Monthly Archives: January 2012
In an article by Dr. Norman Wright, a Christian family expert, entitled “Good Marriage, Good Kids,” his opening statement emphasizes the enormous good that is gained when children’s sense that their parents love each other. Children’s antennas can actually pick up disruptions in the parents relationship. Conversely, when they’re positive about a stable, loving home, they’re much more able to strive for their full potential. Plus it enables them to see a good role model for their marriage some day. Her are the elements needed for both the marriage and the children”
1. Each spouse feels the other is allowing them to be themselves, and to develop their own unique qualities.
2. Both husband and wife can feel safe in expressing feelings and emotions as good communication is a must. Again good modeling gets passed on to our children.
3. Time to nurture the marriage is also vital. The children need to see that the marriage is important enough for their parents to carve out time for just the two of them.
4. Love and affection can be modeled positively even if the parents aren’t necessarily “touchy/feely.” A hug or a kiss at the end of a work day, if its genuine, says that all is well on the home front.
5. Mutual encouragement goes a long in building a nurturing home. Conversely, put-downs and competiveness tears down the family. Always publicly stand with your spouse and have each others back. Clarifications and disagreements over things affecting the kids need to be done privately.
6. It is also important for children to see that their parents can disagree and express differing opinions on other issues not pertaining to discipline and other children-related issues. It shows the difference between disagreeing and behaving disagreeably.
7. A huge positive factor for a family is spiritual unity. A family is strengthened when parents share a strong, common faith in God.
Keep in mind, no marriage is perfect and it’s not easy and we sometimes, maybe often, have to say “we’re sorry,” but it helps them to see that there is healthy growth.
No, date nights are not just for mom and dad! How often do you have a “date night” with your kids? Parents sometimes feel very disconnected from their preteens because in a rapidly changing world, these digital natives keep up while parents are feeling a bit left in the dust. Well here are 10 simple but fun things you could be doing with your preteen. All you need to do is…set a date!
- Play video games. Ok ok, I know, you have not played video games since the Nintendo (or even Atari?) years. Who cares, let your preteen smash you. Who knows…maybe you’ll like it!
- Go to a movie.
- Play them in a game of basketball…or whatever sport they prefer.
- Go out for ice cream.
- Give them a spending limit and head to your local Toys-R-Us. Buy something you can have fun with together.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Read a story.
- Take them to a baseball game.
- Go to the mall and have lunch at the food court.
- Play a board game (one of my favorites!).
PARENTS – They’re the number one influence in all areas of a teenager’s life, but especially with regards to faith. Having committed Christian parents enables a teenager to have a constant source of discipleship as well as a model of what the Christian life looks like on a daily basis. Find out why
ADULTS – The other members of a teenager’s church matter, whether they are “youth workers” or not. The support, advice, love and help they offer is essential to the faith development of a teenager. The more of these adults they have, the more likely they are devoted.
PRAYER – This goes way beyond simply praying before meals and bedtime. A relationship with poor communication will quickly sour. It’s the same with God. The more a student prays the more they are connected and committed to God.
SCRIPTURE – God has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word. In order to know Him you must know the Bible. This is more than just the who, what, when, where, why and how. A developing passion for God’s Word reflects a developing passion for God Himself.
VALUE – If a teenager doesn’t recognize a need for faith in their everyday life, then they will soon abandon that faith as emerging adults. Holding faith to be important is a very personal decision, yet seeing how valuable it is to others helps instill that same value in the life of a teenager.
BELIEFS – The less doubts a person possesses as teenager, the less doubts they will possess as an adult. This is true because this isn’t about blindly going along with whatever you’re told. This is about firmly knowing what you believe and how to back it up with why you believe it.
EXPERIENCES – God is a personal being who lovingly interacts with His people. The more a teenager personally experiences this divine interaction the more they come to love God and understand what it means to abide in Him for a lifetime.
via [Student Life]
By Angela Finch
Family Fun! Doesn’t that sound wonderful, but who has time? Between soccer practices, play rehearsal, piano lessons, church activities, grocery shopping, work and so many other demands, there is no time left to have fun. As parents, we want our children to remember good times, not just commitments, so why not purpose to have more fun. Hopefully, this article will give you some ideas that stimulate your own creativity.
Some things just happen spontaneously, but often times planning is needed. First, sit down together, as a family, and make a list of fun activities. You should list things that are inexpensive or free, such as playing a board game, a picnic in the back yard, catching fireflies, special milkshakes and a movie from the Redbox, or a squirt gun war. Then, list things that you could save for, such as a trip to play mini-golf, an ice cream outing, a movie, or an overnight trip. Ages and budgets vary with every household, but with planning, there is something for everyone. When something is really important to us, we usually put it in our schedule. Look at the calendar, and then choose a night that looks open for everyone.
Family traditions are another source of great memories for a child. Not only do children look forward to traditions, they often help develop a greater sense of belonging to the family through their family’s uniqueness. Be creative and begin with some simple ones. They may include a special birthday balloon, plate, or place mat for each family member, a scavenger hunt for a group gift on Christmas afternoon, a camp-out under the Christmas tree, a basket full of things each person has written that he is thankful for on Thanksgiving, or a fondue-dinner every New Year’s Eve. Whatever you choose, your children will anticipate that special event or holiday each year.
An article on fun would not be complete without a thought on laughter. What happens between childhood and adulthood that causes us to take life so seriously and lose so much of our laughter? Laughter releases stress, breaks down barriers, and helps us make it through difficult situations. Look for opportunities to laugh with your children. Find humor every day, let yourself laugh, then go out and have some fun!