Praying for Girls

Praying for Girls - Parenting Like HannahOne of the ways you can have a tremendous impact on your children is to be in constant prayer for them. If you are a new Christian, a new parent or just have a rather free range prayer life, you may wonder what you should pray for each of your kids and how to organize your prayer life in some way.

Obviously, you will have specific, unique prayer requests for each child. There are some things though that can be prayed for any child, and some prayers that are more suited for what boys experience, while others are for what girls experience (in general).

I was interested when offered the chance to review the new book Praying for Girls by Teri Lynne Underwood. Underwood hasn’t just written a book of prayers for you to recite – which is great – because I am not at all a fan of the “written for me” prayer. She has divided the book into five sections with four topics under each (plus a few extra chapters at the beginning and end). Each chapter discusses why the author believes this is an area of focused prayer you should have for your daughters.

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Fun Activity to Teach Your Kids About Peer Pressure and God

Fun Activity to Teach Your Kids About Peer Pressure and God - Parenting Like HannahWant a fun family devotional that will also give your kids some tools to stand up to negative peer pressure? Grab some large sheets of white paper, some paper lunch bags and markers. Gather your family and tell the story of Joseph and his brothers found in Genesis 37:12-36 or the story of Samson found in Judges. Discuss the times in the story when someone wanted to do something, but was pressured into making a different decision by someone else.

Ask your children if they know the term for when you are pressured by others to say or do something you don’t want to do. See if they can give you examples of positive and negative peer pressure. The story of Joseph, for example, would have ended in his death instead of being sold into slavery if Reuben had not pressured them into changing their minds.

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How to Listen So Your Kids Feel Heard

How to Listen So Your Kids Feel Heard - Parenting Like HannahThe old adage “Children should be seen and not heard” makes me think of the movie Mary Poppins. Those adorable children spent every day with their nanny, because their parents were just too busy to be bothered with them. Thankfully, Mary Poppins was able to help the parents realize the most important thing they could do was to spend time together as a family.

Parent/child relationships are important in any family, but they are crucial in the Christian family. You want to be able to help point your kids and eventually their kids towards God as long as you possibly can. If you have a poor relationship with your kids though, it is highly unlikely they will listen to anything you have to say – especially advice about obeying God.

Which is why it is vitally important you really listen to your kids when they are young. As much as some adults refuse to admit it, children will listen best to those they feel listen best to them. (Which is why predators tend to prey on children who have bad or virtually non-existent relationships with their parents.)

So what do you need to do to listen to your kids so they will feel heard (and hopefully listen to you in the same way)?

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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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Teens, Alcohol and God

Teens, Alcohol and God - Parenting Like HannahFor some teens, the most exciting things they learn in the Bible are that Jesus turned water into wine and the Bible calls drunkenness a sin – not drinking. What your teen may not realize is that just because something is permitted, doesn’t mean it is wise to do it. (I Corinthians 10:23 and 6:12) In fact, many Christians have decided to avoid all alcohol for a variety of vary valid reasons.

The problem is parents rarely share those reasons with their kids. In fact, some parents are still experiencing “Iwannabepopular” syndrome and may have not resolved their own issues with alcohol. It’s difficult to help someone navigate an issue with which you are still struggling.

For topics like alcohol, most teens need real, honest discussion beyond the “It’s a sin. You could go to Hell. End of discussion.” lecture common when I was younger (FYI – not from my parents.). It’s not that drunkenness isn’t a sin. Or that your kids shouldn’t make obeying God their top priority. It’s just that they are still spiritually immature and may need additional information and/or motivation before making a wise spiritual choice.

So what bits of information does your child need to know about drinking, drunkenness and God? There are a lot of things you can share, but here are a few that seem to resonate with teens.

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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)