Let's face it, being a parent is not an easy job! Parenting With Purpose offers advice, reviews, and giveaways that will help you with all aspects of parenting.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine, Valentine

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 9:09 AM 5 comments

"Be mine, Valentine. I'll shower you with kisses, candy, flowers and cards." Is this the message you as a Christian parent want to influence your child?

Saint Valentine's Day has become more of a secular holiday and lost the true meaning of love. Christian parent's need to teach their child about the real Saint Valentine and not Cupid. February 14th shouldn't be about spending money it should be a time to talk with your child about the true meaning of this day.

Also, it's a great time to talk about the LOVE of Jesus. Read bible verses about love to your child.

Remember, Cupid is a myth, but the Love of Jesus is real.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Three Be's of Parenting

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 4:15 PM 28 comments

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Waldo Emerson

 Parenting is not an easy job, but you and your child can survive with three rules every parent should follow. I call them the 3 Be's.

Be positive: One of the first rules of parenting is to be positive. A child learns 99% of their behavior from his or her parent whether negative or positive and your job is to show a positive attitude at all times. Be a positive force in your child's upbringing and you'll reap the reward of a positive adult. A positive parent is the 'Be All You Can Be In The Lord' parent.

Be proactive: The second rule of a well-oiled  home is a  parent must be proactive. Your child will learn from their mistakes, but only if you are a proactive parent. Your job is to teach them right from wrong and good from evil. Being a proactive parent is setting the stage for your child's adult life. Be a proactive force in your child's daily life and you'll see the difference a day makes. A proactive parent is the 'Be There, Be Aware' parent. 


Be parental: The third rule is the only rule a lot of  parent's find the most difficult. Why? Parent's in general tend to want to be their child's friend instead of their foe. Unfortunately, a  parent cannot have the luxury of being their child's bff.
As a parent your duty is to enforce the rules, not allow your child to break them. Being your child's parent is what they want and need. They may hate you today, but tomorrow your adult child will thank you for being a parent not a bff. A parental parent is the 'Be A Parent, Not BFF' parent.

For further reading I recommend these resources:
 Positive Parenting: How to Be a Positive Parent
The Power of Positive Parenting : A Wonderful Way to Raise Children by Glenn I Latham
Proactive Parenting with Pastor Tracy Boyd
Christian parenting resources

Blog hops I'm linking to:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Can Ur Child Reed: Illiteracy in the United States

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 2:01 PM 5 comments

Illiteracy is a major problem in the United States. The number of children and adults who can not read is staggering. This problem is a concern for all parent's, but for Christian parent's illiteracy should go deeper than just someone else's child. As a Christian parent you should try to help alleviate this major problem facing the citizen's of your community.

There are a number of options a Christian parent can do to help solve illiteracy in their city. The most important is to become involved. When you become involved you are helping and teaching your children to become better citizens. You teach them it's not alright to make fun of someone who cannot read. You teach them the value of learning. You teach them good citizenship.

One of your main objectives as a Christian parent is to become involved. Involvement is the key to reading success.

1. Volunteer: You can volunteer to help someone learn to read through your local library, your child's school or even at your church.

2. Attend illiteracy forums: A great place to start is The Literacy Council. This organization provides many different resources.

3. Provide books: One of the keys to reading success is the ability to have an opportunity to read. Many illiterate children and adult's have never read a book. You can contact RIF for more information.

Christian parent's should address the problem of illiteracy with their children also. Get your child involved. Together as a family you can have a local book drive to collect gently worn books or have a fund raiser in your community and invite a local children's author.

There are many avenue's to solving the problem of illiteracy and it starts with you.

A great online resource can be found at U.S. Dept. of Education.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Establishing Christian Parenting: Giving

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 6:12 PM 8 comments

I want and no is usually the normal conversation a parent has with their toddler, but a Christian parent should have another conversation as well. Christian parent's are bound by the Word of God to teach their child(ren) lesson's in giving. Instead of conversation's ladened with I want's and no's turn the negatives into positive's with I will's and yeses.

Throughout your life you've heard the saying more than a hundred times, "It's better to give than receive." Now, you are responsible for teaching your child the true meaning of the saying. Because you want to start when your child is a toddler keep things simple so they will understand.

I recommend first, teach your child to give at Sunday School and church. Tithing is a great way to begin to teach about giving. Remember, keep it simple. A small amount is fine to start off with, then as your child get's older let them decide to increase the amount they give.

Second, when you are out with your child at a restaurant you may notice charity boxes. Encourage your child to deposit loose change. This will begin a great habit of giving without asking.

Monetary giving is a great way to help, but also teach your child there are other ways to give. Teach your child to give back to the community, to the poor and needy and to serve the Lord with an open heart.

As a Christian parent you can turn I want into I will with positive nudges in the right direction. Positive nudges will last a lifetime and teach your child to be a giver instead of a taker.

For further resources I recommend Teaching Children to Give by Children's Pastor Leslie Bienz, First Coast Christian Center. This website list what to do and not to do. Also, a great book to study with your child is Giving: A Bible Study Wordbook for Kids by: Richard E. Todd.

To get an early start in the giving process why not start with Shoe Box Ministries. This is a great learning tool and not only will your child learn the importance of giving, but they will learn a valuable lesson.

How does your family practice giving? Do your teach your child to tithe, help at a homeless shelter or the needy?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Establishing Christian Parenting: Values

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 7:12 AM 3 comments

The gap between secular and Christian parent's seems to be getting narrower, except in one area. Values. In today's society parent's teach their child(ren) values from the time they are old enough to understand right from wrong, but Christian parent's also have a moral responsibility to teach Christ-centered values.

The core values as I call them are the basis of your child's code of conduct. The value's you teach your child equals their Christian character.You need to firmly establish the following core values beginning at an early age. Christian parent's have a duty to instill these core values that carry from childhood throughout adulthood.

Respect, kindness, truthfulness, integrity and decency are the core values a Christian parent must teach their child. These values form their character.

1. Respect: As a Christian parent you want your child to respect you, but this value must be taught at an early age. Teaching your child respect can begin as soon as your child understands the word no. No is usually the first word a child understands. Christian parent's can use this to their advantage. When you tell your child no explain the reason, reiterate and remind your child why. By doing these three simple actions you will gain respect from your child. Remember respect is a two way street. You must also respect your child.

2. Kindness: Kindness is a core value that should follow you child thoughout adulthood. As a Christian parent when you teach your child kindness not only are you teaching them to be kind-hearted, but also to become better adults. Kindness can be taught with gentle reminders beginning when your child is a toddler. One of the first steps in teaching kindness is to hug your child. When you hug your child you set a positive example. You are showing what it means to be a kind person. Another step is service. Service is the most important aspect of kindness. When you show your child how to help others you teach them the true meaning of kindness. Remember show not tell.

3. Truthfulness: Children naturally lie. As a Christian parent your job is to teach your child truth is always better no matter the consequences. This core value is probably the most difficult to teach. Children learn by example. It's like see and say. They watch what you do and repeat what you say. A Christian parent has an obligation not only to teach their child to tell the truth, but lead by example. Be truthful and your child will follow.

4. Integrity: Actions, principles and expectations. These all are the qualities that make up the integrity of a person. For a Christian parent to teach their child the core value of intergrity they must also be accountable for their actions. Actions speak louder than words and a child actually hears what you do instead of what you say. A Christian parent cannot teach their child about integrity unless they are accountable and have moral principles. Principles are the key ingredient for teaching your child integrity. Without principles integrity is null and void in a Christian home. The expectations of the Christian parent is that their child will have integrity. However, for this to happen a parent must be responsible for their actions and not compromise their principles.

5. Decency: This core value in today's secular society has been swept out the door.With televison, music and technology bombarding your child with corrupt values it's your job to teach them decency. As a Christian parent you may struggle with this core value. A Christian parent can feel guity if they don't let their child fit in with secular society. Remember it's not your job to make your child fit in with today's secular world. Your job is to make sure you teach them to behave in a decent manner wherever they go or whatever they do. Decency is a value carried over into adulthood. The most important teaching tool you can give your child is not to conform to secular beliefs.

A great source for parent's is 60 Christian Character Builders.This biblical based website by World Bible Publishers, Inc list sixty Christian character building exercises Christian parent's can discuss with their child.

For further reading I recommend Teaching Your Children Values by Richard and Linda Eyre. In Teaching Your Children Values Linda and Richard Eyre present a practical, proven, month-by-month program of games, family activities and value-building exercises for kids of all ages.

I would love your feedback on the subject of values. Do you feel Christian parent's have a responsibility to teach their children a different set of values than secular parent's?

Where I've linked up...

Establishing Christian Parenting: Boundaries

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 7:02 AM 14 comments

Boundaries. From birth until high school graduation parent's set established boundaries for their children. As a Christian parent the boundaries you set have to differentiate from those of secular parents. Although some boundaries are comparable, a Christian parent's duty is to establish different boundaries for their child(ren).

I interviewed several Christian moms for this article to get their take on the subject. Christian parent's believe there is a moral code in which as Christian's you should live by and a parent is not being too strict when establishing different boundaries. They desire to help their child become a better person. The mom's I spoke with also believe boundaries are set to protect children.They all agreed a Christian parent must encompass the following boundaries with their child.

1. Entertainment: From toddlers to teens entertainment has always been a major issue. Television, music and technology are main concerns of Christian parent's. The boundaries regarding the three venue's must be clear and concise.
      Begin early: A toddler is like a sponge. They absorb everything they hear and see. The ground rules should be established as soon as possible in regard to boundaries for TV, music and computers. It's up to you to be in charge. Whether you choose to let your toddler watch television, listen to music or get on the computer the boundaries you set now will follow them throughout their lives.
      Stay connected: The boundaries you established when your child was a toddler need to carry over into the teen years. With television shows, music and internet that promote sex and anarchy a Christian parent must stay connected to their teenager. Boundaries need to change to reflect a secular society. What your child absorbed as a toddler is no longer part of their teen years. Television, music and the internet are now geared specifically toward the teenager. A Christian parents responsibility needs to also reflect this change. From twelve through eighteen boundaries are tested. Parents need to stay firm in their decisions.Your teen may hate you now, but remember the boundaries you set today will grow better Christian adults.

2. Events: For eighteen years you are in charge of setting the boundaries to which your child will respond throughout their life. Christian parent's should have four concerns in the life events of their children. Friends, school, driving and dating need to be the focus of new boundaries.

      Establish parameters: Friendship is one of those boundaries that will cause friction if not handled correctly. Christian parent's cannot pick and choose their child's friends, but they can establish the parameters. Ask questions, be involved and the most important aspect; meet your children's friends' parents. You want to make sure whomever your child hangs out with is a positive influence. Where school is concerned parameters are basically already in place. The only option for a Christian parent is to make sure their child knows to obey the school's boundaries. As always, ask questions and be involved. Driving and dating have combined boundaries. When your teen begins to drive most likely he or she will also begin to date. Of course this is a major concern for the Christian parent. Your child is now sixteen and independent. Regardless, boundaries still have to be in place to protect your teen. Remember, ask questions, set limits and be involved.

       Define what is expected: Your child will test any boundary you set forth. A Christian parent must clearly define what is expected from their child. Are the boundaries concise? Are the boundaries realistic? A child needs to develop social skills through friendships, school, driving and dating. The boundaries you have in place need to clearly reflect this need for social skills. Christian parent's should make sure their child knows what's expected so boundaries cannot be compromised.

For further reading I recommend Boundaries With Kids: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Children by By Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. This book will help set limits for children and teach the concept of boundaries.

I would love your feedback on the subject of boundaries. Do you feel Christian parent's should set different boundaries than those of secular parents?

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