Friday, January 15, 2010

Devotions with the kids

A great way to spend time with your children and start teaching them some great habits can start in the evening before bed!

What do I mean? Well, here at our house my husband sits with our oldest son (2 1/2) in the evening and they read a Bible story and pray.

Sound simple? It is but my son loves this time and he has started looking forward to this time.

We use [the new] Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by K. Taylor. This book has a very short prayer and a few short questions at the end of each story if you wish to use them with your child.

It can be a little difficult to get a two year old to pray but we wanted to instill the habit of praying to Jesus early on. My husband and I have prayed before meals ever since they were very young (in the highchair!). Now that our oldest is 2 1/2 after the Bible story my husband has him repeat a short prayer. It can be as simple as 'Dear Jesus Thank you for the day Amen.' Most children will be able to repeat that after mom or dad. We have now graduated to thanking Jesus for a few things (things like toys, brother, grandparents and mom & dad to name a few). My husband just asks our son what he is thankful (glad for or likes) for. Then we have him tell Jesus thank you for that thing or person. Yes, right now he may not understand all of what is going on and yes, he repeats some things back to us BUT it is a good foundation for his own prayer life that we hope he will someday have.

We have also found that this time with our oldest son is a good time to talk with him a little bit and interact about his day which is yet another way to let him know that we love him, care about him and want to spend time with him!

Perhaps you could implement one or two of these things into your bed time routine? It is well worth the effort!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year!

I can hardly believe that a new year is here. I pray that for each of you my readers, this year will bring you closer to your families. Children to their parents and parents to their children.
I know that I want to have a deeper relationship with my children. Even when your children are young you can cultivate a good relationship with them.

Many of you probably have a day off of work today and your children are still on Christmas break. Why not, take advantage of this holiday and spend time with family or friends?
My husband and I have decided that today we are going to spend some time with our boys. They are young but they love to do and see new things each day. Our oldest (2 1/2) is totally into airplanes right now. Anytime we see one (or hear one) we have to stop and watch/listen. He always gets very excited. Since my husband has today off we thought we might take him to the 'real' airport and let him see a real plane up close (well closer than the sky:). We will probably take them to breakfast as well. Taking two young boys around town isn't always easy and of course nap time has to be worked into the day, but taking time with the boys and seeing their excitement at each new activity and listening to the excited sounds coming from the back of the van make all the work of getting everyone ready and in the car worthwhile.

So, why not do something with your family today? Even if it is as simple as eating a meal at home together you can make it fun by introducing new topics of conversation or serving some new food to try. After lunch bundle up and take a family walk (or go sledding!). If it is too cold, you could play a game as a family. Try to make this day one that you spend with your children-pay attention to them, talk to them. Whether they are young or whether they are teenagers I urge you to start out the new year with family. God has given us family and He would like us to get along-so why not start today? You don't have to do all day activities but like I said, even just lunch or a fun game together is a good start. Maybe in the evening you can all gather together for family devotions. When you have little ones family devotions can be very simple-a short story or prayer time. Do not overwhelm your children with lengthy Bible reading and long prayers-you will totally lose them by the end of the devotion time!

I pray that you all have a blessed 2010 and that this year will be a good one for both parents and children alike. Have fun with family today!