Tips on Parenting from Seasoned Christian Parents

Learn from a few of my own mentors some tips on parenting when you’re trying to raise children with a Christian up-bringing.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

FIND A PARENTING MENTOR

When I was pregnant with my first child, we were fortunate enough to have a church that offered several parenting classes. We went through a program called Parenting from the Tree of Life (from the same authors of Baby Wise) and I feel like more than anything, the class was worth it because of the encouragement we received.

I was a full time teacher about to leave my job to become a stay at home mom. We were worried about the financial strain this would bring on in addition to how I would be able to socialize when all of my friends still worked. They calmed a lot of our fears when they admitted they went through the same things and shared wonderful experiences we would have along the way.

The year I had my son, our women’s ministry launched a brand new class called Navigating Motherhood, which was simply a Bible study time with other new moms. Each group discussion was led by an elder’s wife or someone in the church who had gone through the stages of parenting and was there to encourage this new generation of parents to lean into the Lord.

I learned so much from those years. We didn’t get a secret formula, because we all know one size does not fit all. But what we did get was a group of mentors we could trust and turn to when we were feeling overwhelmed or that we were doing it all wrong. We have cried with these mentors, prayed with them and eaten meals at their homes.

If you have someone in your life who is older and has raised children you admire, reach out to them! Ask them to coffee or let them know you admire them and would love their advice in your parenting! Many times older women want to invite you over to talk or will stop by to help you clean up or give you a break from holding a crying baby.

TIPS ON PARENTING FROM OLDER MENTORS

In the meantime, I want to share some advice from the older moms (aka grandmas) in our Navigating Motherhood class that they shared with us years ago that I still refer to as a mom of elementary and middle school kids.

What’s the Best Parenting Tip You Want to Give Younger Women?

  • Connect with your child by discovering where they open up easiest (restaurant, exploring, shopping, taking a walk, sporting event).
  • Let your children know you’re committed to your marriage. They don’t need to know everything about your struggles, just that you’re committed to one another.
  • Get involved with your kids’ activities (Volunteer in the youth group, coach a team, teach their Bible school class).
  • Go on service trips to teach your children to be servants (nursing home, mission trips, etc).
  • Stay in your walk with God because your children are watching what you do! Be consistent, be a role model, leave verses around on post its, etc.
  • Set family goals! Remember what you’re trying to accomplish with your kids and live it out.
  • Focus on prayer to you keep going. Have one on one time with God even if it’s only five minutes.
  • Go to God first before you make decisions.
  • Have a bedtime routine. Lay down with them at night, read to them, pray with them, and talk over the day.
  • Visualize the great things your child will do! Believe you’re raising the leaders of the next generation, because someone’s doing it! Believe it’s you!
  • Communicate God’s delight in your children. So much of the time, they think we delight in them because of their performance which gets in the way of demonstrating God’s grace and unconditional love.
  • Have fun together! Unplug, set the phone down! How often are you telling kids to ”hold on a minute”? Get on the floor and enjoy your time with your children.

What’s the One Parenting Tip You Wish Someone Would Have Told You?

  • Study their heart instead of behavior so you can know why they do things.
  • Address what your child needs rather than what others think about your parenting.
  • Begin with the end in mind. What do you want your child to look like when they’re 18?
  • Share your struggles with others. Be real or you’ll fall into the trap of isolation even when you’re surrounded by people. If someone else’s family looks perfect, you don’t know them well enough!
  • Dictate less and disciple more. Remember each child is different.
  • Use the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask him for help–he will give you confidence!
  • Don’t leave the teaching of God to others–do it yourself! Work on virtues at home (humility, empathy, gifts of the Holy Spirit).
  • Don’t overload your kids with activities to keep up with everyone else. Keep it simple–what are your kids’ needs?
  • Don’t concentrate on your mistakes, just grab the next opportunity to do better!

What Did You Do Right as a Mother?

  • Tried to do something fun everyday (laughed together and enjoyed my kids).
  • Got involved in their activities (retreats, taught class, mission trips, met their friends).
  • Picked my children’s heroes (invited over other adults that resembled who I wanted my kids to be like when they got older).
  • Used activities to teach service (tried to make everything centered around what God wanted for us).
  • Modeled church community as very important by getting involved and inviting kids and parents over.
  • Stayed married! We worked through things, and grew together as a couple.
  • Taught my child to have their own relationship with the Lord by having my own relationship with the Lord.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WITH THIS PRINTABLE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT WORKBOOK

One of the most helpful things I learned in class was to make your family rules based on the “Fruit of the Spirit”. Back then, I didn’t know what they were, but now I know them so well, we refer to them often! The Fruit of the Spirit is based on Galatians 5:22-23 where the Bible teaches us how we can grow spiritually when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

“The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” - Galatians 5:22-23

Last year, I went ahead and created an entire 10-week workbook for each of my kids to focus on these character traits. You can find it in my shop and print one for each of your children! Each purchase includes:

  • Fruit of the Spirit Verse Coloring Page
  • 9 Themed Choice Boards
  • 9 Bible Story discussion prompts
  • Fruit of the Spirit Tree Activity
  • 9 Memory Verse Pages with activities
  • 9 Journaling Pages for Weekly Reflection

Grab yours here:

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You’ve got this!

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Spring Bucket Activities List Printable for the Entire Family

Get your free printable Spring Bucket List of fun, family-friendly activities to do this March through May with your kids.

*Originally posted February 2021*

Spring bucket list
Spring bucket list

GOOD-BYE WINTER!

I don’t know about you, but I am DONE with this winter weather. After living through Snowvid last week here in Texas, I am ready to see some fresh buds on the trees.

We bought our kids roller blades this weekend and watching them learn brought back so many memories of playing outside as a kid. There is such joy in the simplicity of childhood. I love to bring those times back to life with my bucket lists I’ve created for my kids. They provide a way to stay intentional in playing with my children each day.

The spring invites us to a new start, a clean slate. And after 2020 (and an unfortunate start to 2021), I could use a little fresh spring air.

PRINT YOUR SPRING ACTIVITIES BUCKET LIST

Whether you’re motivated to start some spring cleaning or get outside more with your kids, I’ve got the list to fill your spring days with fun!

Get a head a start on spring as you work your way through this list with your kids over the next three months. Don’t worry, take a picture with a creepy Easter bunny did not make the cut…

To grab this FREE bucket list (plus all the other seasons!), subscribe to my email list and I’ll send you the *secret* code to get into my ENTIRE printable library!

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For over 50 printable activities for your family all year long, check out my Intentional Traditions and Celebrations Set in my shop!

For more posts on family fun, read:

Happy Spring!

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Print this 18 Day Easter Story for Kids Activity

Read through the life of Jesus after his birth in Bethlehem to his ministry, death and resurrection in this Easter Story activity for kids!

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

TEACHING THE EASTER STORY TO YOUR KIDS

We spend a lot of time focusing on the birth of Jesus in December, but when Easter rolls around, simply jumping to Jesus’ resurrection leaves a lot overlooked.

While I hope I do a good job throughout the year, I think it would be helpful to my kids to teach the life of Jesus, not just his birth, death and resurrection.

A few years ago I found out about Resurrection Eggs, which were a cute idea, in that you open one egg each night and take out some sort of token to represent what you’re reading. This cutesy little exercise soon backfired and I was dealing with topics I wasn’t ready to address to my toddler. The story only covered Jesus’ death and resurrection, so half of the eggs were filled with things like a nail, whip, crown of thorns…

There’s a time and place to have these discussions with your kids about the realities of what happened to Jesus, but I felt like the purpose of the eggs turned into a dark guilt trip for kids. So, not to skip over the importance of the crucifixion, but if you’re trying to teach littles about the Bible, we certainly don’t need to go into details like the brutal mistreatment of women in the Old Testament and the beheading of Goliath after David defeats him with a slingshot.

Plus I want to emphasis the importance of Jesus’ life, not just the beginning and “end” of his story. Learning how he lived day to day and how he treated people will help them understand the why of the cross. It brings even greater joy when they hear about his resurrection!

COUNTDOWN TO EASTER

As a more age-appropriate way to teach little children about the story of Easter, I’ve created an 18 day set of printable ornaments to hang each night on your very own Easter tree. You can read a story each night or do them on your own schedule. After you read the story, hang up a matching ornament on an Easter story tree just like you would at Christmas. I found this cute one a few years ago, but here is one on Amazon I love as well:

Each of my printable ornaments have a picture that goes with the passage from the Bible. Here is an overview of the stories covered and their excerpts:

  1. Jesus is Born (Luke 2:1-21)
  2. In the Temple as a Boy (Luke 2:41-52)
  3. Jesus Baptized (Matthew 3:13-17)
  4. Jesus Tempted (Matthew 4:1-11)
  5. The 12 Apostles (Luke 6:12-16)
  6. Jesus’ Miracles (Luke 5:12-26)
  7. Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-16)
  8. Jesus’ Parables (Luke 8:4-15)
  9. Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
  10. Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-11)
  11. Jesus Anointed (Matthew 26:6-13)
  12. The Last Supper (Luke 22:14-23)
  13. Judas Betrays Jesus (Luke 22:47-53)
  14. Jesus’ Trial (Luke 23:1-25)
  15. Jesus Crucified (Luke 23:26-56)
  16. The Resurrection (Luke 24:1-12)
  17. Jesus Visits People (Luke 24:13-35)
  18. Jesus’ Ascension (Luke 24:36-53)

Included in the set are 18 color ornaments and 18 black and white in case your kids want to color their own. You can also print it as many times as you want if each kids wants their own tree!

You can read the verses on the ornaments as you go, or for young kids, I recommend using a children’s Bible and working your way through Jesus’ entire life. I love the Beginner’s Bible for toddlers through elementary school kids.

ORDER YOUR EASTER STORY TREE SET

Your purchase includes:

  • 4 pages of ornaments
  • 18 color
  • 18 black and white

I recommend cardstock for printing, but it’s not required. Poke a hole in the x and thread string (or for a shortcut use paper clips!)

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I love creative ways to teach kids about the Bible and I look forward to sharing more of these with you this year. For more posts like this, check out:

He is risen!

WANT TO LIVE YOUR DAYS WITH MORE INTENTION? SIGN UP HERE TO GET INSTANT ACCESS TO MY FREE PRINTABLES: