Help your child embrace their history. When a child knows where they came from, they are better equipped to love themselves and others.
Although I don’t know my origin story, I know that those that came before me paved the way for me to be here. As a mixed-race African American woman, it wasn’t until I was older that I fully understood our people. Understood their contributions, and the strength that they had to endure.
As an educator and children’s author, my goal is to give every child the opportunity to know who they are. When a child knows who they are, they are better equipped to love themselves and those who came before them.
“When you own the truth of your origin story, it can never be erased
With that said, how do parents, give children opportunities to embrace their own history while exploring others?
Our History is more than Just Race
According to Dr. Lucretia Carter Berry, author of Hues of You, race is a concept created to institute a social hierarchy, so racial categories describe only how we are grouped and not how we actually look. Research has found that conversations with children about skin tone and race must be explicit. Should use simple terms that children understand, and should be incorporated into family life and formal learning settings.
Therefore, the concept of race doesn’t go far enough. In order for people to embrace their full identity we need to look to our past for the keys to our future. Some of us know exactly where we came from, the origin story is very clear; told from one generation to the next. For others, self-included, history is lost. However, we can look to the people who paved the way for us to be here today.
Knowing your History
Before we can showcase the amazing contributions our ancestors made we have to know our history. Parents, just because you didn’t learn about the amazing contributions others made throughout Black history doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Even if your family history is painful to talk about, the stories need to be shared; they need to be kept alive. Chances are your child isn’t learning a whole lot about their history in their formative years from school. So, if you don’t teach them who will? Seems like it is time to share what you know with them. Or better yet, learn right alongside them. What an amazing gift you’ll be giving to both yourself and your child.
You have successfully joined the subscriber list.
Create the Dialogue
There are so many ways to help your child embrace their identity as long as you keep the dialogue going. Try engaging your child in activities like cultural fairs, filling your home library with diverse books, and buying baby dolls that are of a different race than your own. The main point is to encourage and keep the conversation going. Remember as your child’s first teacher, you have the opportunity to instill in them a deep rich love for themselves and others.
Let me be clear that Christian families everywhere are under attack. As Christians, we have a hard time coming together on issues, but we have to stand on the Truth, the Word of God. If not, we will continue to be attacked by the enemy. Here are five ways your family could be under spiritual attack.
Attack on Marriages
One of the ways the enemy has reared its evil head is by breaking up the family unit. The family unit has the potential to be one of the most powerful. A marriage, for instance, takes two people coming together and becoming one. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 NKJV).
A marriage is based on two independent people becoming one flesh. Ultimately, God’s design is for them to be in unity with one another. In a marriage, the goal is to die to your flesh. Your partner’s concerns and hurts are now yours too and vice versa. In the vein of being in unity with one another, you grow to want to help your partner. It is a loving relationship in which the partners have the best intentions for one another.
There are so many worldly issues that can cause disharmony: finances, spending too much or not enough time together, communication issues, different ideologies, and so on. The enemy—who comes to kill, steal, and destroy—will have spouses so wrapped up in the issues of the world that the couple misses their godly love for each other.
Attack on the Seed of Life
When a couple starts to have children, the enemy may, once again, be out to steal their joy. From the moment you find out you’re carrying life, there is an attack on the seed. From fears, doubts, and confusion, what is supposed to be a happy joyous time may leave you feeling in a state of constant fear and worry. The enemy intends to leave you so depleted that you can’t focus on the life you’re carrying. However, those In Christ can stand firm on the Bible teachings that tell us that the seeds we carry will be the light of the world.
Attack on Children and the Education System
Turn on any news channel, and you will see our American education system under attack. School shootings and other forms of violence against children and teachers. Moreover, a spiritual attack on education is evident through the confusion that lies within the educational system. Schools around the country have been a prop in the enemy’s agenda that says it’s okay to question or change your identity altogether.
When God created you, He didn’t make a mistake. He created you as a gift of love to the world. Children are just forming their identities, and society comes in with these really big questions about same-sex marriage, transgender issues, and gay ideologies. Even if parents are not in agreement with this teaching, some schools are pushing this agenda, hoping to make the school more inclusive.
From an education standpoint, we have two choices: 1) leave the social conversations out of education or 2) come to education with the mindset that every voice must be heard. There was a time in my children’s school that “pride” merchandise such as sweatshirts, caps, and mugs were being sold to the campus staff and children with no controversy. However, when the school was approached with an opportunity to hear from a Christian children’s author with a book about the legacy of black history and an edifying message of greatness, the request went through many channels and was then denied.
Why? There is an attack on our schools and our children laced with confusion and misinformation. One worldview is not the only one a child should hear. Yet, in this case, the school failed to represent all voices, thus doing the children a disservice.
Attack on Fathers
As a married woman, I see how the enemy has blinded the eyes of men to their spiritual potential. Most men, but not all, are unaware of their own greatness in God. God so greatly designed the man as the head of his family, to cover his wife and children. If a man doesn’t know his ultimate family role, how is he to rise up in spiritual matters? The enemy wants to get the man so distracted with anything he can that the man forgets about his Creator. The man ends up failing to remember to seek the Lord in all things and, as a result, falls out of line with what God really wants for his family.
Attack on Mothers
The attack on mothers is much the same as on fathers. The enemy wants us all wound up, distracted, our focus on anything other than honoring God. The enemy knows we are strong and have God’s power within us. When we get ahold of who we really are in Christ, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. Our job as women is to remain focused on the Creator. Since He formed you, He knows every detail about you and how you operate.
In conclusion, the enemy wants to get you in all sorts of ways and leave you in a state of confusion, feeling worn out and rundown just for being who you’re called to be. It all starts with your mind and what you think about it. Don’t give the enemy any access points. That means always being “armored up,” focused on what is good, lovely, and just. You are the gatekeeper of what you allow in. What do you need to lay down today so the enemy won’t have a foothold to attack your family?
Raising legacy leaders is raising leaders who leave a lasting legacy for future generations. Essentially, raising children in a way that makes them leaders will help them to become capable human beings.
Remind Children Who They Came From
Raising legacy leaders means teaching them to know who they come from. The best thing a parent can do is know themselves. When you are a whole person you can teach your child how to show up in the world with that same spirit. Since our children are decoding and deciphering messages all day long they will naturally pick up the messages around them. What messages do you want your child to pick up on? When you work on yourself your child sees that. When you are continuously improving your child sees that and naturally does the same thing. No parent is perfect, but it would be detrimental to your development and your child’s to stop progressing.
Build your child up
In order to help your child receive the positive message that you are trying to instill in them, spend distraction-free time with your child. Yes, laying down the tech and actually spending time with them. Playing board games, talking, getting to know their interest, and cooking together. All these experiences at any child’s age will help them open up so you can do the work of building them up.
My youngest loves drawing and because of the career path I have recently taken as an author, he is very interested in making his own book. While the oldest has always gravitated toward musical instruments and entrepreneurship. He discovered how to play different instruments over the years and he displayed his entrepreneurial skills by making a lemonade stand and starting a neighborhood lawn business. We encouraged them by spreading the word to our neighbors and nearby family members to come to support their efforts. The skills they learned from these things are helping them in school and life. Knowing that they can take risks and that they are capable leads them to know they will be capable adults.
Routine leads to Consistency
In raising legacy leaders, consistency matters. It feels like as humans we are hard-wired to know that we work better when we have a routine. So, parents, one of the best things you can do for your kids is to create routines that will lead to consistent behavior. When my son was about 3, I felt he was ready to make a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich for himself. I probably wouldn’t have even had the thought if I also didn’t have a one-year-old and was running a home daycare, but I was. I taught him how to do it himself. Yes, it was messy at first; globs of jelly were left on the table. Later he would be taught how to wipe it up only to realize he would leave a sticky residue of jelly because he didn’t know yet how to put enough pressure on the sponge to fully wipe it clean. All this had to be learned over time.
The point is that I intentionally gave him the responsibility to ensure he knew he was capable. This seemingly small action empowers a child with the skills to become independent thinkers, who are mindful of themselves and others.
Lead by Example
When I was little I heard some parents say, “Do as I say, not as I do”. This approach to parenting always baffled me because as a parent you are your child’s first teacher. You get the amazing opportunity to instill your examples into your child. So, it would make more sense for parents to say lead by example. The truth is, every child everywhere wants to be like their parents! You are their number one influencer. When I have to be the example setter for my children; I have to remind myself to be kind in the checkout line. I have to remind myself to be present when I really want to take a call or focus on sending emails.
The same is true for our children we have to minimize distractions like video games and screen time, why? Because the distractions cloud the mind from creative thinking. The more a child is able to think creatively the more he can be in tune with his natural abilities. As an educator, it is unfortunate that I have seen the arts being taken out of schools. For that simple fact, it is still a parent’s responsibility to help foster that love of creativity and imagination.
When a child thinks creatively he is tapping into a different part of the brain to access creative thought. Creativity is the building block of your child’s future. Let them create, imagine and wonder about the world. The more we allow our children to do this the more their thoughts are free to explore all possibilities. When they are adults and someone says, “We can’t do that” in a board meeting they will be the one to stand up and say, “why not”? Because they were given the time and space to be creative they will be able to think outside the box and come up with solutions that others might not see.
Parents, parenting is hard overall. Remember that you have a purpose in your parenting. The joy of parenting comes when you partner with God and let Him lead you. Your heart will soar in anticipation of who they can become or what they will do in this life. What parenting practices can you instill today to leave a lasting legacy on your child?
Hey mama, I feel like the ministry of motherhood is the most rewarding and challenging ministry ever! If you are the best parent, cool under pressure, praise the Lord! However, I have had moments of insanity while raising kids until I started doing this one simple act.
What act am I referring to?
Yes, praying over your kids, for your kids, and with your kids makes you – and them better people!
Here are the top 3 reasons why prayer is necessary for the ministry of motherhood
Stop the Insanity
Since prayer is the lifeline between you and God, when you pray, he listens. As a result, your prayers will be answered (in his timing, of course). Mathew 7:7-8 tells us to seek, and we will find. Knock, and the door will be open. The problem is that a lot of times, his children fail to ask. Maybe you think prayers are for people who are worse off than you. Or that he has bigger things to solve than how to have more patience with your kids.
Sis, the enemy wants you to believe that your prayers do not matter. For instance, you might have reservations about praying for your kid not to touch everything in the store because there are so many people in the world suffering. You might feel your small prayer is not valid compared to all the things you could be praying over. The reason to pray is to build a relationship with your Father. God sees the struggles and pain in your everyday life. He is waiting for you to talk to him about your ministry of motherhood role. However insignificant you think your situation might be, Jesus is waiting patiently to listen and help.
How to pray for your motherhood ministry
Whether you know it or not, motherhood is a ministry. It takes great strength to raise a family. Believe that you are not alone in this ministry of motherhood. Your job is to bring up humans that exemplify what the bible teaches. Since a child understands by example, be the example for your child. For instance, do your children see you reading the bible, praying, and doing good works? Start praying for the ability to lead as God wants you to. Since God hears your prayers, Holy Spirit will guide you in raising your children.
Praying with and affirming your kids
We always did our nightly prayers, but I realized our children needed prayer in the morning too. My kids needed me to set the tone of the day. I had to help them get to a peaceful state of mind before the school day started. Our morning prayer routine turned into opportunities to pray with other family members using the Our Daily Bread app.
Part of our morning prayer time includes speaking God’s promises over them. For a complete list of the affirming scriptures, click here. When you Affirm your kids with scripture, you tell them how God sees them.
So today, pray for yourself in the ministry of motherhood, as well as the children you are leading. Grab your affirmations or make your own and start praying with and over your kids. I am praying for you! It takes a village to raise a family.
Christian mama’s, let’s talk about raising your Christian kids in the alpha generation. Here’s what you need to know about the Alpha generation. Gen alpha is your current 0 to 10-year-olds. They have the most access to technology; they are the least likely to get enough outdoor time. According to parenting.firstcry.com, gen alpha will be the most independent, reliant on technology, and least like to conform to any religion. Gen alpha could be the most self-absorbed, non-conforming generation yet. With all the predictions around gen alpha, how are Christian parents supposed to raise their children?
Raising your gen alpha child will be a lot easier when you implement these biblically-based parenting ideas.
Christian parents go straight to the source
As a parent, I have been in panic mode listening to what society says about my kids. Until I realized children belong to God. Which means you aren’t parenting alone. You are parenting with God. Since God entrusts you with this gift, it is your responsibility to ensure you are consulting the source. There is an inner peace that surpasses all understanding when you consult with God. So start talking to God about your children. The authors of the newest generational article cannot tell you who your child will be or how to best care for them. But, reading your bible and having a relationship with God will lead you toward healthy child-rearing.
God created your child with a specific purpose and mission. Try to hone and develop their young minds in the ways Christ will have them go. Therefore, resist who society says your children are.
If you can’t change the generation, influence it!
Parents, caregivers, and media influencers raising your Christian kids in the alpha generation can influence society by deciding what your child will watch. For instance, subscribing to positive programming like ChristGEO and Pureflix This encouraging programming has an opportunity to protect their hearts, eyes, and minds from the harmful society programming that may be in the world today. You might not be able to change an entire culture, but you can change a household and influence those who are listening.
Create the Balance for raising your Christian kids
Help your child discover a healthy balance of outdoor time versus screen time. The article from childmind.org, why kids need to spend time in nature, reveals the benefits of spending time outdoors linked to mood and a general feeling of wellness overall. So, set the limits on TV and screen time, get your children outdoors in nature where they can experience the wonders of the creator. Open up dialogue for discussion, discovery, and wonder.
Parents and caregivers raising your Christian kids in the alpha generation have an opportunity to strengthen the youngest minds. Learn all you can about how to sow the seeds of the future by seeing God’s truth for children and help them realize they are set apart. We will never be able to change society; so let the goal be to influence change from where you are and being open to the balance of discovery and wonder.
In conclusion, Go to the source, let God into your parenting; he knows what you need. You can influence them too! You might not be able to control everything that your child will do. However, you can positively influence what they watch and hear. Lastly, create the balance of outdoor and indoor time that their minds need to grow healthy. Implementing these biblically-based parenting ideas will help you raise children in the alpha generation.
Sara Chinakwe is an author and children’s ministry leader. She encourages the youngest of minds and equips women to pursue God’s purpose. Sara inspires women and children to see themselves as God sees them. Sara resides in Sacramento, California with, her husband and two children. You can read more on her blog sarachinakwe.com
Setting up a morning routine your kids will follow is one of the hardest things to follow through on. Before I implemented a system I was always rushing out the door. With a little knowledge about how routines work, you will be able to successfully set your morning routines with your kids, so you all can get out the door!
Why routines matter
First, let’s talk about why routines matter. Setting positive routines lets children know what is expected of them. Children are thinking, capable human being just like you and me. Setting up routines for your child is a healthy way to help them create structure, curb the behavior, and help anticipate their needs. According to healthychild.org Children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent.
If you are new to setting and sticking to routines with your children don’t panic! Start with the desired outcome. For example, you want your child to put his dirty clothes in the laundry bin, instead of the floor (real-life scenario). For this try “front-loading” him, walking him through what he will do when he takes his dirty clothes off, which basket they go in and why create the system he needs to be successful in this task.
Then, your job is to follow through. Checking in to see your child is actually doing what he is supposed to. When he is successful in putting his clothes in the appropriate place immediately praise him for his efforts. This works with clean-up time and every other routine too. Your child will be following routines in no time!
Pro Parenting Tip: Make it a game! Kids of all ages love games, try to incorporate routines that are fun and creative.
They crave autonomy
The best thing you can do for your child in setting up a morning routine your kids will follow is giving them a choice. As an educator, this has been a tool that has served me well. When children feel they have a choice they are more apt to be empowered. Throughout the day children may be treated as though they don’t have a voice because they are “just kids”, but children know and understand more than we give them credit for. So having them make choices that you are offering is a great way to give them the autonomy that they crave. It will also make them feel empowered to make better choices you are not around.
Pro Parenting Tip: Don’t save your child from their not-so-great choices. Let them learn from their mistakes. Then, be there to guide them through it.
Start your routine at night
Setting a morning routine your kids will follow actually starts the night before. Your nightly routine acts as an anchor for your morning routine. So practices like getting your babies to bed at a decent hour, most children need 10-12 hours of sleep or more (even your teens) will be a healthy start to their day. Set a limit on screen time before bed, try having your kids read a book before bed to help their mind “get ready for sleep”. If they are younger read a book to them.
Set up the nightly routines like making sure you have everything ready for school so your morning transition will be smooth. Set the night up having a wind downtime such as bath, brushing teeth and, family time. Having a nightly routine will help you get your child up and ready the next day with ease.
Set a routine in the morning too
Help your child wake up comfortably, do they like to ease into the morning or can they jump out of bed and be ready to go. Not all kids are the same so allow them the time and space they need to wake up. I have been known to sing wake-up songs, open curtains, set alarms, and give cuddles. Try different things to see what works with your child’s age and comfort. Make sure your child has a breakfast that gives their brain energy (sugary cereals just make kids crash).
Pro Tip: Set the mood in the house by playing music to create a peaceful transition to leave the house.
In conclusion, setting up a morning routine help children learn how to function in structured environments. As a parent, you are the facilitator of creating your child’s routines. Incorporating them in the process instead of just telling them what to do builds up a healthy parent-child relationship. Setting your child up for success starts at night and flows into the morning. Help creating structure in other areas will help you establish better routines overall. Further, giving your child a choice will make him feel empowered, thus taking ownership and responsibility for himself and his environment.
Sara Chinakwe is an author, teacher, and children’s ministry leader. She encourages the youngest of minds and equips women to pursue God’s purpose. Sara inspires women and children to see themselves as God sees them. Sara resides in Sacramento California with her husband and two children. You can read more on her blog sarachinakwe.com