A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Tag: relationships; parenting; kids; ideas; practical; (page 1 of 2)

12 Ways to Pray for Your Child’s Teachers (FREE printables!)

12 ways to pray text

In celebration of the new school year–and since many of you are new to this blog in the last year–I’m reposting these specific prayers for these individuals who powerfully influence our kids, families, and communities day after day. 
Download this list free here as a pdf–great for Bible studies, personal use, or this format for church bulletin inserts. I’m hoping it’s a great way to kick off loving on the teachers in our lives and cheering them on throughout the year. Please share if you find this useful!   -Janel

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Interview-Your-Child Fridays, #6

interview your child fridays

For the ideas and suggestions behind this fun series to help you connect with your kiddos, click here.

  1. What is one of your favorite ways God made you?
  2. If you could be famous for something, what would it be?
  3. If you could go back a year ago and give yourself advice, what would that advice be?
  4. If you could enter a comic strip or cartoon, which would you choose?
  5. What do you love about being a kid?
  6. What makes you excited about being an adult?
  7. What are five of the top songs on your playlist?
  8. What is one way you think people misunderstand you? What would you tell them if you could?
  9. Who is one of your heroes—and why?
  10. Describe the perfect meal.

And don’t forget, “How can I pray for you this next week?”

Check out the first four sets of interview questions here, here, here, here, and here. Have fun connecting with your kids!

 

Like this? You might enjoy

26 Super-practical parenting hacks

Surprising Parenting Advice I Can’t Live Without

5 Surprising Prayers for My Kids

6 Ways to Pray For Your Kids (when you actually want to tear your hair out)

31 Scriptures to Pray for Your Kids and 31 Ideas to Encourage Your Kid on a Bad Day

Free Ebook: Discussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture (use this subscription form!) 

 

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Interview-Your-Child Fridays, #5

interview your child fridays

For the ideas and suggestions behind this fun series to help you connect with your kiddos, click here.

In the spirit of keeping it real–I’ve included a smattering of my own four kids’ answers.

  1. What is your first memory?
  2. What are five words you’d use to describe yourself? Curious. / Child #2: Artistic. Playful. Reader. 
  3. What is one time you felt really great when helping someone? I liked helping with that big Thanksgiving party we threw–the one where all those people ended up staying for dinner, too. / Helping Oliver carry all the bags into the house.
  4. If you could invent something that hasn’t been invented yet, what would it be? A cake machine that makes cakes in five minutes! 
  5. What’s one thing someone has said to you that made you feel great? What do you wish someone would say? …I don’t know, but it was something great. / I like your drawing. It’s really cool.
  6. If you could be one character in a book, who would it be? I would be Benny from The Boxcar Children! / I would be a dragon in How to Train Your Dragon.
  7. What’s one of your favorite things about God? I love what He does for us and what He created. / I love that He forgives us when we do bad things. 
  8. If you could take lessons to learn anything, what would it be? I would learn how to do kung fu! (kick added for emphasis) / I don’t really want to learn much, so… / I would have to choose between hang gliding and sharpshooting.
  9. What’s been the biggest thing on your mind this week?
  10. What is one thing you really hope is in heaven? I really hope there is a rainbow slide without edges that ends in whipped cream with strawberries–and it doesn’t get too hot or too wet. / I hope we get to walk with God in heaven.

And don’t forget, “How can I pray for you this next week?”

Check out the first four sets of interview questions here, here, here, and here. Have fun connecting with your kids!

 

Like this? You might enjoy

26 Super-practical parenting hacks

Surprising Parenting Advice I Can’t Live Without

5 Surprising Prayers for My Kids

6 Ways to Pray For Your Kids (when you actually want to tear your hair out)

31 Scriptures to Pray for Your Kids and 31 Ideas to Encourage Your Kid on a Bad Day

Free Ebook: Discussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture (use this subscription form!) 

 

If you like it, please share it! (And consider subscribing up there in the right hand corner.)

Surprising parenting advice I can’t live without, #2

parenting advice.jpg
  1. “Maturity means you’re a giver more than a taker.” Tedd Tripp writes, “Gurus promise to teach you how to build self-esteem in your children. Have you noticed that no books promise to help produce children who esteem others?”

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Surprising parenting advice I can’t live without, #1

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  1. “Teach your kids honesty about who they are.” I know that a lot of my home culture is concerned about my kids feeling good about who they are—about self-esteem. And trust me, I want to be the first to line up to cheer, The image of God in you is breathtaking. And I love seeing it grow in you. I celebrate what He is sculpting in you. But what I (attempt to) insist on in my kids is that they take responsibility for their own junk.

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Now you’re speaking my [love] language: 20 ways to express affection through quality time

love languages text

If you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. Click here for 20 ways to express love through words of affirmation, here for the post on expressing love through physical touch, here for the post on expressing love through acts of service, and here for the post on expressing love through gift-giving.

1.Grab cards, a strategy game, or a board game to play together (er, without your cell phone present).
2.Play–or learn–a sport together.
3.Take lessons of some kind together: ballroom dancing, golf, watercolor, pottery–get creative! One mom I know took taekwondo with her son and daughter; right now my son and I are doing our best at guitar.
4.What hobbies does this person enjoy? Which ones could you enjoy together?
5.Head to an event together–a ball game, a concert, a play, a lecture, a comedian–and grab a bite to eat before or after.
6.Go for a walk or hike together.
7.Exercise together. You might even set a goal (“let’s do P90-X!” “let’s run a 5K!” “Let’s see if we can bench that much by the end of the month!).
8.This love language might be spelled T-I-M-E. Take a few moments after dinner’s over to just sit and talk; cuddle for a bit on the porch or sofa after work.
9.What haven’t you done in your community that begs to be seen or tackled? Check online, study the community calendar, ask around–and see what you can find that you could try out together. One friend of mine always has some local idea up her sleeve: mosaics, the children’s theater for the kids, some restaurant I’ve never heard of, a local art festival.
10.Meet him or her for lunch at school or work.
11.Take him or her out for breakfast on a Saturday morning, or for a spontaneous ice cream or coffee date.
12.For a daughter or son, get some great “girl time” or “guy time” together, whatever that looks like for you: snacks and a movie night, painting nails, paintballing–you get the idea.
13.Tackle a project together: a garden, a woodworking project, building a robot, rebuilding a car, sewing, landscaping, even participating in a play! For ideas, you could visit your local hobby or home improvement store.
14.What skills do you have that you’d be willing to share with your child, and they’d want to learn? Do they have interest in learning handyman skills, fishing, waterskiing, or mechanics? How to cook?
15.Together, plan a service project for people in your neighborhood or church: a block party, a date night for parents of babies and toddlers, a meal plan for someone battling cancer. Maybe you decide on a ministry you’d like to do together at church–teaching Sunday School, serving at the shelter, etc. Get excited and get on it.
16.Make it regular: Get a night on the calendar that’s consistently your night to be together on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.
17.Plan a trip for just the two of you–and make the most of the anticipation, too.
18.If it’s appropriate, take your child to work with you occasionally so they can glimpse your world.
19.Maintain certain times when some electronics are verboten, like meal times, times together, or days of rest, so you can focus fully on each other without interruption and more surface-level forms of interaction.
20.Form a plan to serve your family together. Maybe it’s a family night (31 ideas here!)–making the budget, planning the activity, gathering supplies. Maybe you and your child plan a “gourmet” meal with all the trimmings, planning, cooking, and shopping for it together. Maybe you plan your next vacation together, and he maps out the routes, researches the sites, and presents ideas to everyone. Maybe you plan “12 Days of Christmas” fun for time when everyone is home.

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Now you’re speaking my love language: 20 ways to display affection through acts of service

love languages textIf you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. Click here for 20 ways to express love through words of affirmation, here for the post on expressing love through physical touch. and here for the post on expressing love through gift-giving.

I’ll use “him” or “her” interchangeably in this post for ease of reading.

1.Knock out that item on her to-do list she just hasn’t gotten to.
2.What little touches could better make your home a “prepared place”–like God creates for us–that’s comforting, encouraging, and uplifting, so family and guests feel embraced? For guests, it may be the basket of extra toiletries next to the cozy towel in the bathroom; for kids, you could have a favorite snack ready when he arrives home; help him remove his backpack.

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Now you’re speaking my [love] language: Showing affection through gifts

love languages textIf you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. Click here for 20 ways to express love through words of affirmation, and here for the post on expressing love through physical touch.

I’ll use “him” or “her” interchangeably in this post for ease of reading.

Continue reading

If you like it, please share it! (And consider subscribing up there in the right hand corner.)

Now you’re speaking my [love] language: 20 ways to express affection through physical touch

love languages textIf you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. Click here for the post on showing affection through words of affirmation.

1.Put an arm around his or her shoulder.
2.Hug them in the morning, or when they arrive home, or to wish them good night.
3.Sit next to each other while watching a movie.
4.Throw your arms around their neck while they’re sitting in a chair.
5.Give them a foot rub.
6.Ask to massage their hands while you chat.
7.Give a home pedicure: Soak her feet, then rub, lotion, and varnish while you shoot the breeze. (I love doing this with friends on my back porch while we enjoy a cup of tea.)
8.Surprise your spouse with a massage before hitting the sack.
9.When coming up behind him or her, place a hand gently on the small of his or her back.
10.Grab his or her hand while you’re out and about.
11.Romantically grab your spouse (hello–not like a piece of meat, but demonstrating your desire).
12.Cuddle up whiile reading a book together.
13.Slip an arm around his or her waist while you’re running errands.
14.Give a scalp massage.
15.Surprise them with a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure.
16.Shower with your spouse, and soap him or her up and wash your partner’s hair.
17.Allow your child to sit on your lap and tell you about their day.
18.Rub a child with lotion-preferably a scented one, to help create great memories!–at bedtime while you debrief about life and pray for him or her.
19.Touch your spouse’s face affectionately.
20.Kiss him or her for no reason at all.

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Now you’re speaking my [love] language: 20 ideas to show love through words of affirmation

love languages text

If you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. And here’s their post on The Power of Affirming Words.

  1. Scrawl a note on a napkin in their lunch: Praying for you today. So proud of you.
  2. Use a dry erase marker on the mirror, or on glazed wall tiles: You rock my world. Thanks for being you.
  3. “I respect you so much for your ability to __.”
  4. Send a text after the big day, meeting, presentation, or test, checking up on how it went and reminding them you were praying. (Set a reminder on your phone or computer if you need help remembering!)
  5. “Even on days when you’re ___, I’m so glad you’re mine.”
  6. “Am I making you feel understood?”
  7. Leave sticky note on their steering wheel or in their backpack. Just to let you know that I love you.
  8. “Your _[personality trait]_ is so just what our family needs.”
  9. Send a love note or, for a child, a letter through the mail, just letting them know what you appreciate about them. Be descriptive and sincere.
  10. Get specific: “You do ___ really well.”
  11. “Tell me more about what that was/is like for you.”
  12. On small strips of paper, write or type things you love about them and great memories you have. Wrap them around individual candies of his or her favorite kind!
  13. “When you did ___ for me, it made my day go so much easier/made my day. Thanks for doing that!”
  14. Remember: Go for quality of words more than quantity. Communicate that when you affirm them, your words aren’t inflated; they’re trustworthy.
  15. “Looking at circumstances, I’m getting the idea that you might not be feeling very ___ lately. Wanted to let you know that I see so much _[character quality]_ in you, and at the risk of sounding corny–I’m proud of you.”
  16. “You make me so happy just by being you.”
  17. Send an e-mail or Facebook message: Just wanted to let you know that I’ve seen the way you’re trying so hard to ___. I love it, and I love you.
  18. “Got a minute to tell me how you’ve been–really? I’d love to get the inside story on what you’ve been thinking about and going through.”
  19. “I respect you so much for the way you ___.”
  20. “I realize you and I haven’t been completely on the same page recently. Just wanted to let you know I’d never trade the privilege of being your[mom/dad/husband/wife]. And I’m totally committed to working on our relationship so we can understand and enjoy each other.”

What has someone said to you that made your day–or changed you?

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