Category Archives: Christian parenting

Helping Children Deal with Emotional Hurts

It’s tough being a child. Not yet having the perspective that comes with adulthood, when others speak cruel barbs into their lives, they don’t know how to handle it. Without our help, they end up believing the lies about themselves that other children (or even adults) throw their way.

Most of us have been through this ourselves as children. Often, we still deal with the scars. So, what can we do to help our kids, so they don’t end up with giant problems of rejection and low self-esteem? Here are some tips to get started.

Speak blessings over them.

Compliment your children often — at least daily. Tell them when they do well, even in the smallest things. Mention strengths and excellent qualities you see in them.

By human nature, it’s very easy for us to see their faults. We’re prone to pointing out what they aren’t doing right. Remembering to mention their good points is a lot more challenging, but it is a habit we parents must work to cultivate in ourselves.

Build a sense of divine purpose in them.

Tell them they are valuable to God, and that He planned awesome purposes for them since before they were born — even before the world began. Here are some Bible verses to help you:

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has ordained beforehand that we should walk in.”

Romans 8:28-30 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son … Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called ….”

2 Timothy 1:9 – “Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

I love that these verses tell us we are created to do good works for Jesus (Ephesians 2:10), but we are not called by God because we’ve already done good works (2 Timothy 1:9). He planned ahead of time what we would do for Him, and He gives us grace to accomplish His plans, but it’s not based on our performance. We must frequently convey this truth to our children.

As part of blessing our children, we should speak over them, as much as we know, the destiny God has for them.

A friend told me the story of how she consistently spoke destiny into her child. She often said, “Gracie, you are an awesome woman of God!” Gracie didn’t always act like one; she was only a little girl, and quite mischievous. But when Gracie was about ten years old, she had an accident which nearly took her life. As the paramedics worked to stabilize her, they checked her cognizance by asking her name. Gracie’s half-conscious reply was, “I am Gracie __________, and I am an awesome woman of God!” That mom’s words had taken hold in her daughter to the point where she believed them in her heart.

Explain why other people are unkind.

If our children can see the problem is with the person who is speaking evil, not with themselves, it takes the edge off the pain. Here are some possible ways to address the situation:

“Mary wouldn’t say those things if she felt glad about herself inside. She’s just lashing out at someone else because she is hurting. It’s not really about you.”

“John is insecure. He’s putting you down because he doesn’t feel valuable. He wants to feel superior to someone else.”

“Jen is having a hard time at home right now. Her family is having many problems, and she’s hurting you because she hurts so much inside herself.”

“Brent has experienced a lot of rejection in life. He is letting loose on you some of the rejection he feels toward himself every day. He doesn’t even know why he does this, but in some way, it makes him feel more in control of his life.”

It’s true with children as it is with adults: hurting people hurt other people. If we can help our children to understand this and redirect their own hurt to compassion for the hurting person, it will help them.  

Use the negativity they’ve received as a teaching tool.

I often told my children, “I know this is really hurtful, but the Lord is allowing it to happen so you will learn how not to treat others.” I explained that God would use the hurt they felt to help them become compassionate people, sensitive to the feelings of others. We talked a lot about putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, thinking about how someone might be affected by our words.

Frequently remind them of The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. Read the passages surrounding those verses and discuss how to practically walk them out in everyday life.

Here are additional verses we used with our children:

Psalm 141:3“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

Proverbs 31:26“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

We discussed the practical applications we could make from these verses, memorized them together, and often prayed for the grace to live them out well. When I heard one of my children treating another unkindly, all I had to say was, “The law of kindness!” to bring right behavior to their remembrance.

Teach them to deflect negativity by speaking the opposite over themselves.

Truth is much more powerful than lies, but we have to diligently wield it. Learn Bible verses together which speak the truth of your children’s value. Help them develop the habit of speaking blessing over themselves as an antidote to the curses of others. I have a series on this subject at my other blog, Out of the Fire, which you may find helpful.

Teach them to forgive immediately.

It starts with a decision to forgive. The emotions follow the decision. But the quicker we make the decision, the quicker the emotions line up.

Remind them that Jesus commands us to forgive (that’s the decision part). Read together Bible passages which talk about this. You may need to help them pray a simple prayer of forgiveness. If you need help with teaching forgiveness, Character Building for Families, Volume 2 has a section in the mercy unit to help you walk through this with your children. You may also find the kindness unit in Volume 1 helpful.

homeschooling, Bible character studies

 

Character Building for Families,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

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We’re Celebrating National Homeschool Day!

National Homeschool Day
Saturday, February 23, 2019.


To celebrate, we are having a sale on our
Character Building for Families manuals!
Regularly $16.00 each, on sale for $13.00 each in the U. S.
Free Media Mail shipping included.

 

4-day Sale — Friday, Feb. 22 – Monday, Feb. 25, 2019

Christian character studies

CHARACTER BUILDING FOR FAMILIES


There’s a free online homeschool conference available for you on National Homeschool Day, too, with several well-known homeschool leaders speaking.
Register Here

 

The Changer of Times and Seasons

changing direction…Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His, and He changes the times and the seasons….Daniel 2:20, 21

Most of us like the security of what is familiar to us. We thrive on the comfortableness of established ways of doing things, surroundings we’ve grown accustomed to, and a routine we’ve been in for a while, because we feel safe knowing what is going to happen next. Even though we’re aware that change is a given in this world, if we can avoid it, we’d still rather do so.

Lately, the Lord has been bringing to my attention that He is the author of changes — even uncomfortable ones. Daniel 2:21 says, “He changes the times and the seasons.” That includes what goes on in our personal lives and in how we homeschool.

The need for change sometimes forces itself upon us rather rudely, but at other times it creeps up on us subtly. Perhaps that curriculum which has always worked well, even through several children — the one you’ve enthusiastically recommended to all your friends — suddenly doesn’t seem to hit the mark anymore. Or the method of homeschooling you firmly believed was the “right” way to do it no longer captures your heart or your children’s.

The restless, listless, something-isn’t-working feeling you and your family are experiencing could be a prompting from the Holy Spirit that it’s time for a God-ordained change. Don’t ignore it! God, in His kindness and wisdom, could be giving you that sense now so that you will have adequate time to pray and receive His guidance before you plan your curriculum purchases for the next school year. Start by asking Him about it: “Lord, something just isn’t clicking anymore. Will You guide us into what You have instead for our family?”

Remember when you first started on your homeschool journey? It was quite an adventure, wasn’t it? Everything was fresh and new — exciting, but kind of scary, too. It may feel like that again, depending on how radical the changes are that you’ll need to make. But if the Lord is at the root of it, He will give His grace to succeed. Go with His flow, and let His peace be the umpire in your heart (Colossians 3:15).

As you wait for God’s leading, keep your inner spiritual ears attentive for fresh ideas which crop up. They could come as an inspired thought out of the blue or something a friend mentions in ordinary conversation which keeps replaying in your memory. Write these ideas down, and look for a pattern of what the Lord is saying.

God does not bring change to us on a whim. He does it because these changes are best for us. They help us and our children to fulfill the purposes He has for us. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 reminds us, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, … a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”

Don’t be afraid to cast off an old mode of operation, comfortable though it may be. Take hold of the new season and new ways God wants to introduce into your home school. As you move in agreement with Him, you and your family will be blessed.

homeschool character studies

 

Character Building for Families,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Review: Wonders of Creation Series

creation science

 

Master Books (imprint of New Leaf Press)
Approx. $13.00 — $17.00 ea.
Age appropriateness: Gr. 6-12
Available through many home school catalogs

-OR- Buy at Amazon

When you find yourself wearing thin on the “hands-on” science experiments, it might be time to read through the Wonders of Creation Series, by Master Books.

Titles in the Series:

  • The Archaeology Book
  • The New Astronomy Book
  • The Cave Book
  • The Ecology Book
  • The Fossil Book
  • The Geology Book
  • The Mineral Book
  • The New Ocean Book
  • The New Weather Book

(“New” in the title indicates the book has been updated from a previous edition.)

Each oversize, hardcover book is between 80 and 96 pages. Plan on about two semesters to complete reading all nine. They may be purchased individually or as a set of nine. At the time of writing, purchasing them directly from Master Books seems to be the most economical way to go, with an additional significant discount for buying the whole series.

creation scienceComing from a young earth creationist perspective, the books are well designed, and are filled with beautiful full-color photos, paintings, and diagrams. The information presented is extensive. You and your children will become quite knowledgeable in the subjects covered, by the time you are finished with the series.

If you are into study guides to go along with the series, You can get them as free PDF downloads from the publisher, New Leaf Press.

We did these at the 6th grade level, but the information is challenging enough for your high school students as well. You could use them, along with field study trips and supplementary hands-on materials, such as a hobby geology kit, to create a full year earth science course.

Your high school student will do fine reading them independently, but if you are using them at younger ages, you may want to read them together with your children, so that you can explain concepts they might not easily understand.

Each book is written by a different author, whose expertise lies in the particular field he is writing about. There is a drawback to this approach: these men are primarily scientists, not authors, and some have better communication styles than others. Some of the books are packed with understandable information presented in an enjoyable way, while others use more technical language and a less vibrant style of writing. In the updated versions, the publisher has tried to help readers navigate these small difficulties by including information aimed at three levels of understanding.

The biblical creation story and/or Noah’s flood are covered in each book, and are used as the foundation explanation of why things are the way they are today. Such subjects as UFOs and the Christian’s responsibility toward the environment are handled with balance and wisdom. Many questions that Christians have about the world we live in are answered thoughtfully. The authors are careful to differentiate between what is known scientifically and what is still not completely understood.

I recommend these books as a valuable addition to any Christian family’s library.

 

Character Building for Families,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

When Serving Family Is Hard …

Years ago, I heard the story of a young woman who felt frustrated and frazzled with the endless needs of her small children. One day, while helping her children into their snowsuits, boots, and mittens for the umpteenth time, the Lord asked her to imagine that she was doing these things  for the Christ Child. It changed everything for her. From that point on, every time she buttoned small coats or wiped a tiny nose, she found joy in the task by picturing herself doing it for Jesus.

It was one of those stories that inspired me, and I filed it away in my memory, pulling it out from time to time as needed. Several years after that, I came across a homeschooling article where the author applied Romans 15:1 to caring for our young children:

“We then who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves.”

Again, it was a thought to be stored up for another day. Eventually its time came. While caring for our newborn daughter, exhausted and not well physically, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. At that low point, the Lord brought Romans 15:1 back to my remembrance, along with how the author of the article had applied it. “Not to please ourselves.” With the admonishment came new resolve to throw off dejection and dedicate myself to doing this for the Lord with joy.

Throughout life, there will always be someone we must patiently bear with and serve — someone who can’t do life well without us. We never get past this. When our children are grown, they will still need us, but in different ways. For some of us, it becomes our elderly parents who require a lot of care. This has been the story for my husband and me for a few years now. It could be a neighbor who can’t manage on her own, or another mom who just needs a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. It may mean we have to set aside preferences and plans we had cherished for ourselves, so that we can “take up our cross” (Matthew 16:24) and “die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).

Jesus commented in John 15:13, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” We are called to this, just as He was. Whether we serve on an overseas mission field, or in very ordinary, humble ways, pouring out our lives for others is the most precious of all offerings we can give to the Lord. He sees, He knows, and He will honor us for it, if doing it stems from our devotion to Him.

Colossians 3:23, 24 reminds us, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 further encourages us that if we will faithfully persevere, “…Your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

There is a wonderful bonus attached to serving others as unto the Lord: as we do it for Him, we will also find ourselves loving to do it for the people we help. What was once a chore becomes a happiness. God is amazingly good at working these changes in our hearts!

So, keep the perspective of Who you are ultimately doing this for. Your children are your opportunity to serve the Lord. Your spouse is, too. As you keep Jesus before your eyes, you will find strength and joy in the journey.

homeschool Bible character studies

 

Character Building for Families,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Creating a Habit of Thankfulness … and National Family Week

teaching thankfulnessKerry Beck’s blog, How to Homeschool My Child, is focusing on the Thanksgiving theme this month, and I am one of the guest bloggers there.

My post, Create a Habit of Thankfulness in Your Children, offers simple, practical ways you can develop gratitude as a lasting character quality in your children. I hope you will go on over to Kerry’s blog and take a look.

And while you’re there, why not check out the other posts?

And …

 

 

To celebrate National Family Week (Thanksgiving week, November 18-24),  Character Building for Families, Volumes 1 & 2 will be on sale.

SALE DATES:
Now through Cyber Monday, 11-26-18.

Regular price (U. S.) for either Volume 1 or 2 is $16.00.
Sale price: $13.00. This includes free Media Mail shipping. (Priority Mail is available at additional cost.)  International orders will also receive a discount.

homeschool character training

 

This will be our final sale for 2018, so please don’t miss it!

 

Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Lee Ann

 

What If I Fail?

homeschooling encouragementIt’s the fear of most new homeschool parents. It’s also the fear of many who have been homeschooling for a while. What if I don’t do this homeschool thing perfectly? Forget something I should have covered? Don’t adequately prepare my kids for life? Totally mess them up?

The fear becomes greatest when things aren’t humming along smoothly.

Let’s put the fear of failing our kids in perspective. What if  you sent them off to public or private school?

  • They still would not be taught perfectly.
  • Some subjects would not be covered completely. Some would be missed entirely.
  • Your children still would not be prepared for every detail of life.
  • Your children would be taught some things — many things — which you would not be happy with.
  • Some other teacher or school experience could still mess them up.

God wants you and your children to succeed. He is your backup, your source of wisdom, your problem-fixer, your prompter when something needs to be remembered or changed. He is on your side, and He’s watching over you and your children. It’s all part of His grace. If we’re honest with ourselves, we realize we are incapable of doing this homeschool parenting thing without Him anyway!

Of course, we do have some responsibility. That’s just the way the Christian life works, isn’t it?

  • We must persevere. Giving up can’t be on our list of options.
  • We should try to stay relatively consistent. (No, you won’t do this one 100% right. Nobody does.)
  • We need to call upon the Lord frequently for grace and help in time of need. When we do, He eagerly supplies, sometimes amazingly so.
  • Prayer for (and with) your children is the most important ingredient for success.

One of my favorite passages for the times I feel woefully incapable of doing well is 2 Corinthians 3:4-6: “And this is the trust we have through Christ toward God: it is not that we are sufficient in ourselves to think anything of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, Who also has made us able ministers ….” It works for whatever areas of life we feel lacking in, including homeschooling or parenting in general.

God’s grace covers our inadequacies — and our children’s. He brings completeness where we are incomplete. He fills in our gouges and cracks. He is a Father to them and to you, and He will not let you fail.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16

If you need support from other homeschool mothers, perhaps our Facebook group, Older Homeschool Moms Helping Younger Homeschool Moms would be a source of encouragement to you. You can ask questions and share your struggles, and other moms will be there for you with their advice and prayers.

 

Character Building for Families,
by Lee Ann Rubsam