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I might have mentioned this before, but I have spent most of my adult life ministering to other folk's children. I have notebooks filled with lesson plans and activities to help equip the younger generation to “fight the good fight.”
And then there is me as a parent to an 11-year-old boy. There are so many good qualities I want to instill in him. How come it is so hard to find those moments or opportunities to really talk about those qualities that are important to us as a Christian family? And then…how do I say it without completely missing the point? To be honest the responsibility as a parent in that regard is heavy.
A few months ago, I reviewed a couple of terrific products from Mary-Kate Warner of Christianity Cove. She has also designed a terrific resource called Christian Parenting Cheat Sheets.
The Cheat Sheets focus on character qualities or life situations. Most are broken into 7 small challenges (called mini-challenges) and can be done in 10 minutes or less. We have been doing one a day, but you can do as many as you like…though it is advised to not let more than a couple of days between the challenges. Which is good advice. I found that if I leave too many days between a topic Josiah stares at me like I’m speaking in an alien tongue (surely none of you have any children like that at your house!)
The topics of the Cheat Sheets are numerous! I was really surprised how relevant they were to our specific needs. I have a son who is approaching the dreaded teen years (at least I’m dreading them). I never thought I would have such trouble speaking to him about certain things. You don’t have to have a tween to use the Cheat Sheets. The topics and challenges are very broad. I’m sure you kind find many to fit any situation and age group.
I have already used quite a few of them. Josiah was having some anxiety issues about storms. We drove home in a wild storm at the beginning of the summer. It freaked him out and ever since then he has been a bit anxious about the weather. He also saw the damage from the Joplin tornadoes first hand just after it happened. I think he made the connection this year about the kind of destruction those storms leave behind. We used the Cheat Sheet on Courage. His anxiety hasn’t been eliminated, but I know have a list of exercises we can use together.
One challenge focused on talking to Josiah about situations in my own life where I, too, had struggled with fear. Josiah and I were able to talk candidly about how God has helped and is continually helping me with those fears. Another challenge in the Courage section focused entirely on Scriptures that are meant to encourage in times of uncertainty and fear. I can tell you that I have clung to many of those in my life…It reminded me that I need to be passing those down to Josiah.
There is a great set of activities on “Gratitude.” I can see this one being helpful during the upcoming holiday season (not to mention every day). I have also enjoyed the Cheat Sheet on Electronics (anybody else have a video game enthusiast?) There so many great topics I can’t even begin to discuss them all.
In a nutshell, I think some of my favorite things about The Christian Parenting Cheat Sheets are both the convenience and the timely wisdom given. I am a parent like any other. I am busy, yet earnest in my commitment to raise a Godly son. The mini-challenges are based on Biblical principles. I found them to be sound and practical. I also feel like I don’t have devote hours beyond my daily devotion to study a certain topic that I need to address with Josiah. The Cheat Sheets allow me have the answer at my fingertips.
The Christian Parenting Cheat Sheets come in an instant download for $27. If you order right now there is also a free gift of the Christian Parenting Cheat Sheets Holiday Edition. This set of Cheat Sheets include 7 challenges that help us all remember who needs to be front and center at each holiday. Overall, I think you will find some great tools in these Cheat Sheets.Just because our world neglects to keep God as the focus, doesn't mean we have to follow.