The Importance of Planning Ahead


When it comes to preparing our children to go out with friends or dating, it all starts with a plan. If you’re reading this and your child is small, the temptation is to think that this article doesn’t apply to you, yet.  Think again.  This is the time to think and plan for the future. Otherwise this time of training will sneak up on you and you will be unprepared.

Sit down with your spouse, or if you are a single parent, a trusted friend who shares your convictions.  Begin by setting age limits for various social activities.  Decide what age you will allow your child to: go out with friends alone, date, go out with a friend driving, go on a date with a date driving, ect. These may seem simple, but if you wait to think through these parameters, your child will be asking permission before your prepared to give the answers.  As those time periods approach sit down again and decide what your family social interaction rules are.  Set up a list of rules and the consequences if those rules are broken.  This way you can sit with your child and be able to talk to them about your expectations and consequences if they break the rules in these areas.  This will begin to help set up an open communication about the potentially difficult and frustrating parenting decisions about your child’s social interactions away from home.

The Importance of Planning Ahead2010-05-02T13:29:36-04:00

Easter Traditions


What are some fun Easter family traditions?   There are many fun traditions that we can start as families to prepare families for the Easter Holiday.   Parents can explain the standard tradition of dyeing eggs by sitting around the table together.  There are varying theories as to why we dye eggs, but it is a tradition in Greece and Syria to give eggs dyed red as gifts to represent Jesus death and resurrection.  Families today can use the egg dyeing experience to share the gospel, that we receive beautiful new life in Christ. The eggshell also represents the “cracking open” of Christ’s tomb to bring out our new life.  Ask the children what they think the eggs mean concerning the Easter story.

Continuing on with that tradition, hosting a neighborhood Easter egg hunt is another fun activity that allows the gospel to be presented.

Baking and decorating cookies is also a very fun memory maker.  You can also easily make fun candy, as well.  A great tradition to start is wrapping up all of your homemade baked goods and taking them to a nursing facility on Easter weekend.  On holidays that can become centered on what I get, it is a great reminder to be able to give.  That helps us to focus on the true meaning behind Easter and the amazing gift we were given- Eternal Life.

Easter Traditions2010-03-13T13:10:46-04:00

Focusing on Easter


Easter can’t be treated like just another holiday.  It is the foundation for our faith.  Our churches spend countless hours preparing for a ministry opportunity to reach out to the lost.  Why don’t we do this as families? An incredible amount of time is spent leading up to and preparing for Christmas.  Easter should be the same… or even bigger.

Some use a “Lent season” to prepare for Easter. A time when a family chooses to give up something to prepare your focus and heart in the weeks leading up to Easter.  The challenge is to transfer this lesson to children in a way they can understand?

There are many traditions that can be started around the Easter season to help bring the Easter story to a level children can understand.  We will be discussing a few of them over the next few days.

Something to think about as a family is, how do we share the Easter story with those around us?  Is there something that you can do in your community to honor Jesus, and be His ambassador as a family during this holiday season?

Focusing on Easter2010-03-13T13:05:01-04:00

Entertainment on a Budget


Sadly, many of our children today have a very entitled attitude.  The media plays some part in this but let’s face it, our parenting has the most effect on a child’s attitude.  Again, a time we can fight this attitude is our activities over a break.  We don’t have to entertain our children to death or spend bundles of money doing it.

All this takes is a little creativity, and of course, some planning.  Plan a day centered on a book to read to your children, like The Chronicles of Narnia, for example. Even food or snacks for the day could relate to the book.  Then sit down together and read the whole book, start to finish.

For younger children, little crafts are fun and inexpensive.  Instead of going to the movies, watch one of the favorites at home with darkened windows and popcorn.  Parks are usually free during the week pack a picnic and spend the day exploring.

Ultimately what your children really want is you! Like we have said in the past those days of time spent, rather than money spent, will be the memories that they carry with them into adulthood!

Let us know your creative and free entertainment ideas!!

Entertainment on a Budget2010-03-06T14:35:15-04:00

Making Evenings Count


With the economy the way it is, it is difficult for families to make ends meet.  Many families have to work as hard as they can, so the thought of a break adds even more stress. Younger children are at camps or daycare during the day.  To parents that have to work, this may add extra guilt because they would rather be home enjoying their child’s time off.

Choose to make your evenings count.  Like we talked about yesterday, choose to not allow your TV to dominate your family entertainment.  Because it’s a break, allow your kids to stay up a little bit later so you can take full advantage of those evenings home.   Take some added stress off of your plate by allowing each child to take a night and choose the family’s activity.   This allows each child not only the experience of planning and feeling important, but also the lesson of choosing to be excited about doing something they may not completely want to do.

On this break, break the school year rules. Let them stay up later and have fun.

Making Evenings Count2010-03-06T14:30:05-04:00

Family Fun


Does your family depend on TV for entertainment?  What would happen if you turned off your TV?  Like many others, your family may not even know how to talk to each other let alone have fun together. Use this break.  A break is a great time to try something new. Turn your TV off for at least 24 hrs.  Have a family TV fast.  If you use your TV a lot, be prepared for some whining and complaining but have no fear, this is where the plan comes into play.

You can sit with your family the night before the TV fast, and if your children are older, take a family vote for creative ideas for family night.  Kids that have a piece of the planning tend to be more excited and invested.

If your kids are younger be creative and be sure to communicate excitement.  Family game nights or tournaments, complete with snacks, are always fun.  Make your own ice cream creation.  Family picnics are also great memory makers.  If you get off work to late to go out for a picnic, you can always create a family picnic right there on the floor of your living room.

These kinds of simple family events are the things they remember!

Family Fun2010-03-06T14:26:27-04:00

The Plan


Creating a plan is necessary for many aspects of life but essential for parenting.  Having a plan makes many areas of parenting easier, such as discipline, time management, ect.   When the children have big chunks of unscheduled time a plan is even more important.   A plan helps us meet goals for the break, rather than waste time and get as frustrated.

Create a basic plan.  What is the goal for the break is it to get things accomplished? Is it to do several family activities or traditions? Is it to teach a life skill to your children?  There are several ideas for break that we will be fleshing out over the next few days so that by the time the break hits you will be able to keep your sanity.

For the family that both parents are employed outside the home, as well as the single family home, the concept of the plan is absolutely necessary.   You’ve heard it before: To fail to plan is to plan to fail.

The Plan2010-02-26T15:02:43-04:00

What do we do with Easter?


We’re focusing on two areas for March, the first is making the most of your spring break with your children.  Breaks can be a very valuable time with our children but we have to plan ahead to make the most of them.   To invest in your children you don’t want to waste these moments simply as dead time.

The second focal point for March will be Easter.  As a society, we seem to spend an enormous amount of time preparing for Christmas.  Why not even more preparation for Easter? This is the holiday that lays the very foundation for the Christian faith.  So for the two weeks leading up to Easter, we will go through a daily devotional for Easter, using a prop called the “Resurrection Eggs”.  They can be found online or in your local Christian Bookstore if you would like to get them and go through these with us.

What do we do with Easter?2010-02-26T15:12:42-04:00