Hello ladies and happy Friday! Welcome to my first addition of "Friday Favorites!" Every so often I'll be putting out a new addition of Friday Favorites. It may be anything from books, meals, podcasts, articles, etc. But first up, we'll be tackling Parenting Resources. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of everything my husband and I have used in our nearly 12 years of parenting, but each one has proven exceptionally useful in our family and I hope they will prove the same for you! So without further ado...
TOOLS FOR DEVOTIONS:
1) DAILY BIBLE READING
There's really no better way of getting devotionals in with your kids than by reading the word of God alongside them. We began doing our church's Daily Bible Reading program with our girls when they were in 1st and 2nd grade. We typically will listen to the Bible read to us in the car on the way to school and then everyone in the car shares their favorite part (and why) or, they can ask a question about something they didn't understand. This has spurred on some of the greatest and most fruitful conversations as a family! You can access the current daily Bible reading program we are doing here.
2) TINY THEOLOGIANS
I just recently discovered Tiny Theologians at the beginning of this school year. This company puts out sets of cards that cover theology, discipleship, church history, and missions. The way we are utilizing this tool in our home is that every morning, the girls each choose one card from whichever set we are currently working through (right now, it's the Names of God). They each read a card from the set and then we spend some time talking about it. We do this in the morning at the kitchen table as they are eating breakfast before school. Additionally, because our girls are in upper elementary and middle school, I also make them think through and discuss how they are to live in light of who God is. I would only recommend this step for children who are in 5th grade or above as this will be more challenging for children who have not yet developmentally reached the age of being able to think abstractly. However, if you do have younger children you can still use this tool with them and then you lead them in thinking through how we are to live in light of who God is. After we are done with this devotional time we spend time praying together before we get in the car and head to school. The entire process lasts at the absolute most 15 minutes (typically it's 10 minutes), so this is a very achievable way to get in those morning devotionals with your children.
Additionally, Tiny Theologians just launched their advent card set which is focusing on The Family Tree of Christ. We are excited to go through that this December!
3) THE RADICAL BOOK FOR KIDS
The Radical Books for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith by Champ Thornton is exactly that...a RAD book! This book is filled with chapter after chapter of interesting topics from deeper looks at various theological truths, to the Hebrew alphabet, to apologetics topics, studies of Bibliology, etc. The way we utilize this book in our home is that anywhere from 2-4 nights a week my husband will sit down with the kids and read through a chapter of this book. They will then spend time discussing what they've learned and how it can be applied to their lives. Our girls also love to take notes on what they are reading so they each have their own notebook that they take notes in for every chapter. This book is engaging, interesting, and captivating for the entire family. We are all loving going through it! This book is recommended for ages 8 and up, and I definitely agree with that assessment.
TOOLS FOR CORRECTING:
WISE WORDS FOR MOMS
Wise Words for Moms is a flip chart that is one of the most helpful tools I have when it comes time to disciplining and correcting my children. Inside is a list of common sinful behaviors and attitudes along with associated Bible verses for each. I often have my children memorize the verse of whatever sinful action or attitude they are struggling with and repeat it to me during moments of discipline. It's a quick reference tool that helps me teach my children God's word and how they are to behave in light of God's commands to us.
1) RAISING MEN, NOT BOYS
In his book, “Raising Men, Not Boys: Shepherding Your Sons to be Men of God“ Pastor Mike Fabarez gives biblical and practical advice for raising our boys to become the men that God has designed them to be. This book is full of godly, pastoral advice and helpful practices for moms and dads to put into place. Although the title of the book and some of the specifics are definitely geared to sons, many of the principles can be applied to raising a young woman as well. This is such a helpful book that I will return to again and again as we raise our boy to become a man!
2) SPIRITUAL PARENTING
“Spiritual Parenting” by Charles Spurgeon is an encouraging and convicting book to read both as a parent and as someone who serves in Kids Ministry. I highly recommend this book to all parents and anyone who serves with children or students. This book is also written with a voice of pastoral care and concern and is impossible to read without be stirred up to diligently teach the next generation the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
3) SAY GOODBYE TO WHINING, COMPLAINING, AND BAD ATTITUDES
I was so thankful that I read this book early on in parenting. Since the first time I read it, when my girls were about 3 and 4, I have read this book 3 more times. Each time has proven helpful and refreshing as we have sought to train our girls (and now our boy). This book stresses how to teach children to honor others and the many implications that come with it. I have no doubt that I will return to this book yet again within a year or two for more helpful reminders and refreshers.
Again, this is not an exhaustive list of all the parenting tools we have ever used in our home but these are the ones that we are currently loving and others that have had the biggest impact. Additionally, we are not perfect parents, nor do we have perfect kids. We are simply striving to diligently teach and train the arrows God has given us.
The most effective parenting tool is prayer. Apart from Christ we can do nothing, so may we approach all our parenting, and the tools we use, by first asking God to grant us success and wisdom in raising the children he has entrusted to our care.