Looking for some Christian Parenting inspiration? Check out these great Christian Parenting Tips & Ideas that you haven’t thought of yet!
So often I feel like I am waiting for the adult to show up and tell me what to do when certain parenting situations arise. People are so quick to share their opinions on what they think you are doing “correctly” and what they think you should have never, ever done in a million years.
There is a difference in seeking parenting tips from a friend or mentor and hearing what the lady at the grocery store thinks you should be doing differently. Or somebody you once knew in 6th grade.
If you are a parent, grandparent, or caretaker of a child and are looking for some support, I have 5 Christian Parenting Tips to share with you.
Please note, I do not have it “all together.” I do not follow these tips all the time. I struggle and have rough parenting days, but we carry on the good fight because we love our boys so very much. These Christian Parenting Tips are what my husband and I try to incorporate into our life with our kids.
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5 Important Christian Parenting Tips & Ideas
Our kids range from 9-13 so life looks much different than it did when they were younger. They don’t need constant supervision and our schedules are more flexible. We aren’t revolving our days around nap time anymore.
If you are, we feel you. Check out our post Exhausted Moms of Toddlers for how a Christian Mom can get her mind right during this season of life.
1. Serve As A Family
One rhythm we have recently grown to love is serving as a family. When we serve, we feel more connected with God and other people. It’s refreshing. It fills us up as we pour into others.
Serve at Church
Our oldest two boys serve at church alongside us on Sundays. Our oldest does tech stuff and has helped sing in the worship band. Our middle son greets and also helps me in the school-age classroom.
Kids are all part of God’s story. Helping them to see their role in it with the gifts they have been given is very powerful in their lives, as well as for the rest of the world.
Churches do an excellent job of serving communities. We often do service projects during the summer to help people with yard work, special tasks, or maintenance to their home. This past summer we helped to pull weeds and clean up garden beds on the perimeter of a nursing home.
Serve at a Local Food Pantry
Another way we try to serve as a family is to take food to local food pantries. Sometimes we drop off food we have and sometimes we buy stuff specifically for that purpose. The boys enjoy being a part of that.
We have helped pass out groceries at the food pantry.
Our county is also collecting fast food gift cards in small increments for those experiencing homelessness this winter as they cannot gather together at local churches for meals.
See what opportunities your local food pantry has. They’re sure to need some help from your family!
Serve by making Homeless Packs
We took a short trip to Indianapolis a couple months ago. We thought we might come across some people in need, so we asked some friends for some homeless packs. They saw a need and as a family and community have been sharing homeless packs with many people for years.
They gave us 10 packs with toiletries, new socks, food, water and other supplies. We were able to hand out all 10 packs in a short amount of time in Indy.
We talked with some of the people and prayed for some. One man was so thirsty, he was getting water bottles out of the garbage because fountains were shut off due to Covid-19. Another group of people told us they were asked to move away from certain buildings that were blowing heat through vents on the ground.
They were so thankful for the hats and gloves, and put them on immediately.
Our boys experienced a world they have never seen up close. There is something very different inside of us when we are the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.
Jesus came to serve and God encourages us to do the same.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.1 Peter 4:10
A disciple is defined as a follower or student of a teacher/leader/philosopher. If we aren’t leading our kids in God’s truth and love and encouraging relationships with others who will do the same, they will be looking elsewhere for somebody to follow.
This is what stresses me and gets me passionate at the same time.
Kids grow so fast. So. Fast. If you are realizing that and would love a way to remind you of each week you have left with your child until they graduate high school, check out this post, Beans of Our Lives for unique ways to parent intentionally.
We ask ourselves hard questions. “Does our relationship with God make our kids want to grow in their faith or make them want to turn away?”
I will be honest in that some days it doesn’t make them want to develop their own relationship. We say sorry, and thank God for his Grace and try again the next day.
One of our family mottos is that we “Love God and love people.” Many things fall right under those few words.
Another way to disciple your kids is to challenge them to do things they wouldn’t normally choose to do. We are currently reading a book and discussing each chapter with our 2 oldest kids. It’s called “Do Hard Things.” It’s written by teenagers for teenagers.
Did they get excited and say, “Yes, Mom and Dad, I can’t wait to start!”? No. Quite the opposite. But we are doing it anyway.
We have had great discussions and can’t wait to see the fruit coming out of this. I will be doing another post specifically about this book and our review in the future.
***Looking to include Scripture Memorization into your weekly discipling routine? Check out our Memory Verses for Kids printable!
My husband is currently working on a plan specifically designed to disciple our oldest son. It is designed just for him. It will take years of love, commitment, and so much patience but it will be oh so beautiful.
This isn’t something that has been easy. Most things that are hard are very much worth the effort.
If you would like to look into this plan more, you can find information at https://www.primalpath.co/.
Taking that extra time to challenge your kids and then follow through can be so tiring after an already tiring day, but when we invest in our kids’ faith, it is totally worth it.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
3. Raising Self-Sufficient Kids
One of our goals as parents is to help our boys learn to be self sufficient. We don’t necessarily mean growing their own food and making their own clothes. Although that would be pretty cool!
We try to teach our kids how to help keep the house clean. This includes making meals, doing laundry, meeting the needs of our pets, and grocery shopping while sticking to a budget.
What do these things have to do with Christian Parenting tips? It goes back to serving and relationship building.
Please don’t think our kids are sitting around the dinner table asking us what they can learn next. In fact, I just had a conversation with one of our boys today about how he didn’t really clean all of the toilet. How it was still dirty.
He was curious as to why it mattered and I explained if he ever has a roommate and it’s his turn to clean the bathroom, his roommate is going to expect him to really clean the bathroom, not just some of it.
I then explained that if he goes on to get married, knowing how to clean a bathroom is going to be important. If he thinks he cleaned the bathroom and his wife sees it is still dirty, there may be a disagreement. One that could have been avoided if he took the time to learn these skills while growing up.
We have a chore list. It changes with time and age and our life circumstances. The boys have less to do right now during the school year than they do during the summer. They also receive an allowance each month. We are teaching them how to give, save, and spend according to Dave Ramsey’s plan.
You can read more about this plan at https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/money-lessons-kids-arent-taught-in-school.
We noticed our boys were going through their morning routine and chores weren’t getting done. They would finish breakfast, get ready for school, and then start school work.
We gave gentle reminders. We told them we would dock their pay.
They still weren’t motivated or understanding that they needed to complete assigned tasks. We explained if they didn’t do assigned tasks as adults, they could lose their job and pay could be cut.
This past month we cut their pay. I kept track of what was not completed and we paid them accordingly. They still didn’t seem too concerned until we told them if they didn’t complete their chores in due time, we would be paying a brother the next day to do that said task. So far, that has inspired some completion of tasks.
Easily organize your children’s chores with these Family Chore Chart ideas!
Our kids have so much to learn but it takes small steps and that’s ok. Any time you can teach a little mini-lesson that will help them to be more independent, do it. Even through their ungrateful responses!
It is our privilege and duty to help prepare our kids for adulthood.
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.Proverbs 1:8-9
4. Devotions and Good Conversations
I remember the years of trying to do devotions as a family when the boys were younger. It often ended up with somebody crying and me feeling discouraged because we weren’t “doing a good job.”
Looking back, I made it more complicated than it needed to be. I felt like it had to be more formal in order for them to hear what we were saying. It doesn’t.
Like I said before, our kids range in ages 9-13. We have tried several different strategies with them. What seems to work best for our family right now in this season might not work the same way in a couple months from now.
With our kids all doing remote learning, we have found that reading a short devotion at breakfast is a great way to get our day started. We love the Jesus Calling 365 Devotional book by Sarah Young.
It gets scripture in our minds and also shares how we can apply it to our lives. We read this, pray, and then finish getting ready for the day and doing our morning chores.
We also make a point to eat supper together every night as family. We use that time to pray and share more about our days. Sometimes we do “highs” and “lows.” It helps the kids look at the blessings in their day and provides an opportunity for them to share the hard parts.
We look for the gifts and talents God has put in them, say them out loud, and try to give the boys opportunities to use them.
As the boys are older, we are starting to read books with them to talk about. It wasn’t well received initially, but as we stick with it we see God working.
Another way we spend time with God and our children is by praying with them individually before they go to bed. Some nights it’s hard to know what to pray for.
Some nights I honestly wish they would pray for us.
No matter what we pray, we almost always pray that our boys know how much we love them and that they know God loves them even more.
We look for opportunities for our boys to have other adults investing in them and bring them to those places consistently. We pray for those people as they invest in our youth.
I love to see God working, see His blessings, and to point out God’s creativity to the kids. I want them to see the good and see it pointing back to God. Especially in this broken world.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 34:3. “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”
When we meditate on the goodness of God throughout our days, that is what we magnify. When we think of the things we wish our boys would do differently or even the things we mess up on, it’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.Psalm 34:3
5. Stop Overreacting
I can be an over-reactor. Maybe you can relate?
I am aware of this and try to work on it. I do think I have become more aware of this and have gotten better about it over the years but it’s still a struggle.
It is so easy to feel like the hard moments are going to last forever. With that in the back of our minds, it’s easy to have a big reaction. When I have a big reaction, the kids often escalate. I can see it happening and yet I still struggle to keep it in check.
Something that has helped me in these moments is to ask myself if this is going to matter in 5 minutes from now.
Or 5 days from now?
5 years from now?
Most of the time it doesn’t.
Why Do I Overreact?
I think it’s because I truly want what’s best for my kids. I want them to have joy. To be able to treat people with kindness and understanding. To understand how much God loves them.
When those things feel so far away it’s hard to hold on to the truth that God is in control and that He has placed us on this earth at this specific time to parent these specific children.
What To Do Instead
I have heard this phrase several times before at conferences designed for moms. “They won’t come to us for the big stuff if we make a big deal out of the small stuff.”
As we are entering high school in the next year, those words keep coming back to me. We want to be the first people our kids come to for help. Not the last. Our reactions play a huge role in how that plays out.
I recently asked one of our sons what he thought about the effect of parents’ big reactions on kids. I was pretty proud of the truth in his answer and it was pretty enlightening.
He told me that over-reactions may make kids shut down and purposely do the opposite of what their parents want. They may act out more in spite to get back at them.
He then told me most of the time kids don’t want to do things that are upsetting to their parents, but in the moment it’s hard to remember that.
I’m not saying we should walk on eggshells around our kids. The balance of truth and grace always seems to work best for us. It’s just a hard combination to get to.
Life works better when we follow the advice in James…
Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.James 1:19
Wrapping Up Christian Parenting Tips & Ideas
I’m not sure what season of parenting you are in.
If you have a newborn and are just making it to the next naptime. If you have a toddler who can move quickly and isn’t able to share the words he wants to, so he gets frustrated super quickly.
If you have a school age kid who falls apart at home because he is trying so hard to keep it together during school or remote learning.
A junior higher who seems to have an opinion about just about everything everybody in the house says or does. A high schooler who locks himself in his room the majority of the day.
No matter what stage you are in, it’s hard.
I hope these Christian Parenting Tips help you feel like you are not alone. I hope you feel encouraged in your parenting journey and I am cheering you on!