5 Creative Ways to Teach Children the Power of Words (and book giveaway!)

the power of words

Recently I was completely embarrassed by some of the words I heard one of my children say to another child at the ball park. In front of both parents, the words sounded mean, though I didn’t feel in my heart they were hateful. Sometimes children don’t recognize the power of words. In fact, many adults don’t always recognize the power of words, right? This situation needed to be addressed right on the spot, but I also wanted to be more preventive in the future.

So I began to brainstorm ways I could work on this issue and I came up with 5 creative ways to teach children the power of words. Keep reading for my ideas and I sure would love to read yours in the comments!

1. Emphasize the results of positive words.

For example, if I say to my youngest, “Great job for taking your plate to the sink” and she smiles, then I smile at my older child and say “See how much she likes to be praised? It’s a good thing to praise others.” Now please believe me that I haven’t perfected this method. But I’ve been working on it this week and I truly believe in the impression made on both children.

2. Brainstorm positive words about a family member and make a word cloud.

Just open up a Word or Google doc and type out positive words that are said about the named person. Then copy and paste the word list over to a word cloud site such as Wordle or Tagxedo. I asked two of my children to quickly  do this for Daddy and here was the result:

daddy wordle

Now it kind of looks like he is a “fast singer” but you get the idea. ;)

3. Model the power of positive words.

Falling in the trap of constantly correcting my children is so easy for me. Don’t get me wrong- they do need to be corrected, but if all I ever do is correct and never deliberately praise them, we have an imbalance and injustice. This is the reason I have created the following lists- 20 things to say to encourage your husband and 20 things to say to encourage your children. I have the lists printed off and right now they are in my checklist binder that I keep in the kitchen. Because I open this binder several times throughout the day, I see the lists and am reminded of my goal to be positive. If I’m having a particularly trying day, ummm, maybe like today when my 3 year old spit her gum in my purse and made a sticky mess, then I’ll post the lists to the fridge.

4. Use positive words to build an acronym of your child’s name.

My son did this at his school this year. I noticed that he kept it on his dresser from December even until just now when I asked him if I could post it here- that’s how much this exercise meant to him. These words gave him a goal of how to use his own words to reflect the person he wants to be- his character.

michael wordle

 

5. Use Bible verses to build an acronym of your child’s name.

Here’s what my name would look like:

R- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Ex. 20:8
A- A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. Prov. 15:1
C- Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee. Ps 55:22
H- Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. Prov. 3:13
E- Even a child is known by his doings, Prov. 20:11
L- Let the words of my mouth, and the medications of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer. Ps. 19:14

My friend, Betty, mailed her verse list to me and I’m providing you with a copy of what she sent to me. Her list is King James Version AND I have no way to credit the original creator of the list, but I really thought you would enjoy it. Click here to download.

You could find your own verses that have personal meaning and use those verses for this exercise also.

In our current culture, bullying seems to be more evident than ever. What is bullying? Well, to me, it simply is the misuse of the power of words. Perhaps you have different definition, but I believe the need for Biblical resources to address this issue is high. I’m excited to let you know about the first book of a new series by Nancy Rue, So Not Okay: Mean Girl Makeover. The series is designed for girls, ages 8-12, and tells the story of bullying from three different perspectives. The bully, the victim and the bystander all have a book in the series and this particular book is the story of the bystander, a role in which many preteens find themselves.

I thought you would want a sneak preview of this book:

So Not Okay by ThomasNelson

so not okay book giveaway
Today I’m privileged to be giving away one copy of So Not Okay, just follow the Rafflecopter to enter. If you’d like to order the book, you can find it here.

Have a thriving Thursday!

Rachel

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Disclosure: Product provided by publisher for review; all opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Your Child that God Uniquely Creates and Loves

teaching god loves

Many blessings have transcended on our family as a result of having a child with different and special needs. One of my favorite blessings is that my children have a heart for those who need extra help in this world.  The kids just naturally have grown up serving Taylor, from picking up her cup when she drops it to running to get items from her room that she needs.   What a beautiful thing it is to watch them care for her without being asked. They just see the need and fill it.

Another beautiful blessing/lesson our family views each day is that each person God created is valuable and cherished. That little saying “When God created you, He broke the mold” applies to each and every one of us.

Just as God created each of us with a unique design and plan for our lives, every human recognizes individuality in a different manner and span of time. Today I wanted to talk about teaching your child that God uniquely creates and loves people. I’d love it if you’d join in the conversation with your suggestions on helping children to understand that God loves them individually and created them uniquely.

1. Find ways to help children serve people in tough circumstances. 

Whether it is a soup kitchen, nursing home, or hospital, the setting doesn’t matter. What matters is the opportunity to see people in situations that are unlike their own so that they can begin to think what life is like when things don’t go exactly as it seems they should. Children need to be taught that each of us are different and God created us that way.

2. Teach your children Bible verses that explain how God created each of us uniquely.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:13-16

3. Look for everyday opportunities to love on people.

As you go throughout the day, wherever you are, be aware of those in need. Help the person who needs an extra hand in the grocery store. Ask God to open your eyes to the needs of those around you.

4. Create opportunities to deliberately be an encouragement to hurting hearts.

For the last 12 or so years, our family has hosted an event for families who have children suffering from MPS, the same disease as our Taylor. We host a big party each summer at a local church just so we can provide the opportunity for families to connect and love on each other. Giving your children the opportunity to be a part of the bigger picture, outside their home, in their community, expands both their horizons and their hearts.

5. Read books on individuality and discuss differences of those in the family.

My son has brown hair and my youngest has blonde.My husband’s favorite dessert is apple pie; mine is chocolate. Neither is right or wrong; just different. One of my favorites books to truly teach this concept is Everybody Can Help Somebody. Love, love, love this book. You can read the full review here or purchase here: Everybody Can Help Somebody

legend of the three trees

6. Watch media that teaches principles of God’s unique design and plan for every person.

Most recently I was introduced to a DVD of The Legend of the Three Trees. This story goes back a looonnnng way with me. I first read this story in a flannel graph teaching packet when I was about ten years old. Alright, yes, I grew up in the flannel graph era. The story is a beautiful traditional story that reminds children they are significant and God has a plan for their lives. I know you’ll love it! To order- click- The Legend of the Three Trees: The Classic Story of Following Your Dreams.

I’m super pumped to be giving away a copy of this sweet DVD today! Just follow the Rafflecopter and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel

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Product provided by the publisher; all opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links; site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

God Bless Our Easter Children’s Book Giveaway

easter book giveaway

The celebration of Easter is upon us! I’m so excited; I just love Easter. This winter was a particularly hard one and I’m so happy to see the signs of spring. My kiddos have been excited too; it’s interesting to see their perspective on the changing world around them. One day last week when it rained the entire day, our front porch was littered with squirming worms. They evoked quite the “Eeeewwww!” from my youngest.

Then yesterday, a bird decided our front porch rug looked like a great place to build a nest. Until people started walking in and out “her front door.” She chose to abandon her nesting materials and seek shelter elsewhere. The girls got a kick out of that.

This morning, the sun was shining brightly through the sliding glass door and I was just waiting for the “thud.” Every year in the spring, the birds try to fly through that door. Sure enough, I was working away when I heard it- a very disappointed bird who thought something in our family room looked appealing but instead slammed down to the patio ground. After a period of confusion, he flew away. The girls were so surprised that he tried to fly through the window.

All that to say that animals are God’s creatures and a wonderful way for children to learn more about God! This sweet book I’m giving away today, “God Bless Our Easter,” is a beautiful celebration of spring, Easter, and cute little farm animals. The rhyming text of this book makes it perfect for children ages 2-5. I thought you might enjoy seeing a preview:

God Bless Our Easter by ThomasNelson

If you’d like to order this sweet book or for more information, click here.

Three last-minute Easter reminders:

Holy Week Activities for Children

The Jelly Bean Poem Printable to accompany a small pack of jelly beans (Oh and hey, will you send me pics of your little packets? Please?)

6 Resurrection Celebration Activities

Ok, Friends. Be sure to enter the giveaway and have a glorious Easter celebration!

Rachel

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Disclosure: Product provided by publisher. All opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.