What Mary Poppins Can Teach Parents

What Mary Poppins Can Teach Parents - Parenting Like Hannah

Photo by Ross Hawkes

One of my favorite movies is Mary Poppins. With all the sliding down banisters, jumping in chalk drawings, cleaning rooms with a snap of the fingers and tea parties on the ceiling, it is easy to entirely miss the point of the story. You see Mary Poppins isn’t really about Mary at all. It is about two parents who are so caught up in their own lives, they have almost forgotten they are raising two sweet, very lonely children. Sound familiar?

My heart breaks as I meet child after child desperate for some positive, meaningful interaction with an adult. Their parents are often delightful people and may even be faithful Christians. They are great parents by the world’s standards. Their children are well-dressed, clean, well-fed, educated and in a variety of societally approved activities. Yet, these wonderful parents are so busy with their careers, charity work, errands and even running the kids to various activities, that they barely know their precious little ones.

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Asking Your Child For Forgiveness

Asking Your Child for Forgiveness - Parenting Like Hannah

Photo by hang_in_there

For many parents, the concept of asking your child for forgiveness just sounds wrong. Why would you apologize to your child? Wouldn’t that give your child the upper hand? Or did I really mean the sarcastic “I’m sorry you don’t like it, but that’s the way it is”, faux apology?

One of the biggest building blocks of the Christian faith is forgiveness. Remember the parable of the servants who owed debts? One owed an unbelievable amount of money to his “boss”. He couldn’t repay it and his master was ready to throw him in prison. After much begging, the master not only relented, but forgave the man’s entire debt. So what did the servant do? He turned right around and threatened someone who owed him a very small amount of money with jail. In spite of the guy’s pleas, the servant was unrelenting. When the master discovered what had happened, he was furious.

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Putting It All on the Line for God

Putting It All on the Line for God - Parenting Like HannahLet’s face it. To dedicate your children to God means you have to be radically different from the people in your community. Sadly, you may very well have to be willing to be radically different from the people in your Church. The very idea of standing out from the crowd and perhaps even challenging the crowd, makes most Christians settle for living a life that is ordinary.

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the willingness to be different and put everything on the line for God. We are afraid of being teased, unpopular or having people gossip about our unusual behavior and choices. Frankly, I am not even sure we would know what putting everything on the line for God would look like in our comfortable American lives.

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Why Your Kids Need to Spend Time with People Who Love God

Why Your Kids Need to Spend Time With People Who Love God - Parenting Like HannahIf you are following the 12 month challenge to teach our children to live like Jesus, March is about having our children spend time with people who love Jesus. Sounds a little silly. After all, your home is probably filled with Christians and you most likely attend Church at least once a week. Getting your kids to read the Bible and pray on their own was a challenge, but this month your family can phone it in. Or can you?

Over the years, I have heard the same story over and over again. Parents whose children either no longer attend church or go somewhere the parents believe is teaching error because that is where their children’s friends are. Usually, if I ask a few more questions it turns out the child never made friends at Church and the school friends are the ones pulling their child either away from God or at least in a direction the parent is uncomfortable with on some level.

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More Resources for Parents with Teens in the Dating Years

More Resources for Parents with Teens in the Dating Years - Parenting Like Hannah

Photo by mozzercork

Parenting teens is hard. Part of you is proud of the adults they are becoming. The other part of you is terrified of the adults they are becoming. Not because they are necessarily doing anything wrong. Being a teenager just looks really different from the parental perspective. We thought we were so grown when we took on adult tasks like driving. Now as the parent of a teen the same age, we become almost panicky at the idea of our “baby” driving that huge hunk of metal!

The same goes for dating. We thought we were absolutely ready for the challenges dating presented. Now, older and wiser, we know all of the things we were totally not prepared for when it came to relationships. The idea of our kids dating is terrifying. We know every bad thing that ever happened in a dating relationship and we want to make sure none of those things happen to our kids.

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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)