The Most Important Thing to Give Your Child This Summer

The Most Important Thing to Give Your Kids This Summer - Parenting Like HannahSummer break starts in just a few weeks. Most parents of children under the age of eighteen are currently in enrollment mode. The mantra seems to be, “The more things your children have on their schedule, the better.”

The average child will attend camps, lessons and classes. A privileged few will also spend hours at a community or neighborhood pool playing with friends. And let’s not forget a long list of summer school assignments that are due the first day of the coming school year.

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Families, Hospitality and Church

Families, Hospitality and Church - Parenting Like HannahFor parents to truly dedicate their children to God, they need a church home. A place where other Christians will help them teach their kids about God. A church home where parents can be encouraged, learn what God expects from them and where they can get godly parenting advice.

So I was interested when offered the chance to review the book, The Come Back Effect by Jason Young and Jonathan Malm. The premise of the book is that if churches become very intentional about how they treat visitors, the chances they will return are much better.

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Laughing With Your Kids

Laughing With Your Kids - Parenting Like Hannah Christian parenting is serious business. The stakes are incredibly high. That doesn’t mean you can’t have lots of fun with your kids while you are raising them.

One of the most fun times in parenting is the “joke years.” Usually, around the preschool to early elementary ages, kids become almost obsessed with jokes. Well, actually jokes, puns, riddles – you name it – if it gets a laugh or a groan, they are thrilled.

Of course, they don’t know many jokes themselves. Which means mom and dad become the local comedy club! Unfortunately, the types of jokes kids enjoy are the ones you last heard when you were their age – decades ago.

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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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