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Teaching Your Children to Serve Others

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Now that it is summer, I am sure you have already heard, “I’m bored” at least one time, right? Well, what better time is it than now to teach your children about serving and helping others–even if the ‘other’ is pets! I think it is really good to  teaching them what it  helping others and really teaching them what it means to help others.

It’s really been put on my mind that I wanted to write about this topic, because I have recently been talking to my children what life is really like and that it’s okay to teach our children that life isn’t always pretty. In life we experience happy, sad, mad, hurt, along with many other emotions. I got the idea that I would start teaching my children about life the day that we saw the man on the corner of the street, no shoes, scraggly beard, oily hair, holding onto a leash tied to a dog that was extremely skinny. I passed the man because I am not the person to really give money. All of a sudden, my youngest child began asking questions about why this man didn’t have any shoes, where did he live, why was he sitting there…

I felt like I needed to do something, even if it wasn’t giving him money. I went through the drive-thru and ordered several burgers and fries with a drink, passed the man and let my oldest child hand the man his food. The man began to weap tears and begged that we didn’t take his 9 year old dog. It was then, I explained to my children not all people have houses, food, clothes or shoes. It was then that my family began wanting to serve and help more people and pets!

(Please never do anything to put yourself or your children in harms way)

There are so many ways to help and to serve other people. Here is some ideas that might be suitable for you and your family to do.

Helping the Homeless-

There are many ways that you and your family can help the homeless. There are many homeless people that are living in the United States and around the world. You can help by doing things like making care bags to keep in your cars for when you run into homeless people on the streets. Care packages may contain deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, a wash rag, a $5 gift card, peppermints, ect.. We also love animals so keep small bags of dog food as well for homeless men and women who have pets that mean the world to them!

Donate items to homeless shelters. Homeless shelters are always taking donations from clothes and shoes to blankets.

Soup Kitchens-

Some shelters and soup kitchens are always looking for people to just serve food for them or greet people that come in.

Food Pantries-

There is plenty to do at food panties, such as helping separate food or handing food out on the days that people are allowed to come and get them.

Animal Shelters-

Yes, we are big suckers for animals at our house! We tend to visit the animals shelters just to love on the animals or puppies that are at the shelters. Some shelters become so full and are looking for foster parents for animals!

Nursing Homes-

Anyone who has ever been in a nursing home knows that they can be very sad. Maybe you and your family can brighten the place up by making some of the residents some crafts and going to hand them out.

Red Cross-

It doesn’t necessarily have to be Red Cross, but some of these organizations help flood, tornado victims as well as homes that their homes have burned. Things can be collected and sometimes these organizations hand out teddy bears to children. This can be another project for small kids, donating some old stuffed animals or going shopping for some. (Sometimes they can be found cheap at second hand stores)

Soldiers-

There are several websites that are overseas love to get letters or treats! Find a soldier overseas and write them and send them a care package.

Donate!

Instead of having a garage sale, donate your clothes, old toys, and food to some of the places that I’ve listed above.

These are great ideas and if I didn’t mention one, I’d love to hear from you on how you and your children serve! So, share your stories on what you and your family do!

Lord, help us to teach our children to serve and not judge them. Help us to see their heart. Help us to have a heart to help people and pets that are in need and need to see love and someone who cares. Lead us and let us be Your hands and feet! In Jesus’ Name!

Until next time…be encouraged!!

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Sexting- Talk About IT With Your Kids!

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I don’t fully understand why parents get so weird about talking to their child about sex. It is something of this world and they should know about it! I was a teenage parent, and I let my children and stepchildren know how hard it was and how I got there! I tell them that I hope that they don’t take the same path that I did. But, since I was a teenager, there is a popular thing that has surfaced between tweens (yes 11 and 12 year olds too) and teenagers…..SEXTING!
Most parents can put two and two together and figure out what sexting is. Most of it starts out as harmless texting, then comes pictures and then comes sexting! A lot of kids these days are pressured into this. Nothing has changed since you and I were teenagers. They still pull the, “If you love me you will send me a picture..” “You don’t even have to have your face in the picture…” “I will delete it once you send it..” “Nobody will see it but me..” Can you see where I’m going?
So, why is it important to talk to your tweens/teens about sexting and why it is inappropriate, disrespectful, and not classy? Teenagers should know limits. I can’t say this enough. Have limits for your children, especially on the phones! If your child has a phone and has any interest in the opposite sex, it’s time to have the up-to-date birds and bees talk.
How to be an active parent:
Talk to your son/daughter- I can not say it enough about how important it is to have a close relationship with your children! Talk to them about respecting the opposite sex! If you have a daughter, teach her to value her body and demand respect when it comes to her body. Teach her the meaning of having value and respect for her body. If you have a son, teach him how to respect himself. Often boys grow up thinking their privates are the greatest thing ever! Make sure your son doesn’t grow up with this mentality! If you don’t have serious conversations about this particular topic, your son might have this mentality!! It’s good to talk to your children about the dangers or sexting and how it can ruin their reputation!
Dads need to be involved- Having a male figure in your child’s life that is actively involved is crucial! Especially during the times that they are teenagers! Girls need a male role model to be in their lives to show them how men should treat women. Boy should have a male role model so they will know how to treat women. Girl’s should never be downgraded by being asked for a nude or very private picture. Men can be good at teaching both guys and girls this!
Monitor your children- I know some people might disagree with me, but children need limits! Check up on your child! If you ever suspect your child is going through anything different in their lives, or if your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is always good to monitor their social media accounts and text messages!
Lord, we ask you to teach us how to parent during this rough time in our child’s life. It seems like daily they are faced with “the new thing.” Help us and guide us on how to be the best parents that we can be. Lord, we ask you to guide our children and the decisions that they make. Help them and give them strength and wisdom during their times where they feel peer pressure.
Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Sexting! What Parents Need to Know!

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I don’t fully understand why parents get so weird about talking to their child about sex. It is something of this world and they should know about it! I was a teenage parent, and I let my children and stepchildren know how hard it was and how I got there! I tell them that I hope that they don’t take the same path that I did. But, since I was a teenager, there is a popular thing that has surfaced between tweens (yes 11 and 12 year olds too) and teenagers…..SEXTING!
Most parents can put two and two together and figure out what sexting is. Most of it starts out as harmless texting, then comes pictures and then comes sexting! A lot of kids these days are pressured into this. Nothing has changed since you and I were teenagers. They still pull the, “If you love me you will send me a picture..” “You don’t even have to have your face in the picture…” “I will delete it once you send it..” “Nobody will see it but me..” Can you see where I’m going?
So, why is it important to talk to your tweens/teens about sexting and why it is inappropriate, disrespectful, and unclassy? Teenagers should know limits. I can’t say this enough. Have limits for your children, especially on the phones! If your child has a phone and has any interest in the opposite sex, it’s time to have the up-to-date birds and bees talk.
How to be an active parent:
Talk to your son/daughter- I can not say it enough about how important it is to have a close relationship with your children! Talk to them about respecting the opposite sex! If you have a daughter, teach her to value her body and demand respect when it comes to her body. Teach her the meaning of having value and respect for her body. If you have a son, teach him how to respect himself. Often boys grow up thinking their privates are the greatest thing ever! Make sure your son doesn’t grow up with this mentality! If you don’t have serious conversations about this particular topic, your son might have this mentality!! It’s good to talk to your children about the dangers or sexting and how it can ruin their reputation!
Dads need to be involved- Having a male figure in your child’s life that is actively involved is crucial! Especially during the times that they are teenagers! Girls need a male role model to be in their lives to show tem how men should treat women. Boy should have a male role model so they will know how to treat women. Girl’s should never be downgraded by being asked for a nude or very private picture. Men can be good at teaching both guys and girls this!
Monitor your children- I know some people might disagree with me, but children need limits! Check up on your child! If you ever suspect your child is going through anything different in their lives, or if your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is always good to monitor their social media accounts and text messages!
Lord, we ask you to teach us how to parent during this rough time in our child’s life. It seems like daily they are faced with “the new thing.” Help us and guide us on how to be the best parents that we can be. Lord, we ask you to guide our children and the decisions that they make. Help them and give them strength and wisdom during their times where they feel peer pressure.
Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Teaching Your Children to Pray

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Yesterday, I was talking about how important it is to pray for our children. Today, I am encouraging parents to teach their children HOW to pray! As a child, I was taught little, cutesy prayers like “Now I lay me down to sleep….” and “God is great, God is good….” I am not saying that those prayers aren’t cute, but I think it comes a time in a child’s life where they must move on from those childish prayers.

Like I mentioned, I wasn’t taught as a child really how to pray and my prayers be really meaningful. It wasn’t until I was an adult when I really began to really learn to pray and how important it was pray. I was determined that I was going to teach my children early on how to pray, because it’s important!

I began teaching my children the little prayers to say before bedtime and before we eat. I begin to really pray how I could really teach my children to pray. We attend a church that is really big on praying and teaching us–as well as our children how important it was to start praying and constantly praying about everything and everyone!

I try to pray with my children every morning. We get to a certain point on our route to school and I say, “Okay, it’s time to start praying!” I begin praying over their day, over their protection, over their friends. I have just started really praying with them constantly this past year. They have started asking God to give them wisdom I will ask them if they have anything to pray over..sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

Encourage your children to pray and teach them how to pray.

Lord, give us guidance on how to teach our children how to build relationships with you. If we don’t know how to pray I pray that we can learn with one another. I pray that we all can grow in faith with one another. Help us to each our children in the way they should go because your word says in Proverbs that if we teach our children in the way they should go, when they are older they will not depart from it! Thank you Lord for your word and our children!

Until next time…be encouraged!

Praying For Your Children

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Remember how I was talking about how I was talking about how important it was to pray for your spouse? Well, it is just as important to pray for your children. The other day on the radio station, parents were sharing how they liked to pray for your children.

One parent admitted that her and her husband prayed and prayed for a child. Finally after they had their child, they quit praying for their child. Often times, we forget to pray for our children. But it’s important to pray for your children, pray over their day and over their lives!

I’m challenging parents who are reading this blog post to begin praying for your children! Several things to pray over:

A hedge of protection over their day- If you turn the news on, you will hear of the violence and cruel world we are living in. It’s important to pray over our children’s day and over their protection while they aren’t in our care. Pray over protection over their school and everyone that they pass along the halls. Pray for their health! begin thanking God that they are healthy!

For Decisions They May Make– The older our children become, the more decisions they will be faced with–as well as peer pressure that they will have to face! Begin to pray over your children and the decisions that they will make. Pray that if they ever face any peer-pressure that they will know and be brave enough to stand up against it.

That Their Lights Will Shine– Every day, I pray that my children will let their lights shine for the Lord. I have taught my children who God is and only pray that they will let their lights shine. I realize that not all of their friends will have the same beliefs as they will, but I pray that they will be smart with choosing their friends. And that if they have any friends with different beliefs, that they will rub off on their friends instead of their friends rubbing off on them.

For The People In Their Lives– I think this is important. I pray that my children will make good decisions with their friends. Call me crazy, I even pray for my children’s future spouses. I pray that they will be smart with the people that they allow into their lives. I pray for the teachers that are teaching my children.

It’s an important thing to to pray for your children. I hope that this encourages you to pray for your children!

Lord, I pray that as we pray for our children, we will become closer to our children. On the days we don’t know what to pray for our children, I pray that you show us how to pray for our children and what to pray for our children. I pray that you will hear and honor our prayers as it fits your will!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!

The Importance of Spending Time With Your Kids

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As kids get older, they really don’t want to “hang out.” But, we have something in our house called “parent dates” and “family dates.” I mentioned in the marriage section how important it was to date our spouse and spend time with our spouses, but it is also so important to gain relationships and become close to our children as well!
I have really liked the idea of the Daddy/Daughter Mom/Son dates, but we just do something like taking the kids out to eat. On the weekend, we will rent movies. And I will go ahead and admit, we have good intentions on spending more time with our children and buy board games, ect, but sometimes lives get busy. Our children, the older they get, they attend extracurricular activities, church events, friends, ect. But, we try to have talks with our children. We were good with eating at the table and spending at least 30 minutes without television, laptops, and cell phones, but weeknights are crazy so we try to eat at the table at least once on the weekend and if it’s possible, during the week. We have back yard time, where we go outside and enjoy our backyard and talk with the kids. I thought that the oldest would be the worse with this time, but to our surprise, he loves backyard time!
With all the busy going on, schedule if you must, to make time with your whole family! Make time for your kids. Take them on family dates, and by the way, you don’t always have to spend money on dates! Go to the park, to the lake, go grab and ice cream, or look for freebie things to do!
This week, I challenge you to spend time with your children doing something! No griping, no arguing, but really connecting with them.
Lord, spending time with each other is so important for the important relationships in our lives. Lord, please help us to make special time to spend with our kids. Help us to connect with our kids and build lifelong relationships! On our dates, help us to make special memories that we will never forget!

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Until next time…be encouraged!!!!

Watch Me Whip! Watch Me NaeNae! Yes I DID!-

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Okay, so my older children have came home doing “the whip” and “the naenae.” I had no clue what the heck they were talking about! I try to listen to not only the Christian music, but music that my children like too! But, I had never heard of no naenae on the radio!

All evening, my kids, even the youngest is now singing, “whipping and naenae.” We were standing in line at the grocery store and my oldest kids were acting out for the cashier and making her laugh when one of them starting whipping and naenae in the checkout line! By this time, the teenage cashier was laughing and saying, “I can’t believe you know that song!” I immediately asked her if that was a bad song! She then told me that she didn’t think it was!
We got into the car, and I immediately started looking up the lyrics! Fortunately, the lyrics weren’t bad, but incredibly stupid. Ha! I might have made a “deal” with my kids that if they weren’t bad, I would learn to whip and naenae. I still haven’t got it down! HAHA!

My point for this post is not only to show how incredibly crazy our life is too, but to let parents know it’s okay to check lyrics of a song. If that song would have been bad (like they have been before!) I would have asked them questions like, if if they knew it was bad, if that’s the kind of music they think they should be listening to, and why they like the song. It’s okay to check up on your children. There are so many awful songs in this world that contain cussing, drugs, sex and violence and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children being influenced by vulgar music. I know that I can’t help what my kids listen to all the time, but hopefully, I would want to believe that my children would stand up for what is right if they knew the song was that bad.

Lord, parenting is crazy sometimes, but thank you for making me a parent! Thank you for my children and thank you for helping me to parent my children! While I’m not with my children, help them make smart decisions about their lives. Thank you for guiding us while parenting. And, if you could, Lord, please help me with my dance skills! I used to think I was something else, now I just look crazy! :)))

Until next time…..be encouraged!!!!!