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

5 Life-Changing Tips to Help Kids Sleep 

get your kids to sleep

Help kids sleep (and get more yourself) with these 5 life-changing tips. My son’s little face scrunched as he greedily sucked down his meal. The smell of milk breath and sweet baby skin mingled, but I wasn’t focused on the moment. Instead, the rocker moved quicker and quicker, my feet unable to stop pushing. I had just heard that my friend’s baby, born the same week as mine, was sleeping peacefully for 8 hours at a time. Mine still woke up every hour or two, which, while it was a big improvement from his previous longest sleeps of 40 minutes, was a far cry from 8 hours.  Why couldn’t I get my baby to sleep when she obviously could? I was the one who had an older child; I felt like I should be better at this.  But the mystery remained. All babies seem to sleep a little different. There … Read More

 8 Prayers to Help a Child With Anxiety

child and parent praying, prayers to help with anxiety

8 prayers to help a child with anxiety, based on the Bible. My cell phone chimed just as I sat down to drink my coffee. It was the school.   As soon as I picked up, my son’s complaint came through: “Mommy, I’m sick.” The scent of coffee teased me as I closed my eyes and sighed. “What kind of sick?” “My tummy hurts.” The school receptionist came on the line. “Yeah,” she apologized, “there’s something going around. Lots of the kids have been hit with this one.” I nodded, set the warm mug on the desk, and went to get my jacket. So much for my work morning. It was too early to tell, but I wondered if his stomachache had more to do with his thoughts than with germs.  HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANXIETY Sure enough, he perked up soon after I picked him up. Occasionally … Read More

A Comprehensive Guide For How To Help Kids With Separation Anxiety

How to help kids with separation anxiety succeed in life. My 4-year-old has a surprisingly strong grip when he doesn’t want to go somewhere. For the past few months, dropping him off at his Thursday daytime had become a wrestling match. He wrapped himself around any vulnerable-looking body part…legs, arms, and neck were all fair game. I tried to entice him with games, friends, and the occasional bribe, but he would have none of it. He knew Mommy was leaving so he was going to hold on with the strength of a baby koala. If you have kids, or work with kids, or were recently a kid, you probably can instantly tell that my son was dealing with separation anxiety.  SEPARATION ANXIETY IS A GOOD THING As a mom, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that separation anxiety means I’ve done something wrong.  On the contrary, a … Read More

How to Fight Anxiety With Gratitude

how to fight anxiety

How to fight anxiety using this powerful skill. A blast of cold air came in with my son as he stomped in the door. He dumped his backpack and jacket on the floor. When I reminded him where they belonged, he glared at me and snarled a reply. At my rebuke, he began to sob.  It’s not easy to tuck an angry, sobbing child into your arms, but I did so anyway, making him cry all the harder.  I guided him to the couch. We sat together. He cried, and I summoned up all the patience I could muster while also putting mentally putting together my supper meal plan. “What’s going on?” I asked, when the sobs had simmered down a bit.  Still sniffling, he choked out his response.  There had been a fight on the playground, and a friendship had been declared to be over. Just like that. “I’m … Read More

The Secret Ingredient In Habit Change

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward. Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits. In the previous lessons I shared the brain science behind creating a brand new habit, which we applied to family breakfast time. We also talked about how to change an old habit like a child’s bedtime. But sometimes it’s just too hard to start a new habit, or too daunting to think about changing an entire bedtime routine, which is why we look for keystone habits that initiate great change in our families.  Full series: The Power of Simple Spiritual Habits Starting a Brand New Habit … Read More

How To Sweeten Your Family Life With This Keystone Habit

keystone habits cover pic

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward. Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits. In the previous lessons, I shared the brain science behind creating a brand new habit, which we applied to family breakfast time. We also talked about how to change an old habit like a child’s bedtime. WE NEED THIS SPECIAL KIND OF HABIT But sometimes it’s just too hard to start a new habit, or too daunting to think about changing an entire bedtime routine.  That’s when we turn to keystone habits. Keystone habits are very simple habits that have the power to unlock huge changes … Read More

How To Change An Old Habit

change an old habit

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward.  Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits.  In the previous lesson I taught the brain science behind creating a brand new habit. So now let’s talk about how to change a habit.  THE BEDTIME HABIT For example, let’s talk about bedtime. What is your family’s bedtime routine? Some people have awesome bedtime routines, but for a lot of families, bedtime is frustrating. Everyone’s tired and cranky, and kids know how to push mom and dad’s buttons. Parents want to just chuck their kids and shut the door but kids want to get 18 … Read More

How to start a new habit

starting a new habit

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson, I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward. Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits.  So let’s talk about how to start a new habit. I’m going to give the example of reading the Bible at breakfast time because it’s a habit I struggled to start. I wanted to, but I didn’t know how. You can apply these same principles to ANY habit you wish to start from scratch. So here’s where I started: I would wake up after my children then I would rush around grabbing food and changing diapers and helping kids get dressed and emptying the dishwasher then … Read More

The Power of Simple Spiritual Habits

power of simple spiritual habits

Spiritual habits can be an incredibly powerful influence on our lives. Read on to find out why.  Last week, I walked into a McDonalds with my husband. I ordered a salad, and he ordered a big juicy burger and poutine. The next day he was bemoaning his horrible food choice because he felt so crummy afterward.  But I don’t think what he ordered was truly a choice.  THE POWER OF HABIT Way back in 1892, William James, an American psychologist said “all our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits”. More recently, scientific studies have shown that 40% of all our behavior is actually automatic habits, not actual decisions.  A habit is something that started as a conscious decision, but eventually, our brains just turned it into what’s a “habit loop” – we stop making a choice and we just do it. My … Read More