have conversations about spiritual matters from the time your kids are very little. Explain why you believe what you believe. Help them understand the benefits and struggles of living a Christian life. Show a passion for reading scripture and trying to be more godly, serving others and sharing your faith. Let them see the difference God has made in you. There are no guarantees, but avoiding discussing their doubts won’t make them disappear. They will just get answers to them from someone else. Someone who may not believe in God at all.

Tuesday: These mushrooms are interesting. They can only handle so much heat and then they just start shriveling up. Your kids are like that. They may appear oblivious to stress, but at some point it begins impacting them negatively. They need you to teach them godly coping strategies like prayer, scriptures, exercise, art, music and others. If not, they are more likely to turn to unhealthy, ungodly or even dangerous or sinful ways to cope when the stress levels get too high. Now is a great time to start having those conversations and giving them guided practice.

Wednesday: Believe it or not, this is one building. It took years to finish and every time they hired a new crew, they started building in their favorite style! Your kids spiritual beliefs will look like this if you don’t help them build strong faith foundations. Even many Christian adults have taken a belief or two from multiple religions or world views and tried to merge them with Christianity. Jesus made it very clear that will not work on any level. Your kids need strong grounding in biblical truths and help in developing wisdom and discernment. The church can help, but ultimately it is your responsibility to teach them, train them and help mold their hearts. It takes a lot of time and energy. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but the rewards are eternal.

Thursday: The Bible talks a lot about joy, hope, contentment. The world then wasn’t any better than the world is now. It’s important to teach your kids how to find that joy and hope even in a difficult season like this. It’s not always about loving or even liking what is happening. It’s about understanding the big picture of eternity in Heaven. Of knowing God is with us and loves us. Of seeing the blessings and God created beauty around us. Take some time today to point out things that remind all of you that God is here loving you, right now.

Friday: Toasties and chips? Sammies and fries? Different cultures use different words or have different meanings for the same words. Your kids are in a different culture than you because of the age difference. You need to understand the words they use. You don’t need to necessarily use their slang (it really annoys some teens), but you must understand it. Ask, google do what you need to do to stay fluent in their language. It changes rapidly but can cover all sorts of issues your kids or their friends may be having. Understanding what your kids are saying can be an important parenting tool.

Understanding Your Angry Child

If you are a parent, you’ve probably seen your child get angry at least once. Okay, let’s be brutally honest. Your child gets angry periodically. Or frequently. Or seems angry all of the time. While the Bible makes it clear anger is not a sin, it also counsels Christians to “not sin in our anger” and to “not let the sun go down on our anger”.

The problem is that anger can have many causes. In fact anger itself is a secondary emotion. There are many reasons your child could be getting angry. While I am not a therapist, spiritually speaking helping a child learn to manage his or her anger in godly ways is a bit easier if you can teach them to look for the root cause of their anger.

Root causes are important, because those are the real issues that must be addressed somehow. If your child is getting angry because he is overtired, for example, teaching him to get plenty of rest and to be more vigilant when tired can help. If she is angry every time her hormones fluctuate, helping her find godly coping habits to replace lashing out in anger can make it easier for her to recognize critical time periods and prepare accordingly to avoid angry outbursts.

Since each angry episode can have a different root cause, it’s important to teach your kids to stop the second they feel their tempers beginning to rise and attempt to identify the root cause. Are there patterns that indicate reoccurring issues? Is it something they can address immediately? Will they need your help over a period of time to tackle the real issue? What are some healthy, godly things they can do right then to address the core problem and avoid getting truly angry?

So what are some of the real emotions and issues underlying an angry outburst? Here’s a partial list: anxiety, frustrated, shock, abandoned, shame, betrayal, manipulated, nervous, lonely, tired, hungry, hormones, confused, embarrassed, violated, foolish, defeated, rejected, excluded, disrespected, overwhelmed, disappointed, entitled, deceived, pressured, trapped, sad, offended, unappreciated, unloved, guilty, discontented, unheard, misunderstood.

It’s not always easy identifying the root cause of an angry outburst – especially for children with limited vocabularies or poor metacognition skills (being aware of one’s own thought processes). It’s an important skill to teach your kids. Then help them learn ways to handle those root emotions and issues before they even become angry. If you can succeed, it will be a lot easier for them to avoid sinning in their anger and to resolve their anger in a timely and godly way.

Weekly Christian Parenting Challenges #11

School starts soon. It’s a great time to make any changes you’ve been wanting to make in your family. Here are this week’s social media challenges to help.

Monday: Fashion, and what is considered modest, changes from generation to generation and culture to culture. Your kids – both boys and girls – should think about what their clothing (or lack thereof) says to others. Is it sending a sexualized message? We all know people who would have lustful thoughts regardless of what someone is wearing, but those are the extremes and should not be used to excuse wearing clothing meant to provoke a sexual response in others. (As in, “Lust is that person’s issue, I have no responsibility to dress modestly.) Teach your kids how to be attractive without being sexual. Help them understand modesty is about an attitude as well as clothing.

Tuesday: School starts soon. For many families, it’s going to look different than in previous years. Even if everything were the same though, the beginning of a school year is a good time to reset your family schedule. Carve out time for daily family devotionals. Make time for good old fashioned family fun. Make sure everyone gets more sleep and exercise. Don’t fritter away another year of time. Use it wisely and you may be surprised what happens.

Wednesday: This area was supposed to be full of wildflowers, but the seeds planted there never reached their potential. God has given each of your kids potential. Not just potential to do well in school or become athletes or artists. Potential to be mighty women and men of God. To do the good works He has prepared for them in advance, serving others and sharing their faith. That is the potential that is most important that you help your kids fulfill.

Thursday: A huge part of childhood used to be time spent quietly playing in a playhouse, sitting in a tree or plopped on the grass watching the clouds go by. It gave you time to think, ponder the things you were learning, figure out who you were and who God wanted you to be. You were able to soak in God’s creation and realize He was out there, bigger and wiser than you would ever be. You had time to reflect on scripture and dream godly dreams. Your kids need that device free, unplanned quiet time. Teach them how to use it since it’s a lost art. Give their brains the processing time most young people don’t have today. It could make a huge positive difference in their lives.

Friday: Your kids have experienced church over the last few months like no other generation before them. We have no idea of the long term impact it may have on them spiritually. It’s crucial to have regular conversations about the reasons God wants Christians to worship and fellowship together. Make sure worship services and connecting with fellow Christians is still a high priority – even if you must do it virtually to stay safe.