Teaching Children to Pray

Jesus had a special relationship with children. I love the verse that says, “Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Jesus valued and protected the vulnerable. He used the “faith of a child” as a model for us to follow—faith like a child means complete trust in God.

In the most basic sense, praying is talking to God. We want to instill this habit in our children. Prayer is an ongoing conversation between ourselves and God, and we want our children to learn how to participate in that as they grown in faith.

Start with simple prayers

In Sunday school, I can remember the teacher telling us to put our hands together and close our eyes because we were going to thank God for the snack. Encourage children to use simple words and phrases in prayers like saying “thank you” and ending with “amen.”

Young children understand concrete and tangible things much more easily than the abstract. For young children, focus on prayers for the people closest to them like their grandparents, parents, and siblings. For older children, you can encourage prayers for other people they interact with (teachers, classmates, their pastor). Talk with older children about things that concern them (1-3 things so they don’t feel overwhelmed), then pray with children about those concerns.

Keep prayers short so that children can focus. Remember that children have a very short attention span and you don’t want their minds to start wandering.

Help children make and keep a habit

Children need constant reminders to keep habits from cleaning their room to brushing their teeth to exercising. The same goes for spiritual habits like Bible reading and prayer. Help your children learn to pray by making prayer a regular part of your routine. Say a prayer with children in the car while you are driving to school and say a prayer before meals and before bedtime.

Children are always watching the adults around them so make sure your own prayer life is robust and healthy.

Let children know that they can pray when they feel afraid and God will give them peace. We don’t just want to build an empty habit of repeating words we want to encourage a healthy relationship with the Lord and children from an early age

Be prepared to answer questions that children have

What are some questions that children might have about prayer? “Why are we praying to somebody that we can’t see?” Answer those questions in a way that your children will understand. It’s natural for them to ask questions and feel confused. Give them guidance along the way.

Point out answers to prayer to children as they happen

Point out to children when their prayers have been answered so children can see that God hears us. For example, if a child prays for their sick friend and their friend gets better, point this out. The next time you pray, say “Thank you, Lord, for healing our friend.”

Let your children know that they are an answer to prayer! “We are so glad that God allowed us to be parents! You are a blessing!”

In Conclusion
We want to instill good spiritual habits like prayer and Bible reading in our children so they can grow into men and women who serve the Lord. We can do this by beginning with simple prayers, helping children form the habit of prayer, and pointing out when prayers are answered. Prayer has the power to change lives!

Tips for Educating a Special Needs Child

book with rope heart

 

Pаrеntѕ оf dеvеlорmеntаllу dіѕаblеd оr other ѕресіаl nееdѕ сhіldrеn ѕhоuld bеgіn рlаnnіng fоr the іnеvіtаblе day whеn their сhіld turnѕ 18 аnd lеgаl guаrdіаnѕhір muѕt bе еѕtаblіѕhеd. This process begins with education. Yоu саn gеt a very gооd, ԛuаlіtу еduсаtіоn fоr уоur ѕресіаl nееdѕ сhіld wіthіn thе ѕсhооl ѕуѕtеm. Yоu dо nееd tо tаkе hееd оf ѕоmе іmроrtаnt аѕресtѕ whеn dеаlіng wіth dіѕаbіlіtіеѕ аnd thе ѕсhооl dіѕtrісt.

Eduсаtе уоurѕеlf bеfоrе уоu go іntо a mееtіng wіth the рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ іn thе school dіѕtrісt:
* Lеаrn аll уоu саn аbоut your child’s ѕресіfіс dіѕаbіlіtу (сlаѕѕіfісаtіоn)
* Learn уоur rіghtѕ & rеѕроnѕіbіlіtіеѕ (fоr уоu & уоur сhіld)
* Lеаrn thе rіghtѕ & rеѕроnѕіbіlіtіеѕ оf thе ѕсhооl dіѕtrісt
* Fіnd аn аdvосаtе thrоugh thе ѕtаtе dерartment оf еduсаtіоn
* Fіnd a ѕuрроrt grоuр оr ѕtаrt оnе of уоur own
* Fіnd оnlіnе ѕuрроrt grоuрѕ—they hаvе a wеаlth оf іnfоrmаtіоn thаt уоu mау nееd.

You wіll nеvеr lеаrn аll thе lаwѕ of special еduсаtіоn аѕ there аrе ѕеvеrаl nоtеbооkѕ (аbоut 4 іnсhеѕ thісk) fіllеd wіth thеѕе lаwѕ. Hоwеvеr, уоu саn lеаrn thе lаwѕ thаt реrtаіn to уоur сhіld and thеіr ѕресіfіс nееdѕ.

child coloring

Parenting a ѕресіаl needs сhіld іѕ сhаllеngіng. Yоu nееd tо hаvе fаіth аnd make ѕurе уоu hаvе a gооd ѕuрроrt ѕуѕtеm оf fаmіlу, frіеndѕ, аnd реорlе frоm уоur child’s ѕсhооl ѕуѕtеm. This sounds obvious, but if you can mаkе thе wеlfаrе оf уоur сhіld the hіghest рrіоrіtу, уоur еffоrtѕ wіll bе rеwаrdеd. Trеаt уоur сhіld аѕ nоrmаl as роѕѕіblе; do not fееl ѕоrrу fоr your сhіld (оr уоurѕеlf) and ѕроіl оr bаbу thеm. Juѕt treat аnd lоvе thеm as уоu wоuld уоur other сhіldrеn. Yоur gоаl ѕhоuld bе rаіѕіng a gооd, hарру, соnfіdеnt, аnd іndереndеnt adult whо саn bе thе bеѕt hе оr ѕhе саn bе.

Bе іnvоlvеd in уоur сhіld’ѕ еduсаtіоn: еduсаtе уоurѕеlf аbоut уоur сhіld’ѕ disability, undеrѕtаnd уоur сhіld’ѕ ѕtrеngthѕ аnd areas fоr improvements, аnd dеvеlор аn еffесtіvе rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth уоur сhіld’ѕ tеасhеrѕ аnd ѕресіаl nееdѕ ѕеrvісеѕ dераrtmеnt. Mееt аnd іntеrасt wіth adults thаt hаvе thе ѕаmе dіѕаbіlіtу аѕ уоur сhіld, which wіll gіvе уоu a grеаt іdеа оn thе асhіеvеmеntѕ уоur child саn аttаіn. Yоur сhіld grеаtlу bеnеfіtѕ whеn bоth раrеntѕ share іn the еxреrіеnсе оf rаіѕіng thе сhіld. Dеvеlор a сlоѕе rеlаtіоnѕhір аnd good соmmunісаtіоn wіth уоur сhіld. Buіld уоur child’s ѕеlf-соnfіdеnсе bу ѕuрроrtіng their раѕѕіоnѕ аnd hоbbіеѕ. Knоw thаt bеіng dіffеrеnt іѕ fіnе.

Thіѕ аррlіеѕ tо аll children, аnd thе reward of ѕееіng уоur сhіld grоw uр tо be a ѕuссеѕѕful аdult іѕ unbеlіеvаblе. Wе hаd thаt еxреrіеnсе wіth оur dеаf son and I саn tеll уоu thе ѕасrіfісеѕ аrе mоrе than wоrth іt.

Why Soccer is the Perfect Youth Sport

Childrens soccer team

For any Christian family, trying to find a sport that your child can play that is going to help them improve their physical qualities while enjoying many other values can be tough. Some see American football as tough—it’s too cutthroat and has too much rough-housing. Some see basketball as very limited as to who can actually succeed at it. Baseball might not be your option either, so find a sport your child can be enthused and entertained by.

Taking our eyes off the American lens for a second, though, why not enjoy the global sport that is soccer?

Over the years, I’ve watched all of my children take part in soccer. It was one of the best decisions I ever made to have them participate. I’ve watched each of them grow up into intelligent people who are caring about the game and who have helped to pass on its most positive message and vision to the next generation.

I’ve watched beaming with pride as they and their teammates and coach all work together to claim wins and trophies. I’ve felt a numbing elation at seeing them score the winning goal – and for one of my children, seeing them make an outstanding last minute block on the line to help his side with a youth championship.

Believe me, when I first got started, I thought it was something to help them stay fit and distracted. When I see my kids taking part in these landmark moments—and how happy it made everyone around us—I’d lose it. I’d wind up several paces from where I was standing beforehand, and I’d find myself cuddling away with strangers in sheer elation as we cheered them on. It was amazing, and it’s truly one of the best decisions I ever made.

If I could recommend anything for a youth a take part in, it’s soccer.

Soccer ball in grass

What Makes Soccer So Special for Youth Development?
Despite “only” being the fourth largest American sport, soccer is the perfect game for any young child to play. If you are looking for a sport that can pass on the importance of physical prowess, technical improvement, a devotion to the craft, an understanding of teamwork, and also the importance of discipline, then no sport in the world can offer such a variety like soccer.

I’ve watched as my kids have learned to be great team players in soccer and in life. Watching their progression from ball-addicts who now pass it to teammates and play with a selfless drive is something that I cannot recommend enough for parents.

It helps kids to mature very quickly, and they get used to the idea that winning the game for the team is less important than the team winning the game together. If that means playing a pass to an open teammate, they’ll do it.

Honestly, I also found that playing helped my children develop a much better discipline in life, too. They became much more methodical, far more capable of listening to critique and actually acting on it. Also, I got to watch their problem solving skills improve tenfold; they worked out that if they could problem solve on the pitch in real-time, they could it in any other walk of life.

Basically, I found that soccer was the ultimate team sport. It helped my young ones become brilliant young minds, and it helped me massively as a parent. Forget the stereotypes—soccer breeds talented, committed, well-coached, disciplined, and intelligent sports players.
It also creates good people who learn strong Christian values through the ethics of the sport that makes it so popular. Add in the worldwide appeal and the great youth development opportunities in America, and you never know—what starts out as a great tool for personal development could see your kids going to the top of the professional tree!

I’d never watched much soccer at all until my kids got involved. Now, it’s my #1 sport. I can assure you that through the development opportunities in soccer that you will see your children become better athletes and human beings in general. It’s the best decision I ever made for their futures, and couldn’t recommend it enough.