How to help a child deal with pet death

how to help a child deal with pet death

5 tips that will help you learn how to help a child deal with pet death, plus one helpful children’s book on pet loss. My heart sank when I walked into the room and saw the fish floating at the top of the tank.  After rushing the tank out of the room, I gently shook my boys awake.  “I have some sad news for you, sweeties. Fishy died last night.” My normally-stoic 7 year old flipped onto his belly and began to bawl. I climbed up into the top bunk and lay beside him, letting his hot tears fall into my hands.  He had bought the little beta fish with his own money. His favorite pastime was to watch the colourful little guy swoop and swirl in the water. And now his little friend was floating belly up, eyes glazed over. The death of a pet fish can seem very … Read More

Helping kids learn how to love Jesus more than anything

contemplative child

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the contemplative style is likely a very loving child, and maybe has even sensed God’s love for them. They might spend a lot of time thinking, and can easily imagine God as a friend. But how can you help your contemplative child learn how to love Jesus more than anything? Watch the video to find out, or read the transcript below! “Look mommy! I made a journal.”  My 6 year old son thrust several sticky notes in my face. On each page he had drawn hearts around a word. One page had the word “God” in the middle, another had the word “nature”, and still another, “family”. This boy has a deep sense of the love of God for others. A philosopher named James K.A. Smith says that “humans are not fundamentally thinking beings. We’re not even primarily … Read More

6 Crucial College Transition Issues You Didn’t Think Of…Yet

college transition issues

It’s a pleasure to welcome Crystal Chiang to the blog today, sharing about something I will eventually need: helping your child transition to college! Crystal is the executive director of student curriculums at Orange. She is the co-author of The Art of Group Talk: How to Lead Better Conversations with Teenage Girls (Orange Books, April 2018), a resource for small group leaders. Check out her brand new devotional book for college students: Starting Now: A 30-Day Guide To Becoming Who You Want to Be In College. (check it out on Amazon in any country here or on Amazon.com below) It would make a great gift! Helping your child transition from one phase to the next is never easy. You probably remember the first day of kindergarten, of middle school or of driving. Chances are, at each phase, you found yourself asking the same, very important, question: Are they ready? In elementary school, the answer … Read More

Audacious simplicity: How the ascetic lifestyle can help your child love God and the world

Quiet ascetic child

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the ascetic lifestyle is likely a very thoughtful child, and may not be interested in sensory ways of engaging with God and the Bible. You could also think of this child as the minimalist. But when natural ascetics live a life of astounding simplicity, generosity, and sacrifice, the world can change for the better! Watch the movie or read the transcript (plus a few extra ideas) below for an astounding example of a famous ascetic Christian who changed the world. A few months ago, we did a family foot-washing ceremony to help our boys connect with what Jesus did at the Last Supper. One of our boys refused to participate. At first I tried to encourage him, but we both grew frustrated as he became more determined not to participate and I became more determined to make him … Read More

The Christian Parent’s Guide To Encouraging Child Activism

child activism for the environment

Child activism may seem like a misnomer, but some kids are hardwired to be activists. Let’s guide their justice-minded hearts toward helping others! “I’ll call it Creative Kids For Compassion,” he stated at the dinner table. “Huh?” I had no idea what he was talking about. As usual. This child has a prolific inner life and his brain is usually on overdrive. “My new organization! We can sell our stories and raise money for kids who don’t have clean water.” Well, melt my heart and call me a puddle. That night, he sat down to finish writing a story, which he then proceeded to illustrate and type. His 6 year old brother was inspired to write his own story, and Creative Kids For Compassion was born.  Over the next several months, the boys sold their books both online and in person. Twice they stood outside for hours on a freezing … Read More

How To Help The World As A Kid

how to help the world as a kid: superhero kid!

Wondering how to help the world as a kid, or help your justice-minded child help the world while worshipping God? Read on… Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the activist style is one with a very strong sense of justice. They might become frustrated by unfairness on the playground or at the dinner table. How can you help your justice-minded child to connect with God through standing up for justice? My son came home in a huff one day. According to him, all the other classes at school had the chance to play drums in music class, but his class only got to play the ukulele. He was furious over the injustice of it all. The icing on the cake of frustration came when he told his teacher he was interested in playing drums, and she simply said, “no.”  My justice-minded child couldn’t handle … Read More

Surviving Summer Trips Without Screen Time: The Best Audiobooks for Families

best audiobooks for families

Check out this enormous list of the best audiobooks for families! You won’t regret listening to stories instead of vegging with screens. We bought our minivan used, so we didn’t have the option of a built-in DVD player. For our first family vacation with 3 kids, we installed a portable DVD player, proud that we had joined the 21st century with our parenting moves. Only it turned out to be a BAD move. The kids begged for movies from the first moment they stepped in the van, were quiet for a big while the DVD was on, then were SUPER cranky anytime the movies turned off. I hated it. To me, the temporary quiet wasn’t enough to override the awful attitude my kids had before/after watching their movies in the van. Here’s what we did instead So we dumped the DVD player and started making much better use of our … Read More

How To Connect Your Intellectual Child With God With One Simple Question

intellectual child learning

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the Intellectual style is one who probably loves to learn! But how can you help your keen learner connect with God through what they’re learning, even if it’s not a strictly spiritual topic? My eldest son loves to learn about specific topics. He goes through phases of obsession. For a while it was sharks, then magic tricks. His current obsession is stop-motion animation.  While it’s easy to just let him direct his own learning obsessions, I can point out how his interests relate to eternal things and give him material that piques his curiosity.  But all truth is God’s truth, so I believe that if you take the time to find out what truly interests your child, you can help them find ways to tune into God through that interest.  One perfect question One simple question you can … Read More

5 ways to help an intellectual child grow in faith

intellectual child

 When I was a teenager, our church had a little Christian bookstore in it. One summer I received a gift card for the store, so I went in and bought myself a big old concordance. It was so heavy I had to carry it with two arms. My friend thought I was crazy, but I knew it would help me understand the Bible better.  What Is An Intellectual? Some children share my deep curiosity and find it easy to dive deep into topics that interest them. (Read about my experience with being an Intellectual in this article on how to love God with all your mind!) The topics may not appear to be “intellectual” as an adult sees them, though. In fact, it may look more like an obsession with dinosaurs or bacteria, but children who love to learn often connect with God in the same way. These kids may … Read More

The Introverted Mom’s Summer Survival Guide

introverted mom surviving the summer (barely)

I’m an introverted mom. There, I said it. Maybe you can identify? For us introverts (and probably even a lot of extroverts) sometimes those long days of summer where all the kids are home can seem more like an eternity. The kids chatter in our ears all day, demanding popsicles, books, activities, attention, popsicles, stories, food, drinks, bandaids, popsicles, and peacemaking. Did I mention the popsicles? All that noise truly wears on a introverted mom, and it can feel like all we want to do is: a) hide in the bathroom orb) sign the kids up for summer school. But let’s face it: our kids want our attention in the summer, and that’s a good thing! Instead of just booting them outside every chance we get, let me tell you how I set up my home for a successful summer. On a related note, check out this highly recommended new release … Read More