Teaching Respect

It is never too early nor too late to begin teaching character to your children.

Steve McChesney has a great article about teaching children the character quality of respect.  It can be found at here.

I just spent a month teaching my two-year-old class about respect.  We used the word often when  correcting unacceptable behavior and we looked for examples of respect or lack of respect in any books we read.

I took Aretha Franklin’s song  “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and changed the words (see below).  The children loved it and have really responded well to the teaching.  They have grasped the concept of respect as showing kindness and they use the term appropriately, plus they have learned to spell the word.  And they are only two years old!! You can see the video below:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T spells respect it’s plain to see.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T means I’m kind to you; you’re kind to me.

Show

Respect to your mom

Respect to your dad

Respect to your friends

Respect for their things

Respect to your teachers

Respect for your school

R-E-S-P-E-C-T  This is what it means to me!! (clapping as you say this)

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God never lets go of us!

Anyone can smile and sing when things are going great.  The true test of my faith is to smile and sing when I am in the midst of a trial in my life.

It brings a smile to God’s heart when we express  trust in Him even when our circumstances seem contrary to what we have always believed about Him.  It encourages ourselves and others when we declare our love for God and confidence in Him during these times.  The attached song by Matt Redman sums this up.

Help your children grasp early in life the fact that no matter what comes our way, God never lets go of us!!!!

08-you-never-let-go

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Joy in Your Journey

My mentor, Jo Bevington, sent me a letter recently.  I am sharing it with you so you can hopefully capture her  passion for establishing God’s Word in children, and you can feel the joy she possesses in her life.  Keep in mind that she is 85, never had children of her own,  has been a widow for about 40 years, and had a stroke recently which has left her unable to see very well and unable to walk without a walker.  The only thing she has expressed regret about her situation is that she just had to give up teaching her preschool Sunday School class because her walker was too much of a distraction and safety hazard for the children.

Dear Sheilah,

What joy it has been to talk to you on the telephone!

These are the preschool Bible thoughts I was telling you about.  What joy it is to me to make me a pocket verse everyday and by the end of the day I have memorized it…..So I think what fun it would be for families of preschoolers to make their child a “pocket verse” every day.  Since young children are concrete learners, the words of the Bible might become valuable to them if they carried around a little Bible thought each day.

Today was a fun day for me.  Rebecca, who cleans my house, decided she wanted to learn to play piano.  And it has been great joy for me to teach her.  We just take time out from her work and have a lesson.  I am trying to play again, even though it is very hard to see.  I can only do it a short time each time I try.  But the Lord is Good!  I can still play.

I love you, Sheilah!

Jo

Jo’s joy, in spite of her circumstances, comes from her daily contact with God through His Word.

Listed below are some of the Bible thoughts she mentioned.  If you want to see more,  please contact me.  Deuteronomy says we are to be ready to share God’s Word with our children as we go about our daily routine.  I liked Jo’s idea of putting it on a card and giving the child something tangible to hold on to all day.

God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness he called ‘night’   Genesis 1:5

God made all kinds of trees to grow.  Genesis 2:9

Love your father and mother.  Exodus 20:12

A friend loves at all times.  Proverbs 17:17

Everything God made is beautiful.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

The birds have nests.  Matthew 8:20

Help one another.  Galatians 5:13

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Food, Fireworks, and Family

Reading Around the Firepit

Pyrotechnics

We had the best Fourth of July ever!!! Yes, we had food; yes, we had fireworks; yes we had watermelon. We had Wii games, bocce ball in the backyard, and conversation around the fire pit. There was the usual Daws family movie quoting and the constant playing of patriotic music and movies throughout the day. There were even a few non-mother-approved displays of pyrotechnics; however, I can’t complain because everyone did sit long enough for the reading of the “Declaration” and “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”. But none of these alone are what made it a spectacular 4th. It’s the fact that our entire family was at our house along with some of our favorite extended family.

Nothing can compare with family enjoying each other. What a gift from God!!! It is interesting that the author of the Declaration of Independence understood the importance of family. Thomas Jefferson once said, “The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.” I wonder if he had any idea that one day the celebration of what he had a part in would be a family fun-filled holiday.

As my heart rejoices over the day we had, it also hurts for those who couldn’t have that for whatever reason – the recent loss of a daughter, a father near death, discord in the family, or a family member in another country actually defending the right to have a fun-filled 4th.

The first institution God established was the family. No matter what your family situation, always remember – if God so valued the family, so should we. Your family is a gift of God to you, as you are to them.

I hope you will take the time to listen to the following song by Gary Dunham A Happy Family. It was in the top 10 Christian songs in 1981 so it is a little dated, but It has been special to our family through the years. Several years ago one of our children accidentally recorded over our only copy of the song, so you will hear him at the end, but you will get the message of the song 🙂

A Happy Family

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Sing, Sing, Sing!!!

He has put a new song in my mouth– Psalm 40:3

Do you have a new song to sing each day? I have to admit that lately I have not had a song in my heart or in my mouth because of negative circumstances in our lives. But singing can bring physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual refreshment to individuals of all ages, even beginning in the womb. The unborn child’s ears at 20 weeks are structurally equivalent to an adult’s ears and the amniotic fluid is an excellent conductor of sound.

God knows what He’s doing when He encourages us numerous times throughout Scripture to sing. He desires our songs of praise to Him, but He also designed music for our good – to promote our wellness, to help us manage stress, to encourage us to express our feelings, to help enhance our memory, and to help us improve communication.

It is easy to sing when all is right in our world, but we should not sing only when things are going well for us. My mentor that I mentioned in a previous post, Jo Bevington, is recuperating from a stroke, is almost blind, and is now unable to work with children, but she always has a new song in her heart and mouth when I talk with her. She recently sent me this scripture: I will be glad and full of joy because of You Most High God. I will sing praise to You.” Psalm 9:2

Scriptures gives us examples of ways God used music in difficult times. In 2 Chronicles 20, God instructed the singers to lead the way as the army marched toward the enemy which lead to their ultimate victory. In 1 Samuel 16:23 David’s harp playing soothed the troubled spirit of the king.

With all this in mind, we should sing often with our children. Don’t worry if you are like me and can’t carry a tune . . . God nor your children will care. It will bless God, your children, and you. God has designed children to give Him the best praise and you as their parent get to have a part in that as you guide them to sing. (Psalm 8:2 Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.)

Here are a few examples of songs that you can sing to familiar tunes. One mother recently wrote me that she was learning to make up songs each day with her children…what fun! Let’s all keep singing

Blow, Blow, Blow the Wind (Psalm 147:18)

(tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Blow, blow, blow the wind

Gently through the trees

God causes His wind to blow

How I like the breeze

A Helper I Will Be(1 Corinthians 3:9)

(tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

A helper I will be

A helper I will be

I will help my mommy

A helper I will be

Be Ready to Share (1 Timothy 6:18)

(tune of 3 Blind Mice)

Be ready to share

Be ready to share

It’s more fun when we share our toys

So let’s share with the girls and the boys

Be ready to share

Be ready to share

It is Better to Give Than Receive (Ephesians 4:28, 2Cor. 9:7)

(tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

It is better to give than receive

Give than receive

Give than receive

It is better to give than receive

Giving makes us glad

Brush Your Teeth

(tune of Row, Row Your Boat)

Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth

Brush your teeth each day

Then you’ll have a pretty smile

And healthy teeth to stay

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