Having Fun Giving Thanks
Posted on

Last week, one of my sweet neighbors dropped off a Thanksgiving gift on our doorstep. Now, I knew all about “Elf on the Shelf,” but I didn’t know there was a “Turkey on the Table.” I love it! What a delightful way to encourage our kids to grow in gratitude! The turkey comes with feathers (pieces of paper) to write down daily blessings.
Personally, I believe Thanksgiving is well-timed, because we all need a good dose of gratitude before we enter the season of “what do I get.” It seems as though there are plenty of opportunities to complain and grumble during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and gratitude is the perfect antidote. When we offer thanks, we turn our hearts toward God’s goodness instead of our discontentment. A thankful heart is a happy heart.
There is nothing more enjoyable and delightful than a family filled with grateful hearts. “Turkey on the Table” offers the opportunity to encourage your kids to count their blessings and consider what is good in their lives. Whether you have a “Turkey on the Table” or you create your own way to record daily thoughts of gratitude, you will find joy in turning the focus on God’s grace and blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Moms on the Move
Posted on

dakota-corbin-243775

Now more than ever, I believe kids are desperate to see moms (and dad’s too, but this is a mom blog) living out their love for Jesus in authentic and real ways. It begins with our own personal walk of faith and moves toward sharing our faith with the next generation.

To me, one of the saddest verses in the Bible is Judges 2:10,

After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.

Did you read that? The next generation (which was Joshua’s generation) did not know God or what He had done for Israel! Why didn’t they know? Because the parents failed to pass on the stories of faith, hope and redemption.

If you are like me, you don’t want to raise a generation that does not know the Lord or His ways. How do we effectively pass on our faith to our children. I believe it happens in several ways. Three practical things each of us can do are:
• Read and tell our children stories from the Bible. Inspire a love for God’s Word.
• Use teachable moments to relate Biblical truths in every day life.
• Allow our own example of faith, hope and love to help them learn about God.

The third one is the most important! Our example is more powerful than our words. When our children observe our living and authentic faith, it encourages their walk with Him. But if we are disingenuous, hypocritical or hateful, their picture of God’s faithful love grows dim.

May we be beacons of light, not because we are perfect, but because we walk humbly with a perfect God. Let’s be faithful to draw close to God, to read our Bibles and to allow His bold and unfailing love flow through us!

Want to get to know your Bible better? Check out Karol’s book, Becoming a Woman of the Word. Click below for more info.

Engage Positive Parenting Initiative
Posted on

Engage Square Graphic-01 (1)

Several years ago, God called me to a new mission. I’m still writing, but in a fresh and beautiful way for my parenting outreach program. It’s called Engage Positive Parenting Initiative. We lead discussion groups for men and women in areas affected by poverty or adversity. I started this organization with the desire to encourage parents in all communities to love and nurture their children in a positive way. You can find out more about our work by visiting www.EngageParenting.org

We would love for you to prayerfully consider joining us as we reach out to parents and change lives for generations to come. You can volunteer to lead an Engage group in your city by visiting our website. Of course, you can always donate and most importantly, pray for our work. For the next few months, I am devoting my time to build our organization and continue to write the curriculum, so I won’t be posting on this page. You can go to www.KarolLadd.com for my encouraging blog for women of any age, and you can visit our Engage resource page to find helpful articles and blogs.

Diversity Women Socialize Unity Together Concept

several kids

Make it A Great School Year
Posted on

cel-lisboa-73969

Whether you are homeschooling are sending your kids out the door, you can have a tremendous influence on your children’s growth and learning. As a positive mom, you have the opportunity to inspire and encourage your kids to love the learning process. Here’s a few thoughts on making it the best year ever:

Positive Perspective – Enthusiasm is contagious and when you choose to have a go-getter attitude, it permeates the family. I’m not saying you have to be Mrs. Perky Positive all the time, but I am encouraging you to examine your words and attitude toward school and the other families. Instead of saying, “Oh, you have an awful schedule this year.” Why not say, “Wow, it looks like it will be a tough year, but I know you can get through it. With God’s guidance and strength, it may even turn out to be your best year ever.” Be honest and realistic, but always turn toward hope and away from despair. As you maintain a positive outlook, you will find your kids will learn to do the same. I’d much rather have positive kids than negative ones!

 

Pray Together – As you face challenges throughout the year, make prayer a consistent theme in your family. During those times when you don’t know how to handle a challenging friendship or a rude teacher, take it to prayer and ask God for wisdom. He promises to give generously to all who ask (James 1:5) without finding fault. Perhaps your child has been hurt by others, pray for God’s comfort and healing. Pray for new friendships together. There is nothing that bonds you more than praying together as a family. This is also an important way to get your kids in the habit of praying about everything, instead of worrying about issues in school and in life.

 

Stop praising, start encouraging – It is much more important to encourage your child to learn and grow through a challenge, rather than simply praising them as “the smartest” or “the best.” Studies now show that insincere praise can actually do more harm than good. When your kids face a challenge or a test, highlight their hard work and preparation along with their ability to learn from mistakes.  Instead of insincere flattery, focus on specific and sincere ways to cheer your kids on and strengthen their heart. A good life-lesson for us all is “progress rather than perfection.”

 

Thoughtfully Engage with your Kids – Instead of asking, “How was your day?” Try asking, “What was the best thing that happened to you today.” Or “Who did you sit with at lunch and what was the hot topic of conversation?” Engaging in conversation along with eye contact with your kids can have a positive effect on your family. Studies show that when you interact with your kids over the dinner table at least four times a week, they are more likely to do well in school, stay out of trouble and adhere to family values. One of my favorite times for conversation was at the kitchen table right after the kids got home from school as we enjoyed after-school snacks. Perhaps yours is breakfast time or during dinner or in the car. Find the time that works best for you, and lovingly listen to your kids.

For great discussion starters around the dinner table, check out Table Talk

Never Underestimate a Good Night’s Sleep
Posted on

The sleeping boy

 

As school gets back into full swing, it’s the perfect time to set some good habits in place. One healthy habit to instill at the first of the school year is getting to bed at a decent hour. There are many benefits to getting a good night’ sleep. One of the most important benefits for our kids is that sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. Sleep loss, on the other hand, may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate and moodiness (and who wants that?).

What is the recommended amount of sleep for kids and adults? Here’s what the National Sleep Foundation recommends:

Newborns (0-3 months)               14 -17 hours

Infants (4-11 months)                  12 – 15 hours

Toddlers (1 – 2 years)                   11 – 14 hours

Preschoolers (3 – 5)                      10 – 13 hours

School Age Children (6 – 13)       9 – 11 hours

Teenagers (14 – 17)                      8 – 10 hours

Younger Adults (18 – 25)             7 – 9 hours

Adults (26 – 64)                             7 – 9 hours

Older Adults (65 +)                        7-8 hours

To see their full report, visit the National Foundation for Sleep website

 

What is the best way to get kids to bed? I recommend starting a regular bedtime routine. This can be as simple as:

  • Bath time
  • Read books and Bible story together
  • Pray together
  • Lights out

Guard against feeding foods and drinks with a high amount of sugar or caffeine before bedtime, and stay away from any forms of violent, disturbing or scary media. Use your bedtime routine as a time to interact with your kids and talk about what they are thankful for and what you can pray about together.

Here’s one of my favorite Bible story books:

 

 

962131: The Complete Illustrated Children"s Bible The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible
Positive Mom Book: