Tag - christian parenting

Fun and Easy Valentine’s Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate with kids. My girls love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, so basically they cover 4 out of 5 of the love languages. If you haven’t heard about love languages check out my blog post on Exploring Love Languages.

 

Because they have different love languages we do a few things both leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself. Here are just a couple new and old traditions that we partake in to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day Countdown – Make a paper chain, calendar countdown, or think of something creative to count your way down to Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what day you start but here are some ideas of what you and your family can do to count your way down to the 14th.

  • Hug someone in your family
  • Read John 3:16
  • Make a craft with hearts
  • Say one reason you love each member of your family
  • Help cook a family meal or treat in the shape of a heart
  • Look at pictures from past V-days
  • Help someone in need
  • Spend time with another family
  • Invite someone to church
  • Color pictures for extended family members
  • Write a letter to a missionary or military family
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Decorate your home with words of kindness


Valentine’s Day Tree

We found this Valentine’s Day Tree in the dollar section at Target. It was made for the classroom, but I find a lot of great items that we can use at home are teaching tools or made for school. I love how easy it is to love with words of affirmation and kindness using this simple decoration.

 

There’s also something similar on Amazon*, and of course you could make your own as well:

 

Now that I’ve shared a couple of things we do in our home, I would love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day. Share how you celebrate by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family

I know Advent has already started! I can’t believe it’s December already, not only because it was 70+ degrees here in North Carolina, but also because I don’t feel like it’s time for the end of this year. {Tell me I’m not the only one in this boat.}

In lieu of Advent, one of the most awesomest times of year that we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus and show even more love and kindness to those around us, our family likes to honor advent and count down the days until Christmas with a paper chain filled with fun activities and thoughtful acts as well.

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family MommyB

 

Here is our list {in no specific order} of things on our Advent chain.

  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Decorate the house {inside/outside}
  • Donate Food to a local food bank/cause
  • Make homemade presents
  • Wrap presents {with Christmas music and snacks of course}
  • Christmas Craft
  • Invite someone to church
  • Watch Christmas Movie {movie marathon or movie night}
  • Have a holiday playdate
  • Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday
  • Send Christmas Cards {kids help address, stuff, stamp}
  • Take gifts to civil servants, doctors, etc.
  • Head to our favorite botanical garden {we love Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens}
  • Visit a {live} nativity {we enjoyed Billy Graham Library’s festivities}
  • Read Christmas stories from the Bible and check out some great books our family likes to read.
  • Write a letter to Jesus {and leave it under your tree or read aloud and share as a family}
  • Go caroling with some friends in nearby neighborhoods or Senior Assisted living communities
  • Drive through your neighborhood or a neighborhood that’s known for it’s lights display
  • Make paper snowflakes and then display them
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their classmates {we made play dough one year}
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their teachers
  • Send a care package to missionaries, {we’re going to send ours to the Yon family}
  • Celebrate St. Nicholas Day, which just so happens to be my birthday. {Believe it or not the real St. Nicholas focused on giving more than receiving and so this day we plan on doing something kind for others}
  • Have a secret Santa with family or friends but instead of giving gifts write thoughtful notes or draw pictures.
  • Have a neighborhood night in {invite neighbors for yummy food and great fellowship}

Again, those are only a few ideas and the ones we’re using this year, it’s easy to find other ideas online as well.

 

I’d love to hear if you celebrate Advent and how you celebrate it. Also let me know if you decide to use any of these ideas too!!

Matthew 1:21 “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

Happy December!

Tips for Parenting a Fearful Child

There are many reasons that children are fearful. Some reasons are based on their age, some reasons are a reaction to an event, some reasons are learned, and some are just a part of that child’s personality.

God gives us the exact child(ren) that we are supposed to parent. He knows us and He knows that child and He doesn’t make mistakes.

I remember when my children were full of worry and had fears about bugs, animals, the day ahead of them, I asked their pediatrician if their fears were normal. Each time I asked he assured that it was okay and normal for them to feel the way they did.

Some part of me however felt like I needed to fix them, to take away their fears, and I found myself praying that I could find a solution to calm their anxiety.

God had a solution for me, it wasn’t what I expected though.

God reminded me that He made my children JUST THE WAY THEY ARE for a purpose. I don’t need to “fix” my kids, I don’t need to do anything other than pray for them, thank God for their strengths and realize what I might consider weakness God will bring blessings to His name through every part of them if they allow Him to.

My biggest piece of advice to parents of fearful children would be to remember God is in control and your child His child is exactly as they are meant to be.

There are ways to not change, but helping your kiddos through tough situations. Tools that can be helpful for them and you to use to calm down or remind them also to trust in God include:

Prayer – Help them create a prayer or elements of a prayer that they can say when they are worried or scared.

Communicate – Often times your fearful child may not want to talk when they are afraid, but remind them that you are available to listen and help if they feel comfortable in that moment.

Read – Grab your Bible and find verses on fear and print them out on an index card and post them where your child (and you) will see them.

Online websites, and books have a wealth of knowledge to help you parent and help your child. I especially like God is Always Good, this book is perfect for children ages 4-8 and helps to comfort children through showing different situations where they may be scared as well. I love that each situation also has a corresponding Bible verse that you can remind your child of.

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This is a really sweet book, and I really enjoyed reading it to my girls, but also the communication and questions that came up as we were reading were invaluable. Kids can even read to each other!

 

Tips for Parenting Fearful Children

{Read a few pages HERE and Buy your copy HERE}

 

Also enter here to win your copy:

 

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As a Tommy Mommy I received a copy of this book. I am not compensated and all opinions expressed in this post are, as usual, my own.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy

Lil’ C, who in my opinion is MUCH too young to be losing baby teeth {4 years 5 months}, lost her first baby tooth today. My heart dropped a couple of months ago when the dental hygienist said she had two wiggly teeth. My baby, growing up, and this is one of the major physical milestones. I couldn’t believe it.

 

Lil C Lost Tooth

 

Even though Miss A has lost several teeth hers didn’t come out quite so soon. Then again do we ever really feel comfortable with our kids growing up?!?

For the first lost tooth in our house we celebrate, the Tooth Fairy brings a small gift instead of money, because it’s a big deal you know?!

 

The big questions is: To Fairy or not to Fairy.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy - Teaching your child about holidays

 

While Miss A knew the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real we haven’t told Lil’ C about her true identity yet mostly because we didn’t realize she would lose a tooth this soon, plus we want to make sure she can keep that secret from other kiddos whose parents want them to believe.

 

We have several friends on both sides of the fairy fence. Some friends get really creative, some do not celebrate at all, some celebrate but in a unique way, and then some fall in the middle like we do with playing make-believe but the kids know in the end it’s us helping them celebrate in what we feel a fun way.

If you haven’t decided how you want to approach this with your kiddos, here’s our point of view only and be sure to take all into consideration.

We often play make believe and dress up in our home, and by often I mean on a 20-minute cycle, these girls ADORE dress up! So when deciding if we wanted to do the tooth fairy it really fell into that category.

When it comes to other holidays  like Christmas, we tell the girls about how Saint Nick was a real man and we focus on that story of the spirit of giving. At Christmas they get a few meaningful gifts from us, but we ultimately celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ Birthday, same with Easter, we don’t do Easter baskets or bunny, but we do have a few fun faith-based activities coming next Spring to celebrate and honor what Easter means for us.

When do the girls REALLY get to celebrate??? Lots of times, including missing teeth, we celebrate them on their birthdays’ that’s totally their day, we also celebrate milestones like first day/last days of school, and have impromptu glow stick parties and dates with our kiddos, trust me, these girls {and their parents} know how to make some awesome memories.

So if you ever feel that telling your kiddos the truth about the Tooth Fairy and other holidays will spoil the fun for them, it really doesn’t have to. And if you don’t tell your kiddos that’s fine too. There are so many great ways to celebrate special occasions and the day-to-day as well.  Let’s make our family time together the best it can be!!

 

Consider sharing how you and your family celebrate to give other new families, or families trying to decide their traditions ideas.

 

From the Makers of Veggie Tales comes Jelly Telly


From the makers of Big Idea, Veggie Tales, 3,2,1 Penguins, and more fun Christian programming comes…… JELLY TELLY!!

Since my introduction to Veggie Tales at Sunday School, (as a high-schooler,) I have loved these cute crudites! Bob and Larry made me laugh while reminding me about the simple things that God is constantly teaching us. Even though these animated story tellers were geared towards children it’s easy for anyone to catch on, and end up rolling on the floor laughing.

I knew that when I had children I would want them to watch Veggie Tales too. So, I asked for the videos at each holiday and bought a few myself. Most of them are VHS but someday I’ll work towards a DVD set.

Just this year we found out that Veggie Tales are now…”On TV!!!” It’s basically a new introduction and lead into the story but they’ve kept most of the same stories to teach Sunday Morning values.

Jelly Telly is a fun website that features Christian media, including games and videos. It’s a great way to get more of the great message of the Bible to our youngsters. Co-Creator of Big Idea, Phil Vischer wants to “Bring the Bible to Life.” Not only are they providing great materials but they’re also inspiring and hiring upcoming new Christian children media designers. Which I think is pretty cool.

They have everything from animation to puppets to human actors. I feel like they have something for everyone, so if you get a chance to go to their website: Jelly Telly
check out some of the fun characters and creations.


Also for those of you Veggie fans Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah’s Umbrella will be released in the U.S. and Canada on DVD on July 31st in Christian bookstores and August 1st in the general market.