How to Build Attentiveness in the Formative Years

How would your life be different if those around you paid closer attention to the things you communicated to them? Attentiveness is a trait that many people just do not have these days and younger people in our lives are no different.  I would love to share with you how to build attentiveness in the formative years, and with the purpose in parenting, you can build a habit of attentiveness into their future.

How to Build Attentiveness in the Formative Years - Tips to help you build character in your toddlers and preschoolers, while they are in their formative years. | www.joyinthehome.com

It was during the early years of my parenting that I realized that attentiveness is the crucial trait on which all other character traits hang.  Once a child learns to be attentive, obedience will follow.  With attentiveness, kindness to others seem to be easier because of the awareness it promotes. As you foster this act of attentiveness in your toddler or preschooler, the effectiveness of your day improves, the atmosphere of your home brightens and other training areas become less daunting.

How to build attentiveness in the formative years:

  1. Read aloud to your toddler and preschooler daily – this pleasurable activity promotes undivided attention in a child, allowing the child to learn how to block out all other ‘noise' and concentrate on your voice completely. As the child to ‘retell' it to you, which requires even more determination in building the skill of attentiveness.
    1. Character Classics Attentiveness – Attentiveness is the perfect book with catchy phrases that will encourage your toddler or preschooler to give full attention easier.  Each book in this series comes with a CD full of attentive lyrics to put classical music. Children just loves these books.
    2. Help Me Be Good Series  – these books are ideal for toddlers and preschoolers to learn that there are consequences to not being good.
  2. Play games that foster attentiveness – toddlers and preschoolers need examples and praise during the training of any character trait. Games are the perfect activity to do just that in them.
    1. Memory Game – This is so much more than a game and should be considered the best game for training a toddler or preschooler in attentiveness.
    2. Red Light, Green Light – This game is great because a child has to play close attention to the instructions to play the game successfully.
    3. Simon Says – another example of a game that requires full attention to play successfully.
    4. Dice Games – a simple one is giving your toddler or preschool 6 or more dice. Roll one of them and have them turn the other dice over to match the one you rolled.
    5. Pattern Games – there are several ones that work great for teaching them how to find a pattern and what goes next.  The concentration and the need to pay close attention will give a lot of skills in short times.
  3. Communicate praise and encouragement in fostering attentiveness – words are powerful in training.  When a child has affirmation that their actions were exactly what was expected, they will works to replicate those actions for more praise.
    1. “Pay attention to what I'm saying.”
    2. “You have great attentiveness!”
    3. “Are you paying attention?”
    4. “You really were paying attention!”

If you use these three tips in building attentiveness in your toddler and preschooler, you will find that not only is it fruitful in their actions but you will have built a connection with your child that will put a natural desire in them to be attentive to you.

20 Phrases Children Should Learn to Say

We all desire good kids, even kids that make us proud in front of other people, however without the purposed attention to building good things in our children, it may work the opposite for us. One of the things that I know a lot of parents do is train their children in manners and they do it well, but stop short of what more they can teach them to really develop the kind of children they desire. I have found that if you focus on teaching your children key phrases that parents want their children to say it will ultimately become part of their character.

20 Phrases Children Should Learn to Say - These phrases will help with your parenting | www.joyinthehome.com

20 Phrases Children Should Learn to Say

Children face so much in our culture, today. From abuse, to bullying, to neglect. The need to learn to communicate beyond just the four walls of your home, to be able to not only grow to the kind of person you desire but to also learn how to reflect their own feelings and to be able to avoid situations that can harm them when are are not with your children.

These phrases children should learn are easy and can be demonstrated daily. The more the parent emulates this for their child, in their own lives, the easier it would be for the child to add these phrases to their own vocabulary and way of communicating with others.

    1. I love you. – Most children are quick to say this to people in their own home, but often times neglect to say it to important people in their lives because they don't hear their own parents saying it outside of their walls. These three little words can make a world of difference when spoke to others outside their close circle of family they live with daily.
    2. I like that. – By the time children are teens, it is difficult to know what they like. This simple phrase may be something little children say a lot when they are younger but it doesn't take to long before they stop using it and you lose connection with what really is important to them. As parents, we can demonstrate this daily, not just at gift giving times, by telling people around you when you like something. It can be a gesture, a favorite book, a movie, a place, a food or a memory.
    3. You make me happy. – Children LOVE to please their parents and that doesn't change when they get older, but their perspective does. Often times, children think their parents are their enemies and it is just because we lose the communication with them to let them know when we make each other happy. This is simple to do for them and the more you do it, the more they will use this phrase and bless you when you least expect it. Think about things that they struggle with and if they do on their own, be sure to let them know ‘you make me happy', or when they kiss you in front of friends (this is a big one for boys!).
    4. Please. – We expect so much from our children, and this proves it as it is one of the first words parents try to teach their children to say and enforce around other people. We can demonstrate it in our own lives by adding it to how we speak to others. Recently, I have notice how little adults use this word. Here are a few examples: “Pass the ketchup”, “Hold the door”, “Get the mail”, “Do the dishes” and “Get the phone”. – these were in my own home and all by adults. Just adding that one word does a lot in how we act toward other people.
    5. Thank you. – We all say this when it comes to big things, but being thankful comes from the heart of gratitude and this only builds when you can appreciate the small things. Thank you for taking me to school or homeschooling me today, helping me with the dishes, cleaning out the car, adding a special treat to my lunch or taking a walk with me. We miss a lot of opportunity to say thank you for the little things, but it is the little things that children notice, but that will fade away if you don't keep it alive and then you will have children who are only thankful for the big things in life.
    6. You're welcome. – Going back to the whole gratitude of the heart, this phrase is quickly disappearing in our adult conversations with those who are closest in our lives.  It is the phrase that allows us to feel good about something we did, although some may think that the ‘thank you' does that, but for those who have really given to others, they know the joy that comes from saying ‘you're welcome'.  Children should be able to feel that all the time, as well.
    7. I was wrong. – This is probably one of the most difficult phrases to say in the English language, but it is so important to all relationships on earth. It takes a humble person to use the phrase quickly and to admit their error in front of others. Parents are losing a great deal of teaching power and relationship building if they fail to admit when they are wrong to their children. A parent that uses this phrase willingly and openly with their children will have one of the best relationships with them in their teen years and beyond.
    8. You are right. – We all like to hear we are right, especially when we ‘know it', but when someone else says it to you, especially when coupled with the ‘I was wrong' phrase, it can really make a world of difference in a situation. With children, they need to learn how to say this when they have done something that they know they shouldn't have done and is being corrected. It is one way to teach them how to deal with conflict and to restore peace in relationships that are important to them. Because let's face it, we all can't be right all the time.
    9. Will you forgive me? – In our home, we have never allowed the phrase “I'm sorry” to be used for an acted that was done on purpose. We allow “I'm sorry” for accidental things like bumping into someone at the store because you didn't see them, or dropping something. These acts were not intentional, so “I'm sorry” is appropriate for those situations. However, when something is intentional like being mean, lying or disobeying, we always require for the person in the wrong to say, “Will you forgive me?” In our experience, it eliminates the attitude that comes with the required “I'm sorry.” because it is more about asking the person wronged to restore what they damaged.
    10. You are forgiven. – Forgiveness is something we all seek in our relationships. We don't want to live with the feeling of disappointing someone that is important to us, so when you are given the apology with a request for forgiveness, which also is an acknowledgement of intentional wrong, not of an accident, it is always easier to forgive them. In our experience, it is also harder not to forgive them, because it quickly softens the hurt.Want help implementing this in your home? Enjoy this free printable: 20 Phrases Printable20 Phrases Children Should Learn | www.joyinthehome.com
    11. You are hurting my feelings. – Children know how to let others understand that they are hurt by something, but it is normally done physically at a young age. If you don't teach your child to voice their feelings, this type of physical reaction to being hurt by someone's action will quickly become habit and then you will have a very angry child that will often times get in trouble because they aren't able to express their feelings without the physical reaction. They also have the examples of adults who scream or yell with hands flying in all directions when their feelings get hurt by others. If we teach our children to simply say ‘you are hurting my feelings' when someone has done something that offends them, even by ourselves learning to say them in place of yelling, we can eliminate so much of the teen rage that happens when it is just the lack of communication skills.
    12. That was kind. – As important as it is to communicate when others have hurt your feelings, it is important to praise people when they have done something nice to you. Children can learn this when a child shares a toy or a snack. Adults can emulate when a friends sends a card or a text that uplifts our spirit. Thank you notes are disappearing in our culture but it has always been a tangible way to show something that you appreciated their gesture of kindness and I would recommend making it part of your child's training.
    13. You are beautiful. – Our culture has taken away the self-esteem of many people and it starts with young children. Little girls want to be princesses, but as they grow, they begin to feel clumsy and unattractive because when they look in the mirror they don't see the princess they have always wanted to be. We praise our children so much in their cute stages and for whatever reason, we stop praising our children's beauty around the same time that they grow into this stage of low self-esteem. Praising them will give them the ability to praise others and it is really contagious. I get so much joy to hear my young boys tell me how pretty I am when I come out of my room with a new outfit. Their wives will thank me later.
    14. That looks nice on you. – Encouragement in our society is disappearing, as well. As an adult, I feel awkward when others compliment me because of something that I'm wearing because I'm not sure how I should respond. I normally say, “Thank you” and change the subject, but then a few minutes later, I realize that I should have complimented them back or should I? Finally, I realized that I was going to always let another woman know when she is wearing something that makes her shine and it is a good thing to teach our children. The more they learn to compliment others for the positive things, the more likely the will not be focused on the negative things we all have that quickly leads to bullying or childhood meanness.
    15. I'm feeling angry. – Every person has to learn how to deal with anger, especially if they haven't learned how to communicate that someone is hurting their feelings. Stored up anger is dangerous and never leads to a good thing. I have dealt with anger issues a lot in my adult life, and I'm realizing that it comes with not being honest when something is hurting me and holding things in too long. Yelling and throwing my arms in anger won't solve the situation, but simply acknowledging to the one that is hurting me, “I'm feeling angry” and then removing myself to calm down, so we can talk things through has been a great way for me to deal with them. I have only had one child that demonstrates this type of behavior and I had only wished that I started this sooner. Anger is part of our emotions, but we need to learn how to respond to it without sinning by hurting others. Acknowledging it and having a plan to overcome the anger is important.
    16. Are you upset? – Recognizing when you may have hurt someones feeling is not as hard as it seems, if you have come to know the person well enough. Spouse know when the other is upset at them, but asking isn't something that they really want to do, especially if they have issues with anger. Seeing the signs of anger is important for parents, especially if you want to help them learn to admit when they are angry and find a solution to working through it without physically hurting someone. I'm always asking if someone is upset or ‘is something wrong' because I desire my children to choose a different path and communicate their feelings differently than I have learned to deal with mine.  The more you do it, the easier it will be for them to recognize it and work on the feeling themselves.
    17. I'm tired. – Everyone I know can be emotional when tired, but we don't always like to admit it. My younger two boys have a way of getting right to the point of tiredness without showing signs of it and then it is like they have hit a wall and all we see is the tiredness. Letting them know, your crying because you are tired has helped them to realize that when they start feeling this way it is because they are tired and they need sleep. Adults don't always have the ability to demonstrate that when you are tired, you go to sleep, but implementing habits that will help them retire when they feel this is important. Sometimes, it is hard to admit it, especially when there are a lot of activity around you, but that is when we like to use Lavender to aid with the ability to fall asleep.
    18. Can I help you? – Who doesn't want children that will offer help without being asked? A family that we knows demonstrates this better than anyone we know. The mother has a servant's heart and it flows to her children. There is hardly a time we get together that her children do not ask me ‘Is there anything I can do to help you?' I have yet to have this implemented that well with my own children, but I can say that they have learned how to identify places to serve and be helpful to others. I think it can be demonstrated easier if I offer help to them throughout the day and give them the lesson at home, not just abroad.
    19. Will you help me? – If a child can see the joys of when help if given to others, they would quickly see that there isn't anything wrong in receiving help either. Most children are so independent and wanting to do things themselves, but often times, it takes a little help from more experienced people to learn how to do it right. I love when my 5 year old is learning something new and it doesn't come as easy for him as it does for his older siblings because he is quick to ask, “Will you help me?”  There are times that we don't help him, because it will enable disobedience or laziness but that is only when we know the skill has already been learned and it was required of him to do, but we never let him down in his learning.
    20. I appreciate you! – Saying thank you is easy to implement, but going a little further to let someone know that ‘I appreciate you', leaves such a lasting impression on that person that it can literally change a life. Every person in our life should hear these words from us from time to time and why we appreciate them. Why not start with your children and train them in how to let others know how they appreciate them. You may be one of the first to be rewarded with such high esteem.

If you like this post, you may like… 10 Things Parents Should Do With Their Children At Least Once

10 Things Parents Should Do With Their Children at Least Once | www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

How to Raise Christian Children as a Fallible Parent

How to Raise Christian Children as a Fallible Parent www.joyinthehome.com

Raising children in today's culture isn't easy, yet raising Christian children seems to be even more challenging then ever.  In the 20 years of parenting, I have heard so many parents say, “Well, we did it as children.”, “They will outgrow this stage.” or “I can't expect them to want to be a Christian until after their college days.”

For me, I didn't want my children to walk down the same path I walked down, because the consequences or situations were not best for them and knowing that there was a better way, I wanted to do everything I could to help them make better choices than I made as a teen. I believe that having a firm focus on discipling your children is important to their Christian walk and yours.

As I looked over my own life, the stages that I experienced, like: rebellion, dishonor, lying or poor judgement could never be outgrown, but overcome with better choices through a lot of good advice from those who knew better.  For a parent to overlook the stages that pre-teens and teens go through, just because you are afraid of even more of the bad things, you need to realize that it is through habit that character is formed.

Waiting to influence our children with our faith when they are older is only taking chances with their eternity. Statistics show that many children walk away from their faith in college, not find it afterwards.

Knowing and admitting your failures as a Christian is a healthy thing for your own growth, but also for your children to understand that salvation is a gift, and to be a Christian means a fallible person who repents for their shortcomings and does what they can to live as Christ.

Here are keys to remember when raising Christian Children:

  • Disciple your children from the time they are young
  • encourage your children with scripture
  • admit to your children where you struggle as a Christian
  • quickly ask for forgiveness when they see you err
  • be quick to forgive others

Here are some good things to encourage you on raising Christians children and helping you in your own walk as well:

Faith

Faith {For Kids}

 

 

Top 10 Bible Verses for Your Family to Memorize

Raising a Christian family in today’s culture can be overwhelming to say the least. There is no better way to raise them up than to help them memorize Bible verses from the time they are young all the way through high school. Our favorite way to bring in scriptures is to do it in our parenting, as our children are dealing with things that make them struggle daily.

Top 10 Bible Verses for Your Family to Memorize | www.joyinthehome.com

Top 10 Bible Verses for Your Family to Memorize

There are so many verses that I could pull from, however these seemed to be the ones that we used a lot to correct and encourage our children, and ourselves as we learned to walk our faith daily.

Joshua 24:15b – “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Ephesians 4:32 – “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”

Luke 6:31 – “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Psalms 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Mark 12:30 – “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

As our children become more and more accustom to the verses that we use in difference situations, I’m amazed how easily they are able to share with us verses that are relevant for our situation or theirs.

Making a focus on Bible verses memorization is always a beneficial thing for a family, but I know it isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

A Collection of Tips to Build Habits in Children

A Collection of Tips to Build Habits in Children www.joyinthehome.com

As parents, we are always looking for tips on how to build habits in our children. You know habits for good character, good work ethic and good manners.  This post is a collection of good things that will help you find some inspiration in training your children in habits.

Tips to Build Habits in Character

Tips to Build Obedience in Toddlers & Preschoolers
Tips to Build Patience in Toddlers & Preschoolers

Creative Consequences for Kids

Songs to Help You Teach Your Child To Obey
Tips to Build Self-Control in Toddlers & Preschoolers
Building Character with We Choose Virtues
Tips to Build Kindness in Toddlers & Preschoolers
Tips to Build Attentiveness in Toddlers & Preschoolers
Tips to Build Thankfulness in Toddlers & Preschoolers
Teaching Siblings to Love Each Other
Dealing with Sibling Fighting and Rudeness
Teaching Values Through Service and Leadership
Honor Tags: A Meaningful Reward System

Tips to Build Habits in Christian Beliefs

How to Teach Toddlers & Preschoolers to Pray
How to Implement Bible Memory With Little Ones

How to Teach Toddlers & Preschoolers to Ask for Forgiveness

Teaching Children to Pray
Children's Morning Bible Time Routines
10 Bible Stories Preschool Girls Should Know
10 Bible Stories Preschool Boys Should Know
Biblical Boyhood – Self-Control
Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers & Preschoolers to Memorize
Teaching Values Through the Fruits of the Spirit

 

Tips to Build Habits in Work Ethic

How to Build Responsibilities in Toddlers & Preschoolers
10 Tips to Teach Your Kids to Help You Clean
How to Get Kids to Pick Up After Play
Teaching Life Skills – Homemaking
Chores and Children
How to Teach Your Toddler to Fold Laundry
7 Household Chores for Toddlers & Preschoolers
How to Implement the Toilet Paper Chores for Toddlers

Tips to Build Habits in Good Things

How to Teach Kids to Care for Books
How to Implement Quiet Book Time
6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit
How to Train Toddlers to Pick Up Their Toys
Training Your Child to Dress Himself
Your Kids Will Eat What They Make

How to Implement Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize

Over the years, I have tried different methods to implement Bible verses for toddlers and preschoolers but all of them are worth doing because they are putting the word of God into their little hearts and forming their beliefs in their Creator from an early age.

How to Implement Bible Verses for Toddlers & Preschoolers to Memorize | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Implement Bible Verses for Toddlers & Preschoolers to Memorize

What seems to work most effectively in implementing Bible verses for toddlers and preschoolers is to start with part of the verse when you first introduce it. For example, when a child is disobeying say, “The Bible says ‘Children obey your parents'.” After several times of the child hearing these words, I would then add, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” After a few months of hearing my instructions and telling the child “Honey, the Bible says… “, it amazes me that the child is able to dictate the verse for the situation.

Other ways to implement Bible verses at a young age is to have a time of reciting during the day.  You can start with the first word or two and see if they are able to fill in the other words.

Finding songs that are from scripture is a great way to implement this during their play or music time in the car.

As the child grows with these scriptures, you can then ask the child, “Honey, what does the Bible say about what you did?” Each time, my children are able to tell me the correct verse, word for word. I truly can't imagine parenting any different. Well, maybe having someone dictating scriptures to me when I need to hear them!

You may also enjoy 10 Bible Stories for Preschool Boys Should Know and 10 Bible Stories for Preschool Girls Should Know.

Picture Bible Graphic


If you like this post, you may like Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers & Preschoolers to Memorize.. 

Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize | www.joyinthehome.com

 

Would you like to have your family memorize scriptures together but you have multiples ages and you feel lost at the idea? If so, you can download my free Bible Verse Planner that color-coordinates age-appropriate verses for ages 1-teen. Just click here to get Bible Verse Planner for FREE in your inbox.

Bible Verse Planner

Guarding the Heart Printable Memory Verse Cards

Guarding the Heart Printable Memory Verse Cards www.joyinthehome.com

Here are some memory verse cards for guarding the heart that can be used by the whole family.  Be sure to use the free printable memory verse cards for easy memorizing.

Heart Verse Cards www.joyinthehome.com

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • Matthew 12:34-37 – “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.  A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
  • Proverbs 4:23-27 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
  • Psalm 119:9-11 – How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  • Proverbs 4:23-24 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
  • Proverbs 21:2-3 – A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
  • Proverbs 23:17-18 – Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
  • Proverbs 27:19 – As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

 

How to Teach Your Children to Guard Their Hearts

How to Teach Your Children to Guard Their Hearts www.joyinthehome.com
Our children are living in a culture where sin is now excepted as ‘life-styles', ‘rights' and ‘what is expected‘ as part of growing up.  As Christian parents, who desire to raise our children the Biblical standards that we believe, we have a difficult job to teaching our children to guard their hearts.  This is something that takes care and devotion to do it successfully.  Don't be mistaken, without a plan to succeed, the ways of the world will quickly take grip into their hearts and your job becomes even harder.

Here are some ways you can teach your children to guard their hearts:

  • Be selective of friends.  Do you or your children understand how to identify the characteristics of a good friend?  The Bible tells us that “to have a friend, you must be a friend” (Proverbs 18:24).   Again, we are looking for ‘a friend that loves at all time' (Proverbs 17:17). In Proverbs 22:24-25, we are warned not to be friends with an angry man unless we learn his ways. This warning is good for the other things that we, as Christians, desire to not learn.
  • Be selective of what is read. The written word is powerful.  This isn't just speaking of the Bible, but other written books that can quickly influence our minds and impact our desires.  Learning at an early age to be discerning about what is read for enjoyment or for learning can really teach your children how to guard their hearts against the powers of words that they read and mediate on.
  • Be selective of what is watched on Television. Knowing the power of a written word, you well know that the television has long been an influencer in all of our lives. Setting boundaries and teaching why these boundaries are there is a great way to help your children guard their hearts in a visual world. We have a parental pass code on our television, so that no show is accessible to our children that goes against our desires for them.  We seldom watch a show when it is being aired, so we can control not only the commercials but also anything that we deem inappropriate for our viewing.  Not only has this saved us time when watching our favorite shows, but allows us to demonstrate to our children how even an adult needs to guard their hearts.
  • Be selective of what is accessible online. The online world is a wonderful thing for most of us, however it holds snares at every click. This one area has been the down fall of many marriages, so why wouldn't it become a trap for young children unawares of the dangers that are literally a click away.  Setting filters and safe guarding the time and places a child or teen spends online is the best thing that you can do to help safe guard their hearts, even before their is an issue.
  • Be available for your children.  We know our children and their weaknesses.  Since the time they were just a years old, we have shared our faith them, offering them scriptures to overcome the struggles that they faced daily.  As our children have grown, our advice and consul has grown with them. Having faced the same challenges they are facing, we know what is important to address and give them tools to succeed before sin grips and entangles them.  In our home, we find time to talk when I cut their hair, around the table, on outings together and when they are facing their sin straight on. This has allowed them to have open communication with us, as they know that our desire for them is to please God and walk in His ways.

Knowing the pull that the online world has on so many, my teenage son is using scriptures to strengthen himself against the war for his purity and his mind. Being raised on Proverbs, he knows that this path leads to death (Proverbs 5) and has a strong grip on his gender.  He wants to be victorious and has been guarding his heart with limited online activity, by his own choice. However, there are times when he loves to search for things and do some comparative shopping and no doubt will find more and more uses for the internet.

As Christian parents, we are so happy to offer him a safety net, when his spirit is willing but his flesh is weak.

Covenant Eyes is an online accountability and filtering service that is easy to add to your computers, laptops, smart phones and other devices. This service is being used to help many men and women alike, break the chains that the internet has on them through an accountability program that is tracked and viewed by a trusted person in their lives.

I really love the heart behind Covenant Eyes because this isn't a service that was designed to shame a person for their temptations, but a service that will allow trust to be built between a trusted person and someone who desires to have a covenant with God or within a relationship. The reports are a way to build communication and help the whole family grow strong together.

How to Teach Toddlers and Preschoolers to Pray

Children are born with faith.  They believe in everything that is told of them and they do it with their whole hearts. Teaching your toddler and preschoolers to pray at an early age can be one of the easiest things because of this natural faith that can become quite obvious during Christmas, Easter and other such holidays where faith is required to believe in childhood stories.

How to Teach Toddlers & Preschoolers to Pray - Tender hearts grow in faith so quickly. Don't miss this opportunity to teach them to pray. | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Teach Toddlers & Preschoolers to Pray

  • Demonstrate for them how easy it is to talk to God – When a child of any age hears their parents talking to the God they believe in for themselves, it is already instilled in the child that simple talking is how we pray.
  • Encourage your toddlers to pray with you – Our three year old loves to pray at our meals and bedtime. We haven't always understood the words, but we loved the demonstration of growing faith of the God we serve.  Just the other day, as we finished up praying together at bed time, he said to me for the first time, “Mommy, I want to see Jesus.”  My heart skipped a beat because he wants the relationship to be face to face now.
  • Introduce the stages of prayers – Thankful for things from the food we eat, the gifts we have and the gorgeous day.  You know when you toddler or preschool has this one covered, because they want to thank God for everything and I do mean everything!  Teach them to pray for healing by praying over their hurts, pain and sicknesses. Teach them to pray for forgiveness, by helping them to pray when they have sinned.  Teach them to pray for others by sharing prayer request with them and praying together.

When your day has prayer throughout it and it includes your children at their earliest age, this alone will be the tools needed to teach your toddlers and preschoolers to pray on their own.


If you like this post, you may like, Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers & Preschoolers to Memorize

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10 Bible Stories Preschool Girls Should Know

Children love stories, and the stories of the Bible fascinate them. We use Bible verses and stories in our parenting as a way to teach our faith and character traits we desire from our children. The more we can add these to our children while they are younger the easier it is to share your faith with them, and see their own faith grow each day.

10 Bible Stories for Preschool Girls | www.joyinthehome.com 

When my daughter was young, she absolutely loved having her own Bible, A Child's First Bible so she could learn about the girls in the Bible and often times, I found her emulating them in her play.

Bible stories are not gender specific, however there are some stories that girls relate to differently than boys, at least that has been the case in our family.

10 Bible Stories Preschool Girls Should Know

  1. Creation story of Adam and Eve
  2. Noah and the flood
  3. Sarah and her son Isaac
  4. Hannah and her son Samuel
  5. Ruth
  6. Queen Esther
  7. Woman who gave her last cake to the prophet Elisha
  8. Elizabeth and her son John
  9. Mary and her son Jesus (from his birth, miracles and sacrifice for us)
  10. Mary and her sister Martha

My daughter would dress up often and play out the Bible stories that she loved the most. She loved watching the Old and New Testament animated DVDs all the time.

Her favorite was Queen Esther!

We even throw a birthday party for her, where all the children dressed up as their favorite Bible character. Of course, she was Queen Esther, and her brother was David.

The hours they played Bible stories, and watched the DVDs were many, and the lessons they took from them were priceless!

I love this age, and seeing their hearts open up to God, and their Savior Jesus. Teaching our children to pray has been something that has brought so much joy to us, as their is nothing more amazing then hearing your young children pray for your needs.

You may also enjoy my 10 Bible Stories Preschool Boys Should Know.

 

10 Bible Stories Preschool Boys Should Know

I love to introduce my children to the wonderful Bible stories and in ways that capture all their attention. We have used not only Bible stories, but a variety of Bible verses in our parenting of our children, as well as sharing our Christian faith with them from an early age.

10 Bible Stories for Preschool Boys | www.joyinthehome.com

10 Bible Stories for Preschool Boys

Bible stories are not gender specific, but in our family’s experience, our boys loved certain stories and our daughter loved other ones better.  These are the top favorite stories of our boys.

  1. Creation story of Adam and Eve
  2. Cain and Abel (this is such a great story for those boys who deal with acting out when angry)
  3. Noah and the flood
  4. Joseph
  5. Battle of Jericho
  6. David (don't forget about the lion that he killed before Goliath)
  7. Samson
  8. Jonah
  9. Daniel, along with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
  10. Jesus (from his birth, miracles and sacrifice for us)

Our children have loved A Child's First Bible because of the beautiful illustrations and the short stories on the pages.

In addition to their own Bible, they spent hours watching the Old and New Testament animated DVDs all the time.

The hours they played Bible stories, and watched the DVDs were many, and the lessons they took from them were priceless!

I love this age, and seeing their hearts open up to God, and their Savior Jesus. Teaching our children to pray has been something that has brought so much joy to us, as their is nothing more amazing then hearing your young children pray for your needs.

 

Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize

Parenting toddlers and preschoolers can be very hard, even in the rewarding times. There is so much to teach and train them and as much as we love it, it can still be very overwhelming. One of the best things I did in my parenting was focus on Bible verses to train our children from their earliest years through high school.

Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize | www.joyinthehome.com

The toddler and preschool years can be some of the greatest years for molding character and forming strong Christian faith.  Since my oldest daughter, now an adult, was as young as one years old, Bible verses were a part of our parenting.  I thought I would share with you, 5 Bible verses for toddlers and preschoolers to memorize, which will impact their Christian walk and make parenting a little easier.

5 Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize

These verses are going to be the ones that this age group will will benefit from to overcome the natural tendencies that are demonstrated often during the toddler and preschool ages.

Children Obey Your Parents

In Ephesians 6:1, it reads, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

This verse has been used so many times in our home. I’m almost certain it has been the most used verse. I have always thought that if we could teach our children to be attentive to our voice first and far most that teaching them to be obedient would be very easy.

Well, in theory, that would be the case.

However, there is always the thing called choice. Once children learn that they have a choice to obey or disobey, they will exercise that right more than any parent would expect possible.

I’m so thankful for this easy verse because it has been because of it that I have been able to point my children’s direction to Him. By let them know that obeying their parents ‘is right’ and because it is that way, disobedience is wrong became an easy concept for them, allowing us to help them make godly decisions early.

Be Kind to Others

In Romans 12:10, we find, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;”

Children are born sweet and loving. In fact, the moment they can share their food, they do and happily.

However, sinful nature quickly makes their way into a child’s heart and before you know it, it is really hard for them to share with other kids. Often time, this is the age that aggression starts because they don’t know how to use their words to express their feelings, so they retaliate through actions.

It does take intentional parenting to teach a child how to be kind once this behavior starts, so always staying on top of it will help curb these natural behaviors and give them other tools to communication their feelings.

Teaching our children this verse, and giving them plenty of opportunity to do sharing activities, they quickly learned what it meant to be kind to others.

Loving One Another

In John 13:34, we are commanded, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Also, in Romans 12:9, we are exhorted, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Teaching our children to love others is something that is better taught through example, because love is something that is from the heart.

The best way we were able to do this with our children was to not allow them to be physically mean to the other, or to speak meanness to each other.

I remember many of times that I would have my children stand in the center of the room hugging each after a sharp word was said, or an argument broke out. I required them to continue to hug until love was evident in their face and their body language.

Sometimes the hugs went on and on, but as they learned how our words and actions reflect our hearts, and why it was so important for us to love each other, this became less and less needed.

Do Unto Others 

In Luke 6:31, we are instructed, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.

This verse is one that we still use often in our home, because let’s face it, we need to be reminded of this truth of Scripture.

I find that this verse is mostly recited when someone is losing self-control in their behavior, and this one verse helps them gain ground of how we all wanted to be treated with love and respect.

There are so many levels to this verse that I don’t know if it would ever leave our home, because on days when we all could use a little more patience with the other, it is the verse that comes to my mind when I know that I need more patience from my own family.

Forgiving Others 

In Ephesians 4:32, in states, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”

Forgiveness isn’t an easy thing for a lot of grown-ups, and I know it is because they weren’t taught to forgive others in their lives.

In many cases, the opposite can also be said that they weren’t taught to ask for forgiveness, either.

In our home, we don’t say ‘I’m sorry’ when we have hurt someone. We literally say, “Will you please forgive me?

There is such a difference in these words, and we have found that you can say them, like you can with ‘I’m sorry’ without a true feeling behind the words.

Leading our children to a strong faith has always been our focus in our parenting so we make intentional decisions on how to get to their heart from a very yearly age.

It amazes me how quickly children learn these verses without really having to completely focus on formally teaching them. After just a few weeks of introducing our children with these verses, we are able to ask them what the Bible says about what they are doing, and they are able to quickly recite the verse pertaining to their action.

Read my post How to Implement Bible Verses for Memorization to see how my toddlers and preschoolers learn scripture at such a young age.

Now with children in their adult years, and a teenager, we are often asked how we raised our children for them to be such good Christians.

I will tell you openly and honestly that we did it with a LOT of mistakes, and failures.

However, with these mistakes and failures, we learned to demonstrate the scriptures of repentance with our own children, and got their forgiveness. There is nothing more powerful for a child to grow up in a home where they see their parents failing (and trust me, all kids notice and remember) but coming back with an apology for what we failed them in.

I share more about our key things that we have done to raise Christians. I would love to share them with  you, and pray that they encourage you on the most rewarding job on earth… parenthood!

6 Keys to Raising Christians - Effective ways to parenting your faith into your children. | www.joyinthehome.com

Top 5 Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize