If you listen to most parents talk for very long, it becomes obvious many problems in families are actually communication problems. If you have ever said things like “They don’t seem to hear me” or “No matter what I say she gets mad” or almost any sentence involving listening or speaking, you may have communication issues too.
I was intrigued by the title of a new book I was offered to review. You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation by Mike Bechtle attempts to teach basic communication skills to a generation who has spent a lifetime condensing speech into a text. Although in some ways a primer, it had enough great reminders and new information to be helpful to even a somewhat practiced communicator.
The author breaks down the book into four main sections. The first basically makes his case for the need for teaching and learning how to communicate well. In the second section, he gives six tools for healthy conversations and six skills needed in the third section. The final section he uses to more or less put all of the pieces together into some general thoughts on communication circles, technology and more.
Continue reading Parenting and Communication Skills
What have you taught your kids about prejudice? Maybe you read them James 2:1-4. Perhaps you have told them all people are equal in the eyes of God. If you are really intentional, you may have had discussions about how they are to treat everyone with love – no matter who they are.
If you asked your kids how they would react if they came across people treating someone with prejudice, they would probably tell you all of the absolutely correct things they would do. Studies have shown though, when placed in a real life situation, hardly anyone reacts in the godly ways they claim they would. Most sit quietly by without saying or doing anything.
There are some concrete things you can do with your kids to improve the chances your children will treat everyone equally. You can raise kids who are the few who actually do what they think they will do when around others treating those who are different from them poorly. Your children can learn to serve and share their faith with others with the same godly empathy and love Jesus modeled for us.
There are a lot of things you can do to help your children treat everyone the way God expects from us. Here are a few of my favorites:
Continue reading Kids, Prejudice and God
Teachable moments are some of the best tools in the savvy Christian parent’s tool box. You can create an experience or take advantage of one that happens naturally to teach your children important lessons. A lot of the ideas in Parenting Like Hannah are actually ways for you to intentionally create teachable moments to help your child develop specific godly characteristics.
Sometimes, the teachable moments which occur naturally are not so much fun. You may find yourself in an awkward situation. Your child may be devastated emotionally over something that happened at school. Your children might stumble upon a situation exposing them to seriously ungodly behaviors you had hoped not to address with them until they were much older.
You know these moments need to be addressed, but being blindsided by them can keep you from even thinking clearly. Suddenly becoming intentional and providing a meaningful spiritual or life lesson out of the situation seems impossible.That is why I was excited to be given an opportunity to review (and give away a free copy!) of the book Teachable Moments: Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith.
Continue reading Awkward Teachable Moments and God
Rarely a week goes by without hearing about some teen who committed suicide or a terrible act of violence because of bullying. Bullying isn’t new. In fact, I would imagine everyone reading this was teased or bullied to the point of tears at some point in their life.
Parents have struggled for years to find ways to help their children deal with the inevitable feelings of sadness, fear or worry that often result from the behavior of bullies. You probably heard “They are just jealous.”, “Ignore her” or “Stand up to him” from your own parents.
Continue reading Helping Your Kids Stand Strong Against Bullies and Mean Girls
Today’s children are lonely. Oh, they are surrounded by people from the time they wake up until they hit the pillow at night. Yet, that is perhaps the worst loneliness of all – the loneliness that won’t disappear when other people come into view.
Unfortunately, so many aspects of our culture are robbing our children not only of quality parent involvement, but also the solid friendships many of us had in our youth. The incessant rushing in our lives does not allow for hours of “I don’t know, what do you want to do” discussions or analyzing everything happening in your worlds in order to support each other and try to make sense of things.
Continue reading Helping Your Child Nurture Godly Friendships