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God’s mercy hovers over my child. The covenant I have with God in the blood of Jesus extends to my children (and grandchildren)--covering them completely. Everything God gives to me, He’ll give to my children including peace and protection. I lay hold of God’s plans and promises for my children by faith, and I call those things of change to come to pass in their life.
I believe God for my child’s deliverance and salvation. I put all of my trust in the Lord concerning my children (and grandchildren) and am filled with joy because I know they are turning to the Lord. No matter how far away my child seems to be, there is no place where God can’t reach them. I’m not moved by what I see, but by what the Word says. I believe that Christ will capture their heart, and they will follow and obey Him.
Father, Your Word is true and I believe it. Therefore, in the Name of Jesus, I believe in my heart and say with my mouth that the Word of God prevails over my children. Your Word says that You will pour out Your Spirit upon my offspring and Your blessing upon my descendants. I believe and say that my children are wise and that they take heed to and are the fruit of godly instruction and correction. I love my children and I will diligently discipline them early. Because of that, they give me delight and rest.
Father, I take Your Word that says You will contend with him who contends with me, and You give safety to my children and ease them day by day. They are blessed when they come in and when they go out. I confess that You, Lord, give Your angels special charge over my children to accompany and defend and preserve them. I believe they find favor, good understanding and high esteem in Your sight, Lord, and in the sight of man.
I confess that my children are disciples taught of the Lord and obedient to Your will. Great is their peace and undisturbed composure. I believe I receive wisdom and counsel in bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. And Your Word declares that when they are old they will not depart from it. So I commit them to Your keeping and I know and have confident trust that they are watched over and blessed of the Lord all the days of their lives, in Jesus’ Name.
Prayer References from The Amplified Bible: Mark 11:23; Isaiah 44:3; Proverbs 13:1, 24, 29:17; Isaiah 49:25; Deuteronomy 28:6; Psalms 91:11-12; Proverbs 3:4; Isaiah 54:13; Proverbs 2:6; Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6
Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers,
Use these techniques with your child today to help manage disrespect, defiance, back talk and other behavioral challenges.
I want you to project an image of self-confidence without being hostile. Give directions instead of making requests. Establish and maintain your parental rights to the same decent treatment that you give your kids. The kind of information that I want you to give your kids when you’re assuming control is simple direction. James: “I want you to project an image of self-confidence without being hostile. Give directions instead of making requests. Establish and maintain your parental rights…”
Do you find yourself explaining to your child why they can’t behave this way over and over again, and they still don’t listen? This tool gives you a much more effective way to do it.
James: “There’s an effective way to tell your kid to do something or respond to something, and then there’s an ineffective way…”
I think it’s very important when kids are doing some behavior, you know, not one certainly that’s assaultive or violent, but just some inappropriate, resistant, antagonistic behavior—Maybe defiant to authority; maybe not following through on things, resisting following through on tasks, those kinds of behaviors—I think it’s important for you to be able to state to that kid, give that kid feedback, “This behavior’s not solving your problem.
James: “I think it’s very important when kids are doing some behavior, you know, not one certainly that’s assaultive or violent, but just some inappropriate, resistant, antagonistic behavior…”
Eliminate the word WHY from your vocabulary. When a kid hears why, several things happen. The first thing is that what he hears you saying is that he’s done something wrong and he’s going to start to get defensive. We rarely ask why did you do that right.
James: “Eliminate the word WHY from your vocabulary. When a kid hears why, several things happen. The first thing is that what he hears you saying is …”
There’s two parts to this technique: The first is, I want you to take some time to write up a list of the things your child enjoys doing, the things he likes doing, the things he finds rewarding or things that you can do that you know he’ll find rewarding.
James: “There’s two parts to this technique: The first is, I want you to take some time to write up a list of the things your child enjoys doing…”
You know, there’s a thing called learned helplessness. It happens to people a lot who have spent a lot of years in institutions, and what happens is they learn that if they don’t do it, somebody else is going to do it for them.
James: “You know, there’s a thing called learned helplessness. It happens to people who have spent a lot of years in institutions, and what happens is they learn…”
If your child ignores you when you ask him to do something, and you have to remind him, negotiate with him or end up doing it yourself, try this new technique.
James: “The next time things are calm around your house and things are going well, sit down and say this to your child…”
This is always great. Here’s the deal. You have kids who complain a lot, they may tattle on their brothers and sisters. They may complain about things that you’re not doing right.
James: “This is always great. Here’s the deal. You have kids who complain a lot, they may tattle on their brothers and sisters. They may complain about…”
Keep your child′s eyes on the prize. If your child is doing some task and the completion of the task leads to some reward or some goodie or some pleasant thing they want to do, help with their motivation by reinforcing that.
James: “Keep your child’s eyes on the prize. You know, if your child is doing some task and the completion of the task leads to some reward or some goodie or some…”
If your child is acting out and friends or siblings are present, go to another room with him. Script it beforehand that if he refuses to go to another room, his friends will be sent home.
James: “If your child is acting out and friends or siblings are present, go to another room with him. Script it beforehand that if he refuses to go to another room, his friends will be sent home…”
Luke 18;16-17 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
I once met a little boy who impacted my heart so greatly that he altered both the way I prayed and the vision I held for ministry. This poor, three-foot tall, brown-eyed foster kid had not a single possession to his name, yet he gave me a tremendously rich gift. He caused me to see.
This little boy was not the first child I had met who had been placed in governmental care, but he was the one who shook me out of my sleep and opened my eyes to America’s fatherless. Actually, I have known through the years literally hundreds of children who are without homes or families. I spent four summers oversees working among orphans and living in their orphanages. Those four summers were paramount for me and set in my heart a burden for orphaned children I would carry throughout my life.
The faces of the orphans I had known overseas were indeed etched into my memory, but I believe the Lord wanted to expand my vision to see more. In years past, the image that most often came into my mind when I thought of or prayed for orphans was almost always that of children living in run-down, congested orphanage buildings. However, I confess I did not give nearly as much thought to the orphans in my own nation.
Although the plight of some overseas orphans is considerably similar to that of foster children in my own nation, for some reason I (and I think I am in good company) thought of American orphans as different from orphans in other nations. Perhaps it was because they just didn’t seem as poor, or desperate, or destitute; though I have now learned how untrue this perception is.
For many of us, if not most of us, when we think of orphans, we picture children living on the streets in third world nations or growing up in over-crowded orphanages. This is an accurate picture. However, it is not a complete picture. The reality is, you could take a relatively short drive right now, some of you could even walk, and come face to face with one of America’s orphans. In 2011, there were 115,000 orphaned children in our nation who were immediately available for adoption. These 115,000 are among nearly half a million foster children who have been removed from their homes due to their own families’ incapability of caring for them . These children live in our same neighborhoods and attend our schools. But do we see them?
I am not implying that we should not consider orphans in other nations, but in seeing these, we cannot overlook our own nation’s children. Certainly I still think of and pray for the orphans of I’ve seen in other countries. The names and faces of those orphans I met in Eastern Europe will remain in my memory and my prayers indefinitely. Even so, it is important that when we consider the fatherless, we include the faces of our nation’s destitute children. I lamentably confess that while I crossed an ocean four times to visit orphans, it was several years later before I ever visited a children’s home in my own nation. It was literally a five minute drive away. There is something wrong with this picture. I’ve since become a little more aware of the institutions and homes for children that have been established in my own city and nation. Through conversations I’ve had with others within the church, I’ve discovered that many do not realize that these homes even exist. But we need to know. And we need to see the children. In the nooks and crannies of your own city, these homes for the fatherless exist. I have discovered nearly fifteen in my own city that I once never even knew were there. And in addition to these children’s homes, a great number more are living in foster families. Truly the crisis of fatherlessness spans across America and stretches across the earth.
I believe there is a question coming from America’s orphans that is echoing throughout our nation… “Do you see us?” And this question beckons another… “Do you care?”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to care for the orphan. If James 1:27 defines this as “pure and undefiled religion,” then none of us within the Church are exempt from this call. We will not all bring children into our home, but we are all called to do something.
Fatherlessness permeates the world. When the Church of each nation arises to look after her own orphans, this is beautification both of the nation and of the Church.
-Kinsey Thurlow Orphan Justice Center
Many of these children have special needs or are sibling groups needing placement together. There are 14, 380 churches. What if each of these churches were to help one family adopt a child or group and that church take on the responsibility of providing for those children until they are grown. We would be an orphan free state. True and un defiled religion to the Father is caring for the orphaned and fatherless. Please consider what your church family cna do to help. Every child is deserving of a forever family. It isnt always easy, but HIS burden is light. Consider being a child's answer today.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. . . .It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
—1 Corinthians 13:4–5, 7
One family with whom I worked wanted to expand their family by adopting a child from another country. Their family consisted of the parents and two sweet-natured little girls. The parents wanted to adopt a younger male child. The little boy they adopted came into their lives through much perseverance in the adoptive process. They were thrilled to have him join their family.
Then, a few months after the adoption, he began to act out. His behaviors were targeted on the primary caregiver, his mother. He would yell at and hit her; defecate and urinate on the floor; cry and scream instead of sleep at night; and he wouldn't allow anyone to touch or attempt to calm him. As a result of his escalating behaviors, the mother began to react to him and became angry with herself for her negative thoughts toward him.
When I met them, she felt as though her son was in the process of ruining her family. She expressed how much she despised how he changed their family. She found herself yelling at him in response. The father became the only one who could soothe the child. Without his presence, the boy's behaviors continued to escalate.
The emotionally drained family needed answers. Why was this happening? What could they do? (You can read more about this family in the next article.)
First, I explained the issue of attachment and bonding. As parents interact with and relate to their children, children reflect what they see. They model facial expressions, voice intonations, and physical gestures, and these elements contribute to the child's developing attachment capabilities. For some of us, this process is second nature; for others, it is unknown territory.
Attachment can be a complex concept. To understand, let's look for it in everyday life. The face of attachment is evident in children who, while playing with other children, go to their parent(s) and touch them or stand near them to "touch base" and then return to playing with their friends. Attachment is also seen when children run to their parent(s) when hurt, sad, afraid, or overwhelmed. When attachment is present, the parent(s) can soothe this child. A child who is not attached may be hypervigilant; always on guard out of fear; or they may not respond to the parent's words, sounds, or gestures.
All different degrees of attachment exist. A child may have experienced an intermittent attachment process such as when parents are deployed, divorced, or depressed. If there is even one significant adult in a child's life who will provide consistency and unconditional love and support, that child can attach. Attachment is based on the needs of the child.
Bruce Perry, M.D., a specialist in child development and trauma, defines attachment as "a special enduring form of 'emotional' relationship with a specific person which involves soothing, comfort and pleasure."1 An attached child finds security and safety in context of this special relationship. It is within this secure and safe relationship that a child is able to develop emotionally, physically, socially, culturally, intellectually, and spiritually. This connectedness provides the context for a child to learn, love, survive, work, create and grow.
Attachment is also demonstrated when the loss or threat of loss of the specific person evokes distress. Distress is manifested through behaviors: bouts of crying, throwing tantrums, periods of hoarding, moments of withdrawing, actions of self-mutilating, and other significant behaviors.Taken from Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., © 2008 by Sanford Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
In many ways, American teens have never had it tougher. Perhaps a surprising statement, given the United States' obvious affluence compared to the rest of the world. If you're a parent today, you know what I mean. Social pressures are more pervasive and destructive than ever before in American history. Parents often feel helpless to equip their teens with the tools to navigate – and steer clear – of harmful relationships, attitudes and behaviors.
Ideally, the process of equipping our kids to live and thrive in an often Christian-hostile world begins as soon as they are born. In fact, parents are the single most important developmental influence in a child's life, apart from the Holy Spirit himself. But even if time has slipped away, and your teenager seems out of reach, you can begin to lay building blocks to help your teen grow to maturity in Christ and make a positive impact on his or her world. Love, commitment, self-discipline, perseverance and a lot of prayer are required, but you can do it.
Assisting your teen in forging a strong, positive identity is one way to help her form convictions based on truth, and then stand firm in them regardless of what everyone else does.
As parents, we can build our teen's identity by using a brick mason's approach. Masonry is an art that requires intense study of the project's design before setting the first brick in place. The job is messy, requires hands-on application and commitment.
Parental brick-layers labor alongside our teens as they experience the joy of discovering their significance in Christ and their identity. Teens today are overscheduled and often lack the skills to communicate or set boundaries. They need our help to decide which bricks fit and which ones don't.
The challenge? To encourage them to be who God made them to be, rather than who we want them to be.
Brick-by-brick, we can make a difference for our teens and in their world.
My husband Derek shared a devotion about integrity with our fourteen-year-old son Justin and his friend Tim* (name changed). Derek asked them, "How committed are you to integrity?"
"I'm not that committed. But I want to be," Tim answered.
Derek said, "Telling the truth is integrity. Thanks for being honest."
"I get in trouble with certain friends," Tim said. "The pressure to be liked affects me."
"Until you decide who you are," Derek told Tim, "you will be like a chameleon, blending in to whatever situation or whoever you are with."
Derek mentioned a former game show and said, "Will the real Tim please stand up? Until you figure out who the God-designed Tim is, you will struggle with your friends."
Teens yearn for our support and relationship. It's important to affirm their natural abilities. Be their cheerleader. Attend activities even if they say, "It's no biggie."
Encourage athletes to stay involved in sports throughout high school. Challenge the artsy to try a new instrument, audition for a play, take a watercolor class or voice lessons. If they love to argue, consider the debate team. Talk about career choices that use their talents. For example, math skills are priceless for computer software engineers.
When my friend Beth's three teens were growing up, their family motto was "We aren't quitters." Anytime her son or daughters wanted to stop short of a commitment, they heard this phrase. Eventually Beth's children believed, "I belong to a non-quitting family."
By creating a tagline, our family identity is established. Then when difficulties arise, our motto serves as a stake in the ground declaring who we are as individuals — and as family.
Physically and emotionally, teens' lives constantly change. They can feel overscheduled, unknown, abandoned, or even betrayed. Adolescents still want a unique place in our home. They need to know they belong and that they matter.
Encourage busy teens to enjoy down time, which strengthens their creativity and problem-solving skills. Inform your son his sense of humor is missed when he's gone. Tell your daughter you notice her thankful heart.
Ever since our son Justin was little, he has shown kindness to kids that are different. As a high school freshman, he continues to tap the heart of the lonely.
Justin's gym teacher asked the students to share who their best friend was and why. Both a popular and unpopular guy picked Justin. Their reasons: "He shows interest in me. He makes me laugh. He sits by me. He sticks up for me."
We affirmed Justin for using his gift of mercy with his friends.
Study verses about spiritual gifts with your teens: Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 1 Corinthians 14:1-40; Ephesians 4:7-16; and 1 Peter 4:7-11.
No brick is more foundational than this one. When teens understand their worth in Christ, they can reject negative thinking that peers, insecurities and problems hurl on them. Just because teens fail — which they will — doesn't mean they are a failure.
Teens develop confidence when they believe they are loved by God — no matter what. This inner strength will carry them through trials and peer pressure. As they search for significance, our teens can influence their peers to do the same.
Google "Who I am in Christ." Print and review with your son or daughter. If someone tries to embarrass them about a mistake, say, "There is no condemnation for those in Christ" (Romans 8:1). Don't criticize them when they are knocked down. Instead extend your hand and your heart.
Building our teens' identity is a long process. The Great Wall of China took years of extensive labor before it fended off enemies. Our teens live in a hostile culture too. They need a wall of protection. As parental masons, we can help them stand up under fire.
The challenge is to be like Beth's family — and not quit.