Saturday, December 24, 2016

What is Hanukkah Anyway?

Chanukkah is the Feast of Dedication. This week the dedication celebrates the reclaiming and the dedication of the Temple from the Assyrians in 165 BC. We as Christians often think  God was silent between the Old and New Testaments. But, Chanukkah is proof that G-d was busy and he established the Feast of Dedication is something forever for the children of Israel to celebrate in fact in Matthew chapter 10 it speaks of Messiah celebrating the Feast of dedication.

Canukkah is also called the Festival of Lights because of what actually happened during this time.

Around 300 BC Jerusalem with being ruled by the Egyptians. The Assyrian ruled by Aniacus, took over Jerusalem Aniacus wanted the Jewish people to become assimilated  into the Assyrian culture  so he outlawed Judaism, even went so far as to say the Jewish people could get married. But the wife had to First sleep with an Assyrian soldier before she could sleep with her husband. This s so that there will always be a question as to whether or not that child was Jewish.  this is the rot of if your mother s Jewish then so are you. Practicing Judaism was punishable by death.

In 168 BC Aniacuz defiled the Temple by doing two things. He sacrificed a pig on the Altar and he also set up the Temple to be a Temple for the god Zeus (the statue had Aniacus's face on it.)

Matthias who was the high priest at the time decided that this was not acceptable and he went to war against Aniacus and the Assyrians. The Warriors became known as The Maccabees because Matthias' his oldest son was Judas Maccabee. It took 3 years for The Maccabees to overcome the Assyrians but in 165 BC they were able to recapture Jerusalem.

When they went back into the Temple they discovered that the Assyrian had defiled all but one flask  of Holy oil. A flask of oil could only burn for one night. It took 8 days to consecrate more oil. The miracle happened in that the one flash burnt for eight days until more oil could be consecrated. During this feast children often play with dreidels. Dreidels were tools used during this time to secretly teach children about Judaism so that Judaism would not be lost during their time of captivity. The Assyrians were told that the dreidel was a type of gambling die therefore they were allowed to keep them.

Chanukkah is a celebration which will be celebrated forever and we as Christians need to understand why the Feast of Dedication is so important.  Ithank we need to teach it to our children because this is the roots of our Christian faith. I encourage you to tell this story to your children and to help them to understand the importance of the roots of our faith. The importance of this Festival of Lights which we will be celebrating forever in the Millennial Kingdom. I hope you now have a good understanding of the Feast of dedication and the importance of it as well. I also hope that you teach this to your children!

To learn more about the Feast of dedication click here.

Believe in parenting

Friday, December 23, 2016

Joseph was chosen to Father the Messiah

As we consider Christmas we often think about Mary and her being chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Have you ever taken the time to think of Joseph and the fact that he was chosen to be the Messiah's father.? We find out later that Joseph was a carptenter, because they call the Messiah the son of the carpenter. We know this was a lucrative profession at the time. Because carpenters built everything from tables to boats. But, what else do we know about Joseph?

Matthew tells us Joseph was a descendant from the house of David the second King of Israel. A direct descendant of King Solomon and was in line to be King ; if Rome was not in rule. Yet, the kingdom had long even forgotten and he was  insignificant to Rome, but not to G-d.

Joseph was also a devout Jewish beliver who  knew the law. When Mary was found pregnant, he could have exposed her as an adulteress and had her stoned. instead he decided to quietly divorce her which shows both love and compassion. He was a man of character.

Joseph like Mary was willing to submit to G-d and accept  hiscalling to be the father of the Messiah. Can you imagine the magnitude of the responsibility of this task? He was charged with the care and protection of the Messiah and his mother. The level of trust and honor G-d was bestowing on him must have been staggering.

Men were required to see over the religious and trade training of all his chilgren especially his sons. It was Joseph who saw to getting Yeshua circimcised, to ensuring Mary had her offering of cleansing 40 days after his birth. It was he who ensured his son attended the synogue and kept the feasts, as well as studied the scdriptures. He also taught Jesus his trade of carpentry. Spending long hours with in the shop guiding his young hands in using the tools, counseling him in working with wood, stone, and metal.

Human boys need the love,  guidance, and protection of their fathers. We know Joseph was living at the time of Messiah's Bar Mitzvah, but this is the last we see of him. perhaps because his job in the rearing of Yeshua was considered complete as Messiah after this was responsible for his own spiritual walk. We do not really know. But, we do know Yeshua was a kind and generous man, in part because the human man named Joseph was his father!

Believe in Parenting

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas: Teaching Children What's Behind the Traditions

Let me start off  by saying if Christmas has become too secular for your tastes do not let it color your view; ultimately Christmas is about you and what is in your heart. Let's look at some of the traditional themes of Christmas and how you can share them with your children.

Saint  Nicholas

The real Nicholas was a Christian Bishop. He lived in the late 3rd century. He saw so much poverty and sickness he worked to help the poor and the sick  After his death the legend of Santa Claus followed his giving nature. Every country has their own customs surrounding the mythical Santa.  However, the original St. Nicholas lived when Rome was still an empire.

Candy Canes

Candy Canes were originally just white sticks of candy. A German Catholic Priest in 1647 started handing them out to children to get them through the long mass on Christmas Eve. Another person a candy maker wanted to decorate his tree with them so He curved them. The candy cane did not make it to the  US until 1847. Then it was still a white hooked candy.. Before 1900 all pictures with the treat where white. The pictures with the red and white were shown after 1900. There is no official time or person to attribute the  red and white Christmas Canes we know today. However, there is a legend in Christan circles written in the poem seen below.

Christmas Candy Cane Poem

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!
Christmas Trees

Many ancient people groups believed in sun gods. They also believed that bringing in evergreens and other life affirming plants would help the sun god heal. This all happened around December 21 the Winter Solstice. This is the pagan beginnings.

However, Christians began to look at trees in the  late 16th century as a way to express their belief in the ever-living God in the 16th century/. The country of Germany is credited with the Christmas tree. Here in the US it is said the first Christmas tree was found in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the 1830”s. Legend says it was the German Protestant Minister
Martin Luther on the way home from a sermon seeing the stars through the boughs of an evergreen tree; used a tree and candles to show his family the beauty he saw.

Fruit Cake

Fruit cake was a way to preserve a food source. Someone could bake a bread filling it with nuts, fruit, and seeds from the harvest and then preserve it by pouring alcohol over the loaves once a month. Fruit cake will remain edible as long as it is doused every so often. They have been known to last over ten years. The cakes were served during the Victorian era as a tea cake in England. It was very popular in the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. I suspect because it is so labor intensive to make. It has gone by the wayside for many home bakers.

We have all seen a picture of Mary and Jesus as a baby. I especially like to see the whole Nativity scene with animals, Shepards, Wisemen and all. This depiction of the Savior's birth is both heartwarming and humbling.  Luke 2 gives the full details of the story from conception to birth. Though historians and the habits of sheperds tell us that more than likely these events happened at a warmer time of year; these events somehow seem more special having taken place in winter. From my point of view the most heart tugging point of the story is that the King of Glory thought it fit to show the world His great humility by being born in a stable, while the "kingmakers" found the way to Him by following a star. By the way the wisemen were more than three.


Unto us a Son is given. This verse in the Bible is found in Isaiah 9:6 and reads:
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Giving is a large part of the season. It was Luke in Acts 20:35 who told us: It is more blessed to give than to receive. I think this is a real value our children can benefit from learning. One important thing to remember is the appropriate time to approach these lessons is between five and six years of age. These lessons may include getting your big kid to gather all his baby toys to take to the local shelter or getting her involved in the planning of getting her  gift for Grandma. When teaching these lessons it is important to let the child see the results of their giving. Kids need to see the joy others get when they receive a gift.

Love is the ultimate theme of Christmas

it was Jesus who told us in John 3:16 “That God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him would receive everlasting life.” Ultimately this is the true gift of Christmas. It is impossible to separate out the myths, folklore, and questionable portions of our Christmas traditions. After all those who are Christians brought these with them into their new walk. However, placing the sacred above the folklore and trusting our Savior to take care of the rest is our responsibility. Also, teaching our children to know and recognize the differences gives them the knowledge to choose and understand how and why they celebrate.This is the greatest gift we can give them!

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Giving your Child the Gift of Brain Power!

Over the last year we have been focused on Multiple Intelligence. This is the theory by Dr. Howard Gardner which speaks of what engages our brains. This theory speaks of each of us using certain activities to engage our brains to activate. What better gift can a parent give than to give their child a life long gift of finding out what can get their brain to engage on a regular basis and allow them to do better in learning and thinking in general. Here are the basics. Below is a link to our gift giving guide for your use.

Multiple Intelligence (Nine Frames of Mind)

Dr. Howard Gardner a Harvard psychologist is the person who is best known for this theory. Dr. Gardner in an article by Kathy Checkley had this to say regarding intelligence.

“Intelligence refers to the human being ability to solve problems or to make something that is valued in one or more culture.” (ASCD, 1997)

In his opinion all people are intelligent. Tendency for intelligence can be seen early in life. Children tend to show how the intellect is sparked instinctively. Does  child in your class talk endlessly; are they constantly trying to figure out how things work, are they alrways doing some form of physical activity? They are showing you their propensity for intelligence. In our culture the tendency is to value only those who have a head for language or logical intelligence.

Dr. Gardner believes the school systems in the US is set up to value these types of intellect leaving out the others. This can be a dangerous attitude for our children. Many children do just fine in school. However, we need to recognize that not everyone has the ability to engage their brain’s to engage through the word or puzzling it out.  Educators of all types especially those in a Children’s Ministry Classroom can provide a richer learning environment by providing a variety of activities which will spark children’s brains into learning. We need to encourage all intellectual bents.  Providing these experiences will help us to begin to recognize the true gifts and callings of the children we teach. This recognition can be the catalyst to helping children find the purpose the Lord sent them here to accomplish.  Each person mentioned above is a human being sent here to Earth to accomplish a task. Each person had the primary intellectual bent which helped guide them along the path to completing their mission. This is also true of each one of us and the children in our care.

According Dr. Gardner there are nine forms of Intelligence they are as follows:

Linguistic - Word
Logical/Mathematical - Numerical/Measuring
Spatial- Picture
Body-Kinesthetic- Physical/Hands-on
Musical- Rhythm/Patterns/Sounds/Music
Interpersonal- People Knowledge/Talking
Intrapersonal - Self Knowledge/Introspective
Naturalist- Nature/Outdoors
Existentialist-Asks the big questions

Each of these intelligences is important to various career and personal goals or ambitions. However, all of us are gifted with some of each. The idea is to see and use the predominate form of intelligence in each of us. The way to do this is to focus on the strength of each area. The following information gives some examples.

Linguistic uses words or language to spark the brain. The process of growth involves lots of words both spoken and written.
A person with linguistic intelligence might be a voracious reader.

Logical-Mathematical uses logic or numbers to spark the intellect. These people primarily need to find the logic or numeral use. A logical-mathematical person may like puzzles or to discover why something works.

Spatial involves being able to see a vision or to create one in the mind. These people use design, pictures, and other artistic means. A person with spatial intelligence may get inspired by drawing an image of their understanding of the information.

Body-Kinesthetic mainly through hands-on and concrete methods.
This person needs to see, taste, hear, smell and interact with concepts to spark them. A person with body kinesthetic intelligence benefits from doing activities they can be involved in a physical way.

Musical involves using sounds, patterns, or rhythms to spark the intellect.
 These folks use the creation of music, sounds, and rhythmic patterns. A person with this kind of intellectual bent may need to place information into song or rhythmic pattern to get an understanding.

Intrapersonal involves relating the information through self-reflection.
This person may need quiet time to reflect on how this information fits into his or her own personal world.

Interpersonal involves interaction with others.
This person may need to discuss the information with others or be involved in a group project.

Naturalist involves outdoor or nature involved activities. This person may need to be involved in an outdoor activity or an environmental project to fully understand the information.

Existentialist this person’s intellect is sparked through providing a variety of learning activities geared toward each asking the big questions and want thing to understand the answers. This person might pick a field like archology because the want to learn more and study how the pyramids were built.

Each of these intellectual bents can be effectively used in a classroom setting. When teachers a variety of activities, use open-ended questions, which allow all the children to think outside the box, and use a variety of learning styles; children get an opportunity to allow their intellect to enhance their learning. 

Creating an activity based classroom, where children get to choose the order in which they do them. Children will automatically gravitate to their favorite and most comfortable form of activities. While also allowing them to find others they like. Creating these 9 intellectually bent classrooms give kids more independence, stretches their thinking, and makes learning more engaging. 

After reading this I suggest you use Scholastic's printable Multiple Intelligence Questionnaire. Use this to help determine your child's intellectual bent. Then use our MIGuide to think about gifts which will support that bent. We here at PT&A hope your holidays are filled with love, laughter, and fun. Most of all we hope as you enter into the new year you will focus on and continue to:

Believe in Parenting

Monday, December 5, 2016

Are you damaging your children?

Parenting is a tough job. I have talked with many adults who are afraid they are doing it wrong. In today's climate where parents are being arrested, we have more children than ever entering into care of the state, and children seem to be "not like we were". Being a parent is a scary proposition. The holidays are a time when adults fear messing up or getting it wrong and damaging their children's holidays for years and even decades in the future. Let me tell you this. Take a deep breath, blow it out, and relax.

I want to assure you unless you are locking your children in a closet, ignoring the fact they need to go to the doctor or dentist several times a year, beating them and leaving bruises so you will not let them go to school the next day, or screaming obscenities in their faces on a regular basis you are not abusing your children. Your everyday mistakes will not harm them over time. Being a human being means you are going to screw up. What counts is how you handle them. Here are a few tips.

Live Authentically As adults it is incumbent upon us to live the life in front of our children we want them to live ourselves. Having our beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions aligned is a large part of the task. We can not tell our children to tell the truth always. Then turn around and ask them to tell someone we are not here when the phone rings. Instead, we take the phone and say, "can I call you back, I can't talk right now."

Say you are sorry. Teaching children how to handle making mistakes is mainly taught by example. When we do or say something hurtful or uncalled for we apologize. Many adults wonder if apologizing puts parents in a weak position. I do not think so. I think being able to recognize a mistake and take responsibility for that mistake is a lot more powerful and adult then not apologizing.

Take time to listen.  Listening is more than just hearing. It means taking the time to really pay attention. 85% of communication is body language. You fail to really hear the whole message if you are distracted. Children notice if you are texting, watching TV, or doing some other activity and think you are not really listening. Take the time to look into your child's face as they are talking, pay attention to facial expression and body language. Then you can get the whole picture.

Recognize it is what happens over time which shapes your children. While it is true one traumatic event can shape our lives it is usually a catastrophic event (a parent, pet, or close relative dying, the house burning down and losing everything, a severe accident or traumatic illness). Otherwise, it is the simple everyday things you do which will most impact your children. I suggest you do these five things:

  1. Spend 15 minutes of undivided time with each child. (Good plan for bedtime)
  2. For every time you need to criticize, find five things to praise.
  3. Use positive discipline (
  4. Give honor and respect to your child's other parent and family.
  5. Tell them you love them and hug them.
Parenting is the only job you will ever love and hate with equal passion on both sides. However, it is what you chose to do on a daily basis which shapes them into the people they will become. Chose carefully what your daily exchanges are and you are bound to get it right!

Believe in Parenting!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Are your children ready for an EMERGENCY?

Earlier this month when a bus crashed in Tennessee. many children did not know their parents names. birthdays, phone numbers or addresses the article stated this made it very difficult for doctors and other Emergency Personnel to contact parents. These five pieces of information are key to First Responders in helping children when they are separated from theur parents.

I encourage all parents to ensure their children know and can recite from memory five basic pieces  of before the first day of Kindergarten.

Their Full Name
The full name of both parents
Home Address
Home/Cell Number of Mom or Dad
Birth Date

In addition, parents should place this same information in their children's backpack (by taping the information into a sealed envelop on the bottom labeled ICE). This is in case for some reason your child can not give the information themselves. It is imperative for adults to prepare childen for emergency situations. One way to do this is to "drill" by asking over and over the information whith your children. At some point they will sigh heavily because you are making them say it over and over again. However, the more you ask the better they will know it. When an emerbency happens it will have become second nature to give the information. This is the reason to make them say it over and over.

I encourage you to begin working on this immediately even with your older children. Be sure they can answer thses questions. It will make a very scaary and difficult time a little easier for both of you!

Believe in Parenting

Monday, November 28, 2016

Giving Tuesday

Tomorrow Tuesday November 24, 2016 is Giving Tuesday. This is a new American Tradition where folks are asked to give to their favorite charities. I want to ask you to consider PT&A in your giving.

Parents, Teachers, and Advocates is dedicated to training parents and ministry volunteers to inspire, motivate, and empower children to become remarkable adults.

Here is what folks have said to us about our programs:

“Thank you for mothering me. Now, I can be a good Mother to my kids.” Marisol P. 2006

“This is awesome! Every new Mom should take this class.” Nita W. 2008

"I have taken classes with DFCS (Division of Family and Children’s Services) they kinda helped; your class is the best I have ever taken. You have helped me a lot. Thank you.” Anonymous, 2010

“This class has helped me and Tracy to both be a stronger couple and better parents.” Phillip H. 2013

“The class helped me to understand and do what is needed in my blended family.” Kevin J, 2015

Barb,  thank you and I hope to plan some events for the parents next year as well! Patricia C, 2016

Helping parents to grow and develop is the joy of my life. You can go to the link below to help us move forward into 2017 training parents and volunteers to train up children in the way they should go. If you would like to donate and help train adults the site is

Believe in Parenting


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Making the Holidays Holy

Next week we begin the holidays with Thanksgiving. As a Christian who is attending a Messianic Jewish Congregation I have struggled with Christmas. However, I know after seeking the Holy Spirit Christmas for me is about celebrating as in Isaiah 9:6 Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. Because of this I think it is incumbent up us to help our children understand the holiness of this time of year. I think we need to set aside the cutesy sayings like "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" and instead give ourselves over to recognizing the sole purpose of this child's birth is for us to be redeemed by his death; without the death of the Messiah we would not celebrate his birth.

So as you begin this season with Thanksgiving start by thanking God for sending his most cherished son to be your Passover Lamb. Give the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the praise due them for being Elohim. Give the Lord, Sovereign God King of the Universe the praise He deserves by talking to your children not only about Him, but the grace He gave them by allowing them to be born here in the United States where even our poor own shoes.

Teaching holiness only begins with thanksgiving. It continues with giving back. Teaching children about love means teaching them to be givers of themselves, their time, talents, and treasures. Sit down as a family and plan family activities centered around giving to others. It could be baking Christmas cookies for the neighbors, serving at a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, planning an angel tree gift, or participating in Operation Christmas Child and packing shoe  boxes. I have participated here and think is this a great way to give to children around the world.

Holiness we need to remember is not the condition of ones hair or dress rather it is a condition of the heart. Teaching our children to not consider the outward appearance of a person is best taught by example. Give every person the respect due a human being through the extension of love, kindness, and respect. During this season while we celebrate the joy of the King coming to the Earth we need to also be sober minded and remember it is not about making things perfect for our kids. Rather it is about teaching them the joy of giving and service. Once you teach them these principles you ensure their  joy of the season will never be about what they get, but rather how much they can give to God and other people.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, October 24, 2016

Today is the Last of the High Holy Days, The Days of Awe

Last night I attended the final official Shabbat of the High Holy Days on the Jewish Calendar. Called Simchat Torah, in English the Joy of the Torah. It is the eighth day of Feast of Tabernacles. Rabbi Kevin spoke of this celebration last night in a way I have never heard or thought about before. He said it is a looking forward to a time where the Messiah will once again live or Tabernacle among His People. I always thought of it as a looking back as a remembrance when in fact as I am learning the Hebrew culture often looks back, at the present, and in the future all at once.

In fact the Hebrew culture makes thing so much different in learning about the Bible. One such example is in Jewish culture the day starts and does not end at sundown. Which I had never thought about, but if your read in Genesis it always says it was the evening and the morning of the day. This is why I say today is the final day of the Feasts. Because the Day started last evening. The first thing I did in the day was to celebrate the Torah.

Another part of the festival is a joy to my heart. The children are brought to the front a prayshall is spread over them. The Rabbi speaks to them of the importance of the Torah in their lives and how important it is for them to recognize not only the importance, but the sweetness of God's Word. Then the Aaronic Benediction is said over them. Then the party sttarts as the children dance and sing as the Torah is carried around the sanctuary.This is Psalms 78:6 in action.

This Feast specifically the eighth day signifies also reaching the end of the Torah and rolling the scrolls back to the beginning to Genesis. This is one great Jewish party. People dance, sing, and celebrate the word of God. By the Word of God I mean the giving of the Ten Commandments, The coming of the Messiah, the writing of the new testament as well as the day of Pentecost where we received the Holy Spirit who writes the word on our hearts. This is one of the festivals the Torah commands be celebrated forever and in Revelations it speaks of us celebrating the festival in the Millennial Reign. Both the final of the 52 week reading of the Torah was read and the first reading of the Torah was read. This begun the reading of 5777. I am sharing this with you now. So, next year on October 13 the next day of Simchat Torah you will understand what all the partying is about. You will be able to tell your children to get ready because someday they will celebrate too the Joy of the Word.

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Parent Engagement Month November 2016

November is Parent Engagement Month it (PEM). PEM is a way for schools to ask parrents to become more engaged in the process of education. What educators know and too few parents know or even understand is the absolute importance adults play in education. Children, Teachers, School Principles, Parent Leaders, and districts need the parents of each child to be actively engaged. This blog will give you some ideas on how to engage on all of the various levels.


 When children understand your absolute seriousness about their education it becomes apparent to them you expect them to do well. Many parents ask question like what did you learn today. Or what did you do at school? These questions can be a little intimidating to children. Here are a few other things to ask:

  • What was the most favorite activity did you do in class today?
  • Is your teacher reading a book to the class? What is the most interesting thing which happend so far in the story?
  • If you had to name one thing today that bored or excited you today what would they be?

According to research teachers tend to pay more attention to children whose parents are actively engaged in education. Active engagement could be maximized by volunteering in the school on a weekly or monthly basis. It can be as minor as calling, texting, or emailing the teacher monthly to see how your child is doing in school and asking how you can support them at home. There are other Offer to ways to engage the teacher as well.

  • Share your child's Multiple Intelligence
  • Offer to talk to the class about your work or hobby.
  • Offer to head up the phone tree to reach out to other parents for volunteering opportunities.
  • Become a Room Parent

Schools often need volunteers in the office to do a variety of things. Speak with your School Secretary to see how you may best be of service. The principle may need help with security during the school day or some other kind of administrative task be sure to check in with them too.


Today's school has a lot more leeway for parent to engage. There could be everything from helping with bulletin boards, to organizing fund raisers, organizing after school activities, running the parent library, keeping the parent room organized and stocked. Working directly with the Parent Liaison or Association/Organization leader to plan meetings, invite speakers, or set-up/down meetings. Engaging your parent leaders is a great way of engaging in the school.


Running for office as a School Board Member is probably the most engaging way for a parent to get involved. I suggest before you get involved at that level you begin to attend or watch meeting sessions. Get to know the issues you care about and find out who is in charge.  You may find you are better utilized outside the political arena and have more leverage as a concerned parent.

Parent Engagement is about each adult becoming actively involved in the educational process in whatever way is comfortable to them. I urge you to become as fully committed to engaging in your child's educational life as possible. The more you know about what is going on, the more effective you will be in ensuring your child is properly educated.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, October 10, 2016

Teach them to love HIm

When I was 12 years old I went forward at New Missionary Baptist Church to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. I was baptized and over the years I had been watching my Mom and Dad read the Bible, sit at dinner and talk about Him, and how He was leading them, and we read the Bible together. It was at this age I began to seek the Lord to use me. I began to talk with God and develop a relationship with Him on my own.

I have been observing parental influence on children and their faith since my years at Oral Roberts University in 1992. What I have noticed is what has become a crisis of faith. We have been so focused on giving our children a "biblical world view" we have failed to help them to develop a relationship with Messiah. So here are some tips to help your children develop a true relationship with our God.

1. Start talking about God to your children when they are young. Children are very susceptible to spiritual things. Teach them about how Messiah cares and listens to them when they talk to Him.

On of my favorite stories about teaching your children about faith was told some time ago by Pastor Bayless Connolly. Pastor Bayless told of how he was teaching the congregation once you ask God for something, we must believe when we pray we receive it. After the prayer we are to then move on and thank God for answering our prayer. Pastor's son  had been wanting a dog. After hearing the sermon he began thanking God for his dog. Over the course of several weeks Pastor heard his son thanking God for his dog. He finally told him to stop it, because he was not getting a dog. Very soon there after the Holy Spirit said to Pastor Bayless he taught his son God answers prayer and to thank God for the answer. Therefore, he needed to take his son out to get a dog. Of course he got up the next morning and took his son to get a dog. Teaching our children about faith is not always easy or convenient, but teaching our children about His willingness to listen and care is invaluable.

2. Teach your children about God's word and how God uses it to speak to you and others.

Many years ago as I was working with two and three year olds. We were working with parents to teach their children the word by sharing scripture verses for them to share at home. We talked with them in children's church and encouraged parents to talk about the scriptures and go over them at home. One Tuesday evening a Mom came and told us this story to illustrate how our collaboration was paying off.

She shared how she had been spending hours trying to wallpaper a room in their house. Her daughter was sitting obn the floor of the room playing. Mom got so fed up and frustrated she let out a cry and through the wallpaper on the floor and said, "I can't do this!" Her daughter looked up at her and said, "yes you can Mommy, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." Needless to say we all had tears in our eyes, even as I write this my eyes are welling up. When we put the scriptures into the minds and hearts of our children we give them a foundation based on truth and they will not depart from its truths.

3. Tell your children to reach out for God when they need Him and He will be there.

When I was at Oral Roberts studying for my MA in Early Childhood a Mom told me this story.

Her son was going through a period of having nightmares. She had not had a full nights sleep in over a week. She prayed about the situation and the Holy Spirit instructed her to tell her five year old to ask Jesus to come be with him if he woke up with another nightmare. Because Mommy was so tired and needed to sleep. Several days later as she was fixing breakfast for the family he asked her a question. "Mommy, why is Jesus' face so shiny?" She turned and looked at him with a puzzled look on her face and asked "what?" He answered, "Last night when I wok up I asked Jesus to come sit with me when I woke up from my nightmare and He did, he told me some stories. Why is his face so shiny? It looks like the bowl on the table in the living room." Curious, she asked her son to tell her what else he remember Jesus looking like. Her son described Jesus exactly how John did in the book of Revelations as He stood among the lamp stands. She was stunned. Her five  year old knew nothing of the book of Revelations yet he described very succinctly almost the exactly what John saw in his account. This mother knew she had heard from the Holy Spirit what to say to her son, yet had no idea Jesus would actually come and tell her son stories as she slept.

Our God is passionate about building a relationship with us, especially, the children. He said, "Do not make it difficult for the children to come to me, because the Kingdom of Heaven is made up as such as these." Do what you can to encourage your children to seek God and build a relationship with Him. Our children do not really need a "biblical world view"; they need a relationship with the Lord, Sovereign God, King of the Universe whom you know, love, and serve.

Believe in Parenting

Monday, September 19, 2016

Parenting Tip: Create Intimacy

Patr of being an effective teacher is connecting with your students in ways that mean something not only to them but, to you. The same is true being a parent. As I sit here on this rainy Sunday Atlanta afternoon.  I'm thinking back over the kids that I've known one comes to mind her name is Hawrrah. She was  student of mine at Dewey international Elementary School in St Louis Missouri. She was a beautiful Bosnian Muslim  and always wore scarf over to cover her hair. This is traditional in Muslim women.  One afternoon she asked me if she could come up to the classroom early from lunch I told her that it was okay. She wanted me to see her hair.  For a Muslim woman showing someone your hair is a very personal, private, and important experience. I felt honored she wanted to shared this with me. 

Looking back on this experience shows me how important it so to have on genuine personal, private, and important experience beween each parent and child. It starts with the adult making space and time for these interchanges to happen. When Hawrrah asked to see me during lunch I had no idea what she wanted. It was my making time and space for it to happen imandatory the experience affected and  impacted me deeply. This happened 16 yeas ago and it still affects me deeply. How much more will it affect your life with each child by making space for personal interactions?

This kind of personal interaction will build your relationships. Become intimately involved with your children and,as always,

Believe in Parenting and

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Practical Guide to Back to School

Now that Labor day is over and the kids are back in school. Here are a few practical tips to help your day go smoother.

1.Your kids have been sitting in the classroom all day. Give them a chance to get outside and get some exercise before homework. Kids have less and less time to be outside in the fresh air and play. Let them in the backyard or take them to the park so they can get all of their wiggleses out and be ready to sit down and do homework.

2. When you get home there should be 30-45 minutes of quiet time.  This can be homework time.  But, I recommend that it just be down time before the kids do their homework, so they're more relaxed and able to think.

3. If you haven't already developed a homework area for your child based on their multiple intelligence. This will spark their brain. Which will in turn make the learning easier. (Remember that kids don't actually learn in school. They are instructed  in school. They learn when they do their homework.)

4. Be sure you have an extra stash of everything they need in order to get their homework done. This includes pencils, crayons,  colored pencils, paper  lined and copy paper. I suggest that when you buy all the school supplies for school, you also buy the same supplies for home.

5. Please make sure your kids get protein in the morning. This is especially important if your kids are on the free food program. Make sure they at least drink a glass of milk before they leave for the day. The government food program at schools usually does not include protein in the morning.  Kids need protein in order to think and maintain brain function through to lunch.

Last suggestion make sure you are getting in touch with your children teacher on a monthly basis. This will allow you to see where they need help. Don't wait until parent-teacher conferences talk to your child's teacher often about the way which is best to contact them.

You want to do this for three reasons the first is teachers who know their parents care are more likely to pay attention to those parents kids. Secondly, your development of a relationship with your child's teacher letsaid your  child know that you think education is important. The last reason is because you want to stay on top of your kids education.the You want to stay ahead of the game. I hope you have a wonderful school year.

As always,

Believe in Parentingg

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Your Life's Purpose Beyond Being A Mom

It is wonderful to be a wife and a mother God has blessed so many women with that purpose in life however he has not just giving you the purpose of being a mother.

If you feel bored lonely tired and now that your kids are back in school you spend more time watching TV then you do anything else then you're not living up to your purpose. Are you getting up every day and going to a job that you hate. Do you have things that you think are important to the job but your boss doesn't think so. It's time to take a step back and look at your life for what it is now and what it could be if you made a few changes. 

As a parent coach it's my job to help you get to the point where you are on Maslow' Hierarchy  of Needs this scale has at the very top of the list  where adults should be it's called self-actualization. This is the place for every adult should be living there Best lives. As as a mom this is very important because 90% of children Linda life they watch their parents live. The old adage the children live what they see is not only a saying it's a fact. Below is an exercise that will help you stop and think about where it is your life is and where you want it to be.

Answer the following 5 questions and be as honest as you can.

1. If you could do anything at all in your personal life what would it be.

2. Describe your dream job.

3. If there was one thing that can make your life or your marriage better what is it?

4. Describe how well what you believe what you think and what you do align with one another.

4. When are you the happiest?

Look back at your answers and answer the following question. If I took all of these things and put them together would that be my best life?

If your answer is yes. Your next step is to start building your thoughts about what your best life looks like. Dayream, then write your dreams don't and read them at least three times a day. What our are doing is getting unselfish to believe your  best life is real. Once you believe it. You will begin to move in terms directionot of bringing water you believe into existence. You can live your best life.  But, first you must believe it is possible!

Believe in Parenting 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How can PT&A Help Train Volunteers

Parents, Teachers, and Advocates  is dedicated to supporting churches of all sizes to train children ministry volunteers to educating children to develop strong relationships with the King of the Universe. Our class trainings are interactive, thought-provoking, and engaging.

It is our desire to serve children's ministry and their volunteers and it creating and engaging training opportunity in conjunction with the minister specifically for their volunteers. We recognize that every church has its own culture. It is our desire to ensure what we bring to your organization, not only operate within the culture but supports the volunteers in becoming a vital and empowered part of the church culture.

If you haven't Church of 1000 members or more we can come in to support you specifically to train your volunteers. If you have a smaller Church of 1000 members or less PT&A will host a variety of events to save you time and expense.
The first will be held this fall.
See the link below for more information.!Apy4g2_jG9GVg2Huh4j7_ff7Pbv0

We have a variety of trainings available:

Using Child Development to Create Appropriate Classroom Environments

Helping Kids Develop Tools to Take their Faith into the Everyday World

Creating Active and Engaging Classrooms

Using Observations to Support Proper Social Interactions Development

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 24 is the National Day of the Parent

May is for Mom's. June is for Dads. July is for Parents. Why a separate  month? Because people are starting to recognize  just how difficult and taxing  parenting can be. Though we celebrate Mom's and Dad's celebrating the process is just as important. Though not recognized curgently as an official  holiday  in the US it is acknowledged. How does onE celebrate Parenrs' Day?

Ultimately, this day is to celebrate  effective parenting is about parents and children spending time together building their relationships. So, make this a fun family day. Do one thing Mom and Dad like where everyone can be involved. And one thing the kids like. If that tends to be stressful here are some ideas:

Family Scavenger Hunt-pick several things you know your family likes doing. Write clues and place them in envelope each place should have a fun activity to do before  you leave. The last clue,should  send your family to a place your family CA sit down and share a meal or a drink and remenise about the hunt.

Take a Day Trip

Go to the local Zoo, Botanical Garden or Park

Go Fishing, hiking, or camping

Have a marathon game of Monopoly, Life, Clue, or Pictionary

Take pictures and create a scrap book a month later and remenise about the day. You can then get two relationship building  activities out of one. Remember, life and relationships are all about spending time with those you love! So plan the time when you can and make special times, and as always...

Believe in Parenting

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why do Parents need a Coach?

In every area of life when we want to get better we hire a coach. We have coaches for sports, business, finances,etc.  I recently, took an online coaching session on blog writing. I have been blogging for about a year and wanted to work with an expert to improve my work. So, I ask when it comes to the most difficult job of all, do we strive to go it alone? Mostly it is the history of the stigma which says, if you need help you must be a bad parent. This is very sad because the opposite is true! First of all let me say using the words good or bad in parenting is detrimental. A person is either an effective or ineffective parent. And the truth is no one is 100% effective. Which is why most parents need a coach.
What can a parent coach do for you? I can share with you what I do with my clients.
Help you to look at your own life first.
Parenting at its heart is a relationship between each child and each parent. Therefore, parenting always starts with the adult. Each person needs to have a firm grasp on their values, beliefs, thoughts, words and actions.  These need to be aligned and lived out daily I call this Authenticity. (Here is a link for more information.) Authenticity in a parents life is the foundation of effective parenting. A coach through a series of exercises can help adults get I into authentic living.
Help you grasp the need for balance in co-parenting.
Co- parenting has come over the last few years to mean adopts who live separately parenting children. However, all parents co-parent. Recognizing your child has two hopefully authentic adults building effective relationships with them is important. The most loving and respectful things a parent can do is respect the relationship the child has with their other parent. Insisting your child speak with, to, and about both parents with respect, means you must live the example.
Helping you to establish a working understanding of child development.
Most adults are an knowledgable n their fields of choice. For most it is not understanding how children grow and things adults can do to support and expand that development. Parent Coaches are experts in this area. Any adult thinking what can or should I do now? The answer is see a coach. Adults are often baffled by what kids do. I can tell you there are reasons, but most times children do not know enough to explain. Honestly, there are times when even I get stumped. But, most of the time with some questioning I can help. Most importantly an adult who understands what stage of development their child is in and the characteristics of that stage can figure out how to better support and guide them.
Giving you cues to recognize when parenting shifts are needed.
Most adults do not realize that as children grow how we parent needs to shift. There are three forms of parenting styles. Autocratic where the parent is in charge and makes all of the decisions. Authoritarian where depending on the child's age (from the "no stage" on) parents offer choices and slowly allow children begin to make age appropriate decisions. The last is permissive where parents step back and allow children to figure it out on their own. (Age as child is maturing into adulthood and beginning to transition to college or career.) Actually, most people have one style which is easiest for them. However, these styles are really stages in patenting which need to be followed along a child's path of development. The thing is some children need more boundaries than others so these shifts greatly depend on the child.
These are the four basic areas where I support parents. These are the basics you can go as shallow or as deep as you wish. However, the reason you hire a coach, is to help you do what you do in a stronger and better way. So, I challenge you. Become a more effective parent. Hire a coach

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Teaching your Children: They were Sent

I recently joined a group on Facebook called Purpose over  Popularity in addition I'm helping a friend with her motivational speaking business called I Am Life in Tune. Interacting with the ladies who are involved with both of these entities has helped me to begin to rethink on the topic of purpose. What I have been thinking about is how we have mistakenly thought that we need to find the meaning of life. Every person on the planet was actually not simply born onto the planet. However, we were actually sent to the planet. As Christians we recognize that there is life after death. But, what we forget is there also life before birth or for that matter conception. One of my favorite verses is Psalms 139:16.

Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began. (Holman)

What I believe this verse gives us is a clear understanding of God having a purpose for us. It is for this purpose we have been born. We were sent here by God to accomplish something. It is up to us not only to find out what that something is, but to prepare our children to do the same. I just read a great article in Relevant Magazine. The title is "What it Really Means o be Made in the Image of God" it talks about all the ways we are like the Creator. One of them is relational. I believe parents  reflect to our children what God is like. Not just by what we say, but in how we live.

I have spoken in previous blogs about being the example for our children and how they live what they learn. I have not spoken much about what we say to them about life and living. I believe every parents should be asking God to reveal to them the purpose for their child being sent here and talking to them about it. I do not know about you,  but I never heard growing up: God sent you here for a reason. Do you know what that reason is? Are you working towards the goal of doing what you are here to do?

Raising children to be purposeful, engaging, productive, adults who commune with God, begins with getting directions from the Holy Spirit and training the child in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). This scripture is not simply about discipline. It is also about purpose. Train up a child to be disciplined and purposeful and when they are old they will not depart from it.

I will give a caveat here. This is to be God's purpose for your child and not yours. Just because your child is one of the best soccer players on the field doe not mean they are to play professionally. It could mean they will get a full ride scholarship so they can become the world's greatest astrophysicist. The only way to know this is to for you to ask and teach them to ask God for the reason they were sent here to Earth.

I know this is a different take on things and may be a bit to wrap your head around. I encourage you to think on it and seek the Holy Spirit on how to apply it your life. And as always,

Believe in Parenting