Archives For Christian parenting

For the past several months, our Family Ministry staff team has met to brainstorm and process what Family Ministry could look like at our church.  Two key elements that remain at the center of our discussions are (1) we believe that parents should be the primary influence in their children’s lives and (2) our role as a church is to come alongside families and equip them to be that primary spiritual influence through intentional programming and resources.

Be Kids logo

I recently took a look at materials from Be:Kids, a fairly new organization that provides free family devotions to use throughout the week to encourage parents to be involved in discipleship within the home.  Be:Kids co-founder Meredith Chapuis asked me to take a look at the free resources that they provide for this purpose.

According to their website, Be:Kids’ mission is to partner with the collective church to raise up the future generation of leaders in our community and around the world by cultivating character and confidence in Christ. To teach children to walk in the light of the truth, be rooted deeply in love, encourage each other, embrace their individuality, and to seek God’s will above all else.  Their three goals are:

  • Equip and Empower Parents To Live On Mission;
  • Invade Communities With Love; and
  • Make A Generational Change In Society

There are a few facets to their ministry that I love:

Be: Inspired (Blog)

Their blog encourages parents with scripture, reminders about what’s important and prayers.  They also feature real families who share their stories of discipling their children.

Be: Intentional (Devotions)

Each week, a new family devotional plan is published.  Included are:

  • The week’s ‘focus’
  • A memory verse
  • Lunch box notes
  • Conversation starters
  • An application activity
  • Scripture passages, brief devotional and prayer

What I love is the action plan that comes with the weekly devotional.  Sometimes parents who desire to lead a devotional time with their children don’t always know how to do it.  And the printable lunch box notes look amazing!

#Be Box

BE-BOX-AD

 

Click the #Be Box image above to take a peek at what was included in January’s box.

Check out the resources for yourself & tell them Kathie sent ya!  You can also connect with Be:Kids to stay informed of new resources when they become available.

Website:  http://bekidsmobile.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BEKIDSMOBILE

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BEKIDSMOBILE

Instagram: http://instagram.com/bekidsmobile

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Technology is all around us.  There’s no escaping it.  As a busy woman, mom of two teenagers, and aunt of younger elementary children, I am all too aware of the screen-driven world we live in.  Sometimes, I look around a crowded room and see everyone’s face staring at a screen (TV, mobile phone or tablet).  It’s can be hard to convince everyone to put down the devices and actually talk to each other – voice to voice, eye to eye.

When I was offered the opportunity to review Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

About the book:
 
Growing Up Social
-Softcover
-209 pages
-Parent Resources
-discussion Guides for every chapter (perfect for a bible study!)
 
Is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?
 
Children today are no longer playing hide-and-seek outside or curling up with a good book—instead they’ve been introduced to a world of constant digital entertainment through television, video games, and mobile devices. And while technology has the potential to add value to our lives and families, it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional and social development.
In Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane will empower you with the necessary tools to make positive changes…starting today. Through stories, wit, and wisdom, you’ll discover how to take back your home from an over dependence on screens. Plus, you’ll learn to teach the five A+ skills that every healthy child needs to master: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.
•Equip your child to be relationally rich in a digital world
•Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time
•Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference
•Discover what’s working for families that have become screen savvy
•Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done
Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships—only you can.
What I Liked:

I read Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, many years ago & loved it, so I had high hopes for this book.  I enjoyed the content that spoke specifically to social media and how it affects not only children but adults, things such as:

  • “The training necessary for growing up social isn’t found on a phone or tablet.  There’s no app or video game that can replace interactions with other human beings.  Social skills must be practiced in real life, beginning for a child in the home.”
  • “The more a child is involved in screen time, the less time there is for interaction with parents, siblings and friends.”
  • “More and more children are being taught how life works from a screen instead of the real-life classrooms of responsibility, chores, and family relationships.”
  • “If your children are not interacting with the family in a way you consider healthy, it’s your responsibility to make a change.”
  • “…technology works best when it’s a tool in your life.  It becomes destructive when it becomes the main hub where most of your life is experienced.”
  • “Physical presence matters.  You cannot communicate intimacy through texts, emails, or tweets.  The deepest form of affection is given face to face in real-time.”
  • “If we leave our children unattended with their screens, we must be prepared to accept the consequences.”

Many of the tips offered in the book were practical and easy to implement.  I think it equally balanced emphasized being intentional in taking proactive measures as well as measures to change bad habits that have formed.

What I Think Was Missing:

The middle section of the book spoke to five “A+ skills” that every healthy child needs to master.  While this was great stuff, I felt like it didn’t belong in this book.  It would’ve been great in a separate book.  I also felt like some of the content was repeated several times throughout each chapter.  In addition, some of the stories shared in the book seemed a little idealistic to me.

My Recommendation:

Overall, the book had some good points that parents today should take notice of.  You can check it out for yourself by entering to win a copy by emailing me at kidminspiration@gmail.com.  Deadline to enter is 11:59pm Friday, November 14th.

About the authors:
Gary Chapman
Gary Chapman- author, speaker, and counselor—has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. For more information, visit 5lovelanguages.com.
Arlene Pellicane
Arlene Pellicane– is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife and 31 Days to a Happy Husband. She has been featured on The Today ShowThe 700 Club, and Family Life Today and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Arlene lives in Southern California with her husband, James, and their three children. Find out more at ArlenePellicane.com.

Growing Up Social

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

My daughter’s 9th Grade class just finished reading Romeo & Juliet.  In a recent class assignment, my daughter and her classmates were given this question: What are the top five qualities you are looking for in a ‘perfect’ mate?  I’m sure getting her students to think ‘mushy’ feelings was a little challenging for my daughter’s English teacher!

They were then given a second question: What are the top five qualities you think your parents would want for your ‘perfect’ mate?  Again, probably challenging for the young minds, especially since we don’t want them dating at a young age let alone thinking about marriage at age 14!

The students were then given homework: Ask your parents the following questions:

  • List the top five qualities that you think your son or daughter would want in a ‘perfect’ mate.
  • List the top five qualities you want in a ‘perfect’ mate for your son or daughter.

When my daughter got in the car after school that day, she was excited that Mom & Dad had homework.  But as she described the assignment, I knew that those questions would make for excellent dinner table conversation.

Fast forward a few hours…

We’re seated at the table (my husband, our 17-yr old son, our daughter and I) and my daughter pulls out her questionnaire.  Mind you, I had a slight advantage over my husband – I had a few hours to ponder the questions while my husband had 2 minutes.  I wish you could have seen his facial expression. 🙂

Question #1: List the top five qualities that you think your son or daughter would want in a ‘perfect’ mate.

Hmm…what would Kennedy want in a perfect mate?  Knowing our daughter’s personality, it was surprisingly easy for both my husband and I to answer this question.  My husband gave his top five and I followed with mine.  We know our daughter pretty well – we both scored 4 out of 5.  Not bad!

Question #2: List the top five qualities you want in a ‘perfect’ mate for your son or daughter.

This question was a little more personal as this would reveal more of our heart.  Again, my husband went first and I followed.  What i found interesting was that my husband’s responses were more ‘selfish’ – meaning that he listed qualities for someone who HE’D like to get along with.  My responses, on the other hand, were more for the man my daughter (and Lord-willing, grandchildren) would love and live with.

I love that this assignment provided us with some good table talk but it also got me thinking – How often do I pray for my children’s future spouses?  Honestly, not often enough.  And that was convicting for me.

As a mom, I pray many things for my children..

…that they would love God first and most

…that they would live God-honoring lives and make wise choices

…that they would have friends with similar values

…for their overall safety in an unsafe, dangerous world

…that they would treat others the way that they want to be treated

…and many other things too numerous for me to mention.

But praying for their future spouse?  Not something that I regularly prayed for – until recently.

If you feel so led, do this exercise with your family and see what conversation emerges as a result.  You’ll get to know your child’s heart a little better and they’ll get a peek inside of yours.  And you might have a few good laughs like we did!

*Disclaimer: My daughter attends a Christian school, so that’s the angle that the assignment was taken from.

What about you?  Do you pray regularly for your child’s future spouse?  What do you pray for?