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Navigating Sleepovers

Luckily, several families near us have started doing “late overs.” The kids all went over and watched movies and played games until around 9:30/10, then everyone went home.

How to Inspire Your Son with Scripture

Teaching your son about Bible heroes will inspire him to live like them. Will you run the race with heroic faith? Your example will earn you the privilege of asking your son to grasp the baton you are handing him so that he can continue this great relay race of Christian heroes through the ages.

40 Family Activities for Your Autumn Bucket List

Grab your mud boots and pumpkin spice latte, and let’s kick off the season with some fun things you and your family can do to ring in the season. Are you ready to make some memories? Below is a list of activities that are sure to put some smiles on your sweet little darling’s faces (and yours).

10 Easy Fall Crafts for You to Try

Autumn. Doesn't it bring the crisp delight of pumpkins, fall colors, and cozy sweaters? It's also the perfect time to pack away the summer decorations and crafts and pull out all the great fall projects you've been waiting for!There are so many fun and easy fall crafts to do. We've taken some time to pull together some easy ones that you can make without too much trouble, experience, and not a lot of clean up! Are you ready? Pull out your craft table and supplies, and let's get going!
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Alek Zotoff

Verses I Pray for My Children

Praying for our children is one of the most important things that we can do. Let’s look at some Bible verses we can pray in various situations. (Note: All verses are from the NIV but various translations may use wording that you prefer. A Bible app is an easy way to compare translations!)Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/tatyana_tomsickova

10 Powerful Prayers for the School Year

As our children go back to school, we throw ourselves into preparations. Instructions from teachers send us scurrying for supplies, including everything from notebooks to calculators to tissues. We shop for new school clothing, shoes, backpacks, and more. For those who don’t buy lunches at school, we stock the pantry with nutritious, easy-to-pack foods. With older students, we analyze class schedules to make sure our kids have the courses they’ll need for their next steps in life.By now, most of us have already posted first-day-of-school pictures on social media. We breathe a sigh of relief as transportation snafus finally resolve. The days fall back into routine after summer’s freedom. But have our preparations been enough?When we send our children to school, we allow others to influence them. We all can remember that special teacher who inspired and motivated us. Most of us also recall others, perhaps a coach or a bully, who devastated our self-image. The content of the curriculum itself shapes young minds and hearts. There’s no doubt our kids will encounter material that is contrary to God’s holiness. Despite our best efforts to shield them from the world, our children’s peers will expose them to all forms of ungodliness. And behind all those primary concerns, we wonder if the recent spate of mass shootings could make its way to our hometown.These transitional days back to school mark a critical need to lay a foundation of prayer for our children. Our best resource for prayer is the Bible because it contains God’s will for us. Meditate on the following verses and ten prayers for the school year. As you pray, include the names of your children to make them personal.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/SkynesherHere Are 10 Prayers for the School Year:

4 Things You Should Know about Camp Hideout

Camp Hideoutis an impressive "first film" from Called Higher Studios, which offers audiences a rare treat: a live-action, family-friendly PG comedy. Too often, family films in the comedy genre include elements -- coarse language and sexual innuendo, for example -- that have parents diving for the remote. There is none of that in Camp Hideout.

The Hard Truth about Mom Friendships

We know we need them, yet there is the underlying tension nobody really talks about when it comes to making mom friends. The hard truth (just going to go ahead and lay it out there up front) is that making mom friends is hard. Plain and simple.

5 Prayers for Your Middle School Child

Our peace cannot rely on how our children are behaving or performing. Jesus “Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). In all of the ups and downs of the middle school years, and the years that follow, we must solely find our strength in the Lord and lead our children to do the same.

5 Things I Wish My Daughter Knew

When my son was a few months old, my husband and I decided to try for a second child. It took over a year to get pregnant with our son, so we figured we had time. Much to my surprise, two short months later, I discovered I was pregnant! This meant my children would be 16 months apart in age. Talk about close! We opted to know the gender before birth, and we discovered it was a girl. If I'm honest, I had mixed emotions about that. I know what it was like with my mother growing up. We were a lot alike, so we often butted heads. I also worried about her safety and her relationships, but most importantly, her walk with God.Now that she's a senior in high school, here are some things I wish my daughter knew:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Lordn

Does Your Child Struggle with Perfectionism?

In a growth mindset, you focus on the progress you made yesterday or the previous attempt. You look back at where you came from and acknowledge the advancement. You are comparing yourself to you yesterday. By recognizing the improvement, you get even more excited about continuing forward. In a fixed mindset, you are looking to the people ahead of you doing it better, thinking, why am I even bothering? We want your perfectionist child to develop a growth mindset.

Popular Parenting Advice You Should Ignore

Parenting is an exhilarating, exhausting, and sacred task. Author Jodi Picoult beautifully describes the gift of a child: “Sometimes when you pick up your child, you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood. Finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”While it’s often easy to fall in love with our children, raising them is not so easy. The fear of getting it right is real, and children do not come with a manual. Thankfully, God wants to partner with us as we parent. What follows are six popular parenting myths. Learn why they’re problematic and how faith offers a different vantage point that can help your family soar.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

3 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Pre-K

If school hasn't already started, it's coming—fast! And for those of you with small children, you could be embarking on their first day of half-day or full-day Pre-K. Or, as my four-year-old was very insistent, we call it "4-K"— because four years and school is a very grown-up place to be.But how do we prepare our child for Pre-K? And not just the first day, but the first month, the first semester, the first year. What are the challenges? What can we as parents expect to navigate through these next several months? Are there steps we can take throughout the year to help our little ones with the culture shock of the classroom versus the living room?One of the things that we struggle with as parents, especially this first year of school, is that our children will be outside the safety zone of our nest at home. That means they will begin to face the infant-sized trials that will eventually become adult-sized as they age. The stages of being a baby and a toddler are over. We have now entered the era of navigating issues with our children, and that territory can be as new for us as it will be for them.You would hope it would be this way, but unfortunately, your little one will face the newness of a social environment that may not be altogether welcoming. Other children with personalities that collide, attitudes that affect, and behaviors that are unacceptable in your home will be part of your child's everyday life now. The routine from home to school will be markedly different, and while it's not necessarily a negative, it can have a huge emotional impact on the little ones. Their teacher may become their next best safe adult and emotional comforter, or they may feel ostracized and resistant to their teacher. This will be the first time they are being "assessed" by someone other than their parent, and the subtleties of this criticism—even if constructive and pleasant—will begin to shape how they receive instruction and view their personal performance and abilities.And then, there may also be the very real impact of leaving home for three to seven hours. This means no mommy or daddy nearby or no comforting grandparents or caregivers that they've been accustomed to. No. They are entering what to them is a big new universe of alien ideas, strangers, and belongings. Separation anxiety can be a real thing. It may not be an issue the first day or even the first week. You may find that separation becomes a deeper issue the longer the school year progresses and the more the child realizes that this new routine isn't changing anytime soon.So what can we do to prepare our kiddos for Pre-K?
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Drazen Zigic

5 Reasons Your Family Needs a List of Values

Does your family have a list of values, standards, and expectations you strive to live by? Maybe it is a family motto, a few phrases, or particular Bible verses that are often said to help lead and direct your family. Why is this important, you may ask? Valid question. Why I can’t speak for everyone, I can tell you how having a list of values has shaped our own family.When my husband and I became parents sixteen years ago, we needed as much help as we could get. We had a fussy baby that no matter how hard we tried, we could not sooth, and financial burdens were putting a strain on our marriage, causing fear to abound and tension to ensue. My sweet hubby kept saying no matter how hard this is, we must find joy. We clung to that and did our very best to seek out the joy in that season. But, it was often in those late nights when I was utterly exhausted and crying out to God in a voice only a mother could understand that God showed up, tenderly touching my heart, showing how the burdens I carried as a new mom could collide with joy. So, while choosing joy didn’t come easily, God made it possible.As our family has grown, we have taken on more values and changed or adopted new phrases to meet certain seasons of our lives. Understanding what we wanted for our family has always been important to us, but placing those values in our home in a tangible way has made it all the more meaningful. Having a list of values shows our children that while we may all fail and mess up from time to time, we are still called to do our best to build a Christ-centered home – together.In our home, our values tend to revolve around three key attributes: love, identity, and joy.-Always Show Love (John 15:12, Luke 6:31, Corinthians 16:14)-Remember Who You Are and Who You Follow (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 5:8, Galatians 4:7, Psalms 139:14)-Choose Joy (Psalm 16:11, Philippians 4:4, Romans 15:13)So, does your family need a list of values? Still wondering if it is a good fit for your family? Well, then read on and find out why it may be valuable, and discover a few values you may want to implement in your own home.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages
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