Teaching Kids About Sins and Mistakes

Teaching Kids About Sins and Mistakes - Parenting Like Hannah

If you have ever broken something that was precious to you, you know how horrible a mistake can make you feel. On the other hand, Satan can make sins feel fun and delay consequences until we are in so deep it feels impossible to get out of the mess our sins have created. If our children are going to be faithful Christians, it is so vitally important they understand the difference between sins and mistakes.

So what do our kids need to understand about sin and mistakes?

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Tending Your Child’s Heart

Tending Your Child's Heart - Parenting Like Hannah

One of the things I love about the ministry of Jesus is that he saw past the actions of people and understood what was in their hearts. Their actions might have been sinful, but if they had a tender heart towards God, He forgave them. If their actions appeared godly, but their hearts were full of ugliness, Jesus would rebuke them.

We will never totally know the hearts of anyone other than our own. In Fighting for Your Child’s Heart, I gave you several ways to attempt to assess the heart of your child. Whether or not you feel you know your child’s heart, there are specific characteristics you want to do everything possible to firmly plant in the heart of your child. I am sure if you asked twenty Christians, you would get twenty slightly different lists, but here are the ones we worked very hard to grow in the heart of our daughter:

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Kids, Consequences, and Anger

Kids Consequences and God - Parenting Like HannahRecently, several parents have mentioned they don’t believe in consequences for young children who disobey. Evidently, everyone under the age of thirty took a vote and decided consequences were old fashioned and made children angry. Unfortunately, they forgot to check the ultimate book of godly wisdom – Proverbs, before voting. I am not referring to the infamous “spare the rod, spoil the child” verse (which by the way is a misquote – see Proverbs 13:24). Even if you ignore that particular verse, Proverbs is filled with admonitions for young people to embrace correction and reproof as a way to grow and become wise and godly.

These young parents are absolutely correct though. Punishment, correction and reproof tends to make people angry. In a very few cases, some people do go overboard, become abusive and encourage rage in their children. I do not think God in any way condones that sort of behavior. There are too many other verses pointing out the amazing love parents have for their children to assume God approves of parents abusing them.

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Banishing Tantrums (And the Surprising Reason You Need to Make It a Priority)

Banishing Tantrums (And the Surprising Reason You Need to Make It a Priority) - Parenting Like Hannah
Our little “le tigre” when happy!

I’ll never forget a particular lunch out with a friend when our daughter was a toddler. Something didn’t go my child’s way and she was definitely thinking about her best course of action. Suddenly, she quickly settled down and the crisis was averted without changing my decision and giving in to her request. My friend looked at me and asked how I did it. At first, I didn’t know what she meant. My friend replied, “I could see her thinking about pitching a fit, but somehow you not only convinced her not to have a tantrum, but that she was perfectly content to obey you.”

I began to analyze why our daughter never pitched a tantrum during her toddler years. Don’t get me wrong, she misbehaved quite a bit (especially at three) and could do her fair share of crying when she was unhappy. She even had to be unwrapped from my legs once or twice as I left her at home with someone else. She never threw a tantrum, though.

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Warning Signs Your Adorable, Funny Child May Be Headed For Trouble

Warning Signs Your Adorable, Funny Child May Be Headed for Trouble - Parenting Like Hannah
Photo by rshannonsmith

When our daughter was tiny she would toddle up to us, tug on our clothes and ask, “Whatcha doin’ up there?” We thought she was adorable. We wrote about it in her baby book and regaled our friends and family with the story.

One of the most fun parts of being a parent is all of the funny, endearing things our children say and do. It brings a bright spot to our days and makes our hearts all warm and fuzzy.

Unfortunately, some parents are setting themselves up for some tough times when their children are in elementary school, teens and beyond. Why? Because these parents find words and behaviors hysterical that are actually warning signs your child is not quite as adorable as you think.

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