Princess Ky Background - The cutest blog on the block

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Strategies of a YES MOM


The Lord chose to make me wait a decade before he blessed me with a child. During that very long wait, I had a wonderful opportunity to observe parents in various situations as they made the valiant attempt to raise healthy, happy and productive children.

One of the observations that I made was that children don't like the word NO. In fact, they rebel against it and often times a tug of war ensues.  The word NO seemed to inflame an already heated situation.

So, I decided that I was going to be a YES MOM.

What is a YES MOM?
A YES MOM is NOT Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or a Fairy Godmother granting each and every wish and whim their child comes up with; She is NOT a pushover and does NOT agree to every activity or volunteer opportunity.

I'd like to introduce you to the YES MOM and her Strategy:

*A YES MOM sets expectations to avoid a NO situation.
     A YES MOM will clearly communicate what is coming next.  This might be a daily schedule, use of a whiteboard, or a handwritten note.  It might be a verbal communication, or visual communication.  It might even be one task broken down into steps (ie: Brushing Teeth: first we rinse the toothbrush, then we put on toothpaste, then we scrub the top teeth... etc). She always rewards the child for carefully following directions.
*A YES MOM is a problem solver
    A YES MOM helps her child brain storm and think through a possible solution. If her child is missing a book, Instead of saying "NO! I have no idea where you left your book." she might suggest that the last time they had the book was in the family room and then ask her child some investigative questions to prompt their remembrance... She might even give her child a magnifying glass and pretend the child is a Private Investigator and write down clues that get them one step closer to finding the missing item. She then celebrates the discovery with her child.

*A YES MOM Understands "WIFM" (she knows how to bargain)
    Every child wants to know "What's in it for me? If I cooperate, how will this benefit me?" A YES MOM always removes the questions and uncertainty and knows how to point out the benefit of cooperation.  This benefit may not be something physical or reward driven, but could simply be the benefit of the child knowing that they are an important part of the family unit. She might say: "I loved the way you put the silverware in the drawer tonight, It makes Daddy and me so happy when the tools we use are ready and available when we need them. You did a great job.  Your family appreciates you and your contribution"

*A YES MOM is a team player
     A YES MOM involves her children in every day decision making.  She might allow them to plan dinner one night a week, help decide what to purchase or make Grammy for her birthday or have the special privilege of being the grocery shopping helper for the week (which always ends in a small treat).  Shared experiences draw us closer to one another.  If parents are always calling the shots, the children never learn important leadership skills.
*A YES MOM empowers her children
     Sometimes the order of events in a day can be flexible.  A YES MOM knows that this is a great time to allow her child to be in charge and exercise sound decision making skills. She involves her child in the process of making a list of what needs to be accomplished in a certain time frame and then empowers them to decide which order the tasks will be accomplished in.  For example a YES MOM might say: "Sweetie, Can you think of anything that we need to do this morning? (She prompts and suggests helping the child to think of tasks that need to be accomplished such as Eat Breakfast, Take a Bath, Feed the cat, Shop for groceries) She then lets her child decide which task they will complete first.  They keep a visual list and cross things off as they are completed.  A YES MOM always verbally shows appreciation and respect for the way the child handled organizing their time and accomplishing the tasks.


*A YES MOM is open to the ideas of others
     A  YES MOM solicits suggestions and ideas from her children.  She presents the scenario and then asks probing questions of her children as to what their ideas would be in order to resolve the situation. She then tries to implement as many of those suggestions as possible or help the children realize what would be workable or not workable. Children love the trial and error experiment and enjoy seeing their ideas put in motion. This exercise greatly lifts a child's self esteem and helps them exercise problem solving skills

*A YES MOM chooses her battles and uses positive phrasing
     Not everything can be a YES, but there is a way to communicate that elicits cooperation.  A YES MOM might respond:  "You know what? I think it is really great that you would like to read a few more chapters before you feed the dog.  That must be a really good book you are reading.  You absolutely CAN read a few more chapters, but I would like for you to feed Skippy FIRST because he is very hungry and can't sleep when his tummy is growling.  FIRST feed Skippy, THEN read more chapters" (she might even engage her child in conversation about the book while he is feeding the dog.  No one likes to work alone and she might gain valuable information by asking a few probing questions about something that interests her child)

*A YES MOM knows how and when to use the NO word.
     There certainly are times when a YES MOM chooses to use the word NO.  She is very methodical and wise in implementing it, NO doesn't just "escape" her lips in anger or frustration.  The word NO is not a manipulative word for the YES MOM.  The word NO is reserved for situations which are dangerous, urgent, an emergency, or of great conviction and she does not use the word NO lightly.  Her children know that when the YES MOM says the word NO that they need to stop immediately and assess the situation or the surrounding area.  They don't often hear the word NO, so when it is spoken it has power and reverence attached to it. They know that the YES MOM would only use that word if it were critical to do so.
*****

You might think that the YES MOM sounds a little like Super Man with Super YES Powers, so let's look at a real life example:
How does a YES MOM handle the "I want" scenario in the toy aisle of a store? 
*First of all, she would communicate the purpose of the shopping trip: "We are going to the store to purchase Bread, Milk, Cheese and Toilet Paper.

*Then she would give the child the opportunity to be a responsible leader in the shopping trip: "Which items would you like to be responsible for putting in the cart?"
By agreeing ahead of time as to the purpose and duties of each member embarking on the trip,she may avoid the toy aisle all together.

However, if the child suggests the toy aisle, the YES Mom would do her best to use the toy aisle window shopping as a valuable reward incentive.

*She would express appreciation for a job well done.  " I appreciate the helper you have been to me today.  You chose a responsibility and you followed through like a great leader would do. Because you were responsible and kept your word, we absolutely can look at something you would like to look at"
*She would then set expectations and a time limit.  "We absolutely can look at toys for 15 minutes, but we will not be buying today.  When the timer buzzes, it will be time to go to the checkout lane" She then asks for the child's agreement: "Are you ok with that? going to the checkout when the timer buzzes?"  (She waits for their agreement).  When the child agrees, she reinforces "I know you are a child of integrity and you will stick to your word" (and sets a timer for 15 minutes)

*If the child "forgets" and asks for toys, the YES mom would show the child the pre-planned shopping trip and remind them that today's shopping trip was for these items.  I'm sorry, but toys are not on the list for today. HOWEVER....

*She then pulls out a special YES MOM strategy:  She affirms the child. She might say "I can see that you really like that toy.  Would you like to write down the name of that toy and the color you like and we can add that item to your Birthday/Christmas wish list?" She then flips to the next page on her shopping list, offers it to the child with a pencil and allows them to pen the information.
*She then starts working her way toward the checkouts all the time talking with her child about the toy and all the fun ways the child could enjoy it.  Most of the time, by the time a special holiday rolls around the child has moved on to other things and other interests, but by showing interest in what has captured their heart today in the middle of the toy aisle, the child is then cooperative and willing to alter the course of their actions.
*In the unlikely event the child is still uncooperative, there are consequences for the behavior at home (In our home, taking a long break from electronics works wonders! but you choose what is highly motivating for your child).  This is a vital piece to YES MOM success. The next time you attempt to train your child, they will remember that there were unpleasant consequences and be more motivated to cooperate and become a child of integrity.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tooth Fairy Traditions

Why are traditions important?
"Traditions are the glue that bind one generation to another. They give every member something to look forward to in our sometimes chaotic lives."
"Effective traditions should create positive feelings and fond memories, while promoting a sense of belonging and creating a sense of safety and security in young children"
                             ~(Karin Katherine)
My husband and I have been married for 20 years and it was 13 years before we were blessed through adoption with our daughter. Even before we had a child, traditions were very important to us.  As a couple of two, we were still "a family". We stressed this to our extended family so much that one Christmas my father in law bought us a wall hanging that said "God Made Us a Family"

We have learned over the years that traditions create ties that bind us together. Recalling our traditions are sweet and comforting remembrances and we wanted to gift that experience to our own little girl.  Therefore, we take every opportunity we can to "make a memory" and celebrating the loss of a baby tooth is no exception.
We put Kylie's tooth in the pocket on this little guy and put him carefully under her pillow.

I am the kind of person who plans way ahead for these memory making opportunities so that every detail is just perfect (to me).   I think God wanted to teach me a lesson in flexibility and coping with detours because he had a different plan up his sleeve.

I had everything all planned and thought out for my daughter's first baby tooth loss.  I was just waiting for that first little wiggle. Then, as I was brushing her teeth one morning I noticed she had a tooth growing in behind a baby tooth.  Agghh!!

Off to the dentist we went only to learn that my daughter's condition was called "Shark Teeth" and her first experience with losing a tooth would require major surgery and having FOUR teeth extracted.  This absolutely threw me for a loop and I mentally and emotionally threw a silent temper tantrum!!  I did NOT want this to be my daughter's first experience with losing a tooth - or 4 teeth!  I had memories to make and this was messing that up!!!!

Needless to say, we survived that experience (even made a few memories) and you can read all about it (and my advice for anyone else who experiences this issue) HERE

The Shark Tooth incident occurred in March and we weren't sure if our daughter would continue to have dental issues or if she would ever have a "regular" tooth wiggling experience.

Fast forward 7 months to October and ....Kylie has a loose tooth!!!

So, here are our favorite products and memory making tools/ideas for celebrating a loose tooth.  We hope you will enjoy seeing a glimpse into our family dynamic.

Tooth Fairy Tales
If making memories is important to us, you KNOW we want to record them. We love this keepsake book designed to help you record which tooth fell out when and how it all occurred.  There are also places to attach photos as well as to record any messages from the tooth fairy. There is also a pocket on the front that will store the teeth IF the tooth fairy decides to leave them. (wink wink)
We also knew our Tooth Fairy would need a way to find Kylie's bedroom.  So, we made this door (with the help of Hobby Lobby's doll house section).  We added a door knob and key, a door knocker and eventually our house numbers (not pictured). We used poster putty to hang it so there is no damage to our walls.

Dear Tooth Fairy
This is our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE book about the tooth fairy.  There are tiny envelopes within the book that hold correspondence from the tooth fairy.  It is delightful and full of whimsy!! There is also a gold fairy coin in the last envelope.  My daughter LOVES it (and it answered so many questions for her)!
You Think It's Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?
Little boys and playful girls tend to really enjoy this book. This tooth fairy is less whimsy and more practical. (harumph!!)



I only WISH I were as cool and as handy as this dad...What an adventure he created for his children!! He designed and built a Tooth Fairy Automatic Tooth Transport System.  It is so cool!  You don't want to miss this cool video clip.
(but, I have to ask... who has "extra" smart phones laying around??)




I Lost My Tooth
This book is great for an emerging reader and also solves the problem about a tooth that may have been misplaced before the tooth fairy could come.
This little gal is just a staple at our house ever since Pinkalicious was discovered... We had to include her in our book collection about the tooth fairy.  In this picture book Silverlicious has a sweet tooth, but the special days get all mixed up!


Yo Gabba Gabba: Baby Teeth Fall Out, Big Teeth Grow
And Yo Gabba Gabba is just so much fun!  My daughter is very intrigued by them. They give a lot of developmentally appropriate information in a kid friendly way. It is a colorful and fun addition to our library.

At our house, the Tooth Fairy loves to leave notes for kids.  She uses these free Printables

Our Tooth Fairy always leaves a receipt to confirm she received the tooth.  She uses these FREE Printables

In our house, In addition to a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and other sundry trinkets, the Tooth Fairy leaves a Gold Coin (half dollar) in exchange for a tooth. She purchases them at her local bank or online at www.usmint.gov
But another fun idea is to leave glittery paper money. The Tooth Fairy will spray paper money with Glitter spray and let dry. She often buys this at craft stores.
Sometimes, the Tooth Fairy is in a big rush and doesn't have time to be searching under pillows for teeth.  In those homes, the children leave their teeth in a clear glass of water by their bed.  When the tooth fairy takes the tooth, she colors the water and leaves tons of glitter floating in there.  She can be really messy sometimes!! (you might want to use a jar with a lid or a pretty bottle with a cork so there is no spillage)
You might want to commemorate the occasion with a personalized Christmas ornament
Or you might add the memory to your child's charm bracelet.

All of these things are just so much fun! And whatever you choose to do, or whatever your budget is.  Don't let a day go by without telling your kids how much you love them and remember that actions really do speak louder than words!

Traditions and memory making are truly important.  Be adventurous and enjoy the moments because they are fleeting.  Time can be our enemy or it can be our friend depending on the choices we make.  Choose to invest in your children by making entries in their remembrance bank.  When they think of home they will remember these simple extras that you put into their every days. Home, will be a lovely warm and inviting place to recall all the special times that they stored up over the years.

Fill their love tanks with your own special touches and celebrations of the small things... because they really are the big things. They are a visual and tangible reminder of how big your love is for them.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Helping Children Learn About Salvation


I was recently asked this question…

“I have a friend who is trying to teach her daughter about faith. She has been in church all her life and has lots of head knowledge, but the heart is not giving so easily. How can I help my friend?”

While not a professional counselor, I had just experienced a scenario similar to this in my own home so I was able to share my own living example.

Here is my reply…

Dear Friend,

The truth that comforts me when working with my daughter is that no matter how hard we try, we cannot “save” someone. God gave us free-will and salvation is a gift that we each have the opportunity to accept. This is comforting because I know that God loves children and he is working very hard to draw my daughter to him.

God DOES, however, give us teachable moments.

Many times our special children are visual learners and spiritual truths are very hard for them to understand because many times they are abstract concepts. We need to give them visual pictures of spiritual truths.

An example of a teachable moment...

Yesterday, I was brushing my daughter's hair and she was starting to get grumpy. I started to talk to her... My conversation with her went something like this:

"Oh Kylie, Don't be grumpy. You need to keep your heart clean - do you know why? Because someday, when you give your heart to Jesus, He will come and live in your heart!”

I continued…”Do you know what makes your heart dirty? When we are grumpy, or unkind, or don't share with our friends... All those things make our hearts dirty, but you know what? When Jesus comes to live in our hearts, he brings a big broom and sweeps all that dirt away and washes us clean!! You want your heart to be clean don't you?”
Broom
... And on it went...I also explained to her that the more we fill our hearts with the things of Jesus (his words, talking and singing to him, obeying God’s rules), the less room there is for that icky dirt and we lose our desire to be yucky. We will WANT to be clean.

I would try to give your young friend visual images of the spiritual truths you are trying to convey. Lay it all out there but make it HER choice whether to pick them up or not. Many times when a child feels pushed into something, their natural tendency is to withdraw. We don't "need" to push; God will do all the work. This is the beauty of salvation by faith - no effort required, just His grace fully given.

Also, sometimes it is hard to "tell" with a child who learns differently if there is heart knowledge... don't be so sure she doesn't have any... just continually disciple her by giving her visual pictures, object lessons and don't push... bake together, paint together, talk about God's creation, the attributes of God and the goodness of God, but don't push.

The objects shown in the pictures embedded in this post would be very helpful to give a visual picture of how we “dirty” our heart and how Jesus will “clean” it. Click on the links to find out how to obtain them.

I also love the following pictorial objects to explain to children who God is.

The Father's Love Letter to Child

These next two go together: (click on the photos to print)


And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

II Corinthians 9:8





Monday, September 16, 2013

Important Details to Know Before Pediatric Dental Surgery

I recently found out that my 6 year old daughter has a condition called "Shark Teeth."


As you can see from the picture above, Sharks are known for having more than one row of teeth.  When this occurs in humans, it is usually because adult teeth are growing in behind baby teeth and the baby teeth are not getting loose on their own. (I later found out that this is pretty common in children who experience special needs)

To make a long story short, my daughter had to have her 4 front bottom teeth extracted all at once.  THAT was her first "losing a tooth" experience!!

This mama was no less than DEVASTATED!!!  I had spent months planning how our family would welcome the Tooth Fairy and all of the precious traditions that we would start in order to ease the trauma of having wiggly teeth and then losing them. (Especially for a child who experiences sensory issues).

So, to be consistent with all the other things that are "A-typical" of our life, my daughter ended up having  major surgery at our local hospital and all four teeth were extracted (though she now insists she lost "a tooth"...and we allow her to believe that! ha!).

I learned a few things that day (and how to prepare for that day):

1.) Schedule your child's procedure to be the first procedure of the day.

  • The reason for this is the child cannot have food or drink after midnight.  When kids first get up in the morning, they want to eat or drink.  If you are the first procedure, you can tell your child they can have breakfast after seeing the dentist.  (Or, as we communicated... "First see the dentist, THEN eat breakfast")
  • The second reason is to avoid delays in the procedure.  If others are scheduled ahead of you, it is possible that due to unforeseen complications in their procedures, your child's surgery might be delayed (meaning a longer time for anxiety to build up, longer time to wait to eat/drink)
  • Also, it will help if your child is relaxed from just waking from a full night's sleep.
  • This (lack of delays in scheduling) also ensures you will get the anesthesiologist you were originally assigned.
2.) Talk with your doctor and anesthesiologist about the drug "Versed" to see if it would be an option for your child.
  • This is the same drug that they often give to patients who will go through a colonoscopy.
  • This drug calmed my daughter right down before surgery (making it so much easier to administer anesthesia).
  • FYI--The drug is a liquid and it must not taste that great, because after they gave it to my daughter, she kept asking for water.  
  • This drug is a quick acting drug. 
  • The drug also helps with the recovery process.  My daughter was so calm in the recovery room and when we took her home. My child, who NEVER sleeps on her own, actually found her blanket and napped for 2 hours.
3.) Advocate to be assigned to an anesthesiologist who will allow you to remain with your child until your child is asleep. 
  • In our hospital, there were over 30 anesthesiologists, but only 4-5 that allow parents to stay with children until they are asleep.
  • My husband was allowed to suit up (in a paper suit), carry my daughter to the operating room and hold her while she "blew up the purple balloon" (they put a mask over her mouth and nose and when she breathed a purple balloon looking device inflated and deflated. This sedated her so they could then start the anesthesia via IV and she didn't feel a thing)
4.) Try to distract or re-direct your child from looking in the mirror for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Day one is rather a disturbing sight.  The "holes" are really red and sometimes blood filled.
  • Day two is so much better, the redness and swelling have decreased significantly, and it is much less scary to look at.
5.) The night before surgery, dress your child in what they are going to wear to the hospital the next morning.   
  • You can take your child straight from their bed to the car and avoid a lot of questions. 
  • Doing so also gets you away from the refrigerator quicker.
6.) Pack a cup (no straws or sippy cups) and your child's favorite beverage in a thermos. Put them in the trunk or back of your vehicle (out of reach of your child).  Keep it in the vehicle until your child is in surgery.  
  • Once your child is in surgery, go get the beverage and cup and have it ready for your child for when they wake up in the recovery room.  
  • The hospital will have options to offer you, but your child will desire and feel so much better if they have their comfort beverage available to them.
7.) Be honest with your child, but DO NOT give your child too much information.
  • My daughter is always asking "What's next?" she wants details.  So, what we told her was that we were going to see our friend, the Dentist, because he was going to help us make sure there would be enough room for her pretty big girl teeth to come in.  That information was just enough.
  • DO NOT give the gory details of surgery, or a play by play of medical equipment, stitches and etc.
  • DO tell children that medical professionals care about them and want to keep them safe.
8.) Present your Medical Professional in a positive light.
  • We constantly tell our daughter that our medical professionals are our friends.  
  • We always point out fun things about them.  "Our dentist is so nice, he sings to your teeth" (and we are fortunate, because he does sing to her teeth.  Our daughter is really big into numbers and counting, so he also will count her teeth to help calm her.)
  • Also, when entering a strange room with lots of equipment and antiseptic smells, be sure to comment about how "cool" all that neat stuff is!
9.) Make sure mom and dad are at their best
  • Line up support from family and friends to have a meal or two delivered so that you can focus on your child once you arrive home and even the night before (gift cards for ordering in work great too).  (It was hard and humbling, but I emailed my friends/family and flat out ASKED if any were available to provide a meal or gift card.  I am so thankful I did!!)
  • Consider setting up a "Caring Bridge" site so you can keep all family and friends updated with one message (vs. sending 25)
  • Pack a breakfast for you to eat after your child is in surgery (An amazing friend made us mini muffins to take with us. We kept them in the trunk with our daughter's drink and once she was in surgery, we retrieved them and renewed our energy.)
  • Wear soft comfortable clothing that your child will want to cuddle against.
  • If you normally wear perfume or cologne, wear it, but keep it light.  Your child will be able to recognize you by your scent before they are awake enough to see you.
  • Bring a blanket from home (your child can use it before and after surgery and you can use it while they are IN surgery)
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before.
10.) If your child experiences sensory issues (sensitivity to light or sound) you might choose to bring your child's sunglasses and ear muffs with you.  These came in very handy for us with my daughter- especially in the recovery room.

And a couple of bonus suggestions: 
** If your child experiences any allergies or sensitivities to anything, be sure to discuss this with your anesthesiologist and medical professional and make a plan in advance of anything happening.  For example: my daughter is terribly allergic to all adhesives - even if they are latex free.  The adhesive literally burns her skin and also makes her break out in a terrible rash.  We made an advanced plan that included what medications/creams to put on them and when to call the hospital if something serious were to occur.

**Be prepared for your child to come out of anesthesia in a very emotional way - usually, either angry or sad (crying).  (a friend of mine joked that how your child wakes up from anesthesia tells you what kind of drunk they will be someday- ha!).  In our case, because of the "Versed" calming drug, our daughter woke up and was just very quiet and calm.  However, many children around us were crying.  We actually had to leave early because all the crying was bothering our daughter.

**Know your hospital's policy and state law regarding extracted teeth.  In our case and in our state, the law considers teeth to be a "body part".  Every body part that is removed during surgery must go to the pathology lab.  However, if there is no decay/infection in the teeth, we may pick the teeth up once the lab has completed their tests/review.  (If there were to be decay in the teeth, they are then classified as a bio-hazard and cannot be returned to you.  In that case, have some white tic-tacs on hand to leave for the tooth fairy)  =0)

**If you are especially sentimental (like me) you might consider having your child's photo taken before their procedure (we did this the night before at our local photo center). Be sure to take your camera with you to your child's surgery. We captured many "fun"/memorable experiences (my husband sporting his paper outfit, pictures of doctor/anesthesiologist, how our daughter looked after surgery and in recovery, etc, etc)

I hope your child will never have to experience dental surgery, but I found that it was much easier once I knew what to expect. 

If your child has experienced dental surgery or other procedures, I'd love to know what other tips you have for parents or what policies your hospital or state implemented. I firmly believe that knowledge is information!!









Monday, September 9, 2013

Introducing Jesus: Resources to help grow your child's faith

My daughter recently informed my husband and me that God was "cross" (who says that word anymore?) with Wreck-It-Ralph. She told us that Ralph was wrecking God's creation and God was going to send an angel to help him STOP!


My husband and I got a good laugh out of her story.  We hooted even more a few days later when we were in a store with Kylie and a woman's voice came over the loud speaker. Our daughter jerked her head up, sucked in her breath and exclaimed "That's God's SISTER!!"

While Kylie's theology is obviously flawed, and we have LOTS of work to do to make sure she understands truth, we were thrilled that she is beginning to connect the spiritual dots, however squiggly the lines are right now.

As parents, we have an awesome and wonderful opportunity to introduce our children to Jesus. However, when you are a parent of a child who experiences special needs or who learns differently, this task can seem overwhelmingly difficult.

A good place to start would be to figure out what your child's learning style is. Is your child an auditory learner? A visual learner? A hands-on learner? Do they enjoy self-teaching? Do they learn better in a group or one-on-one? Does music help your child learn?

Once you know that piece, it is much easier to choose resources to help your child become acquainted with spiritual truths.

Here are a few resources that have really been helpful in our home:

*Bible Memory
-Scripture Lullabies:CD I discovered these recently and am so THRILLED by them.  They are an incredible way to learn scripture simply by listening to them as your child goes to sleep. The music is so beautiful and the lyrics come directly from God's Word.  (Volume 1 and Volume 2).  (on a side note: many parents have reported that after listening to these cds, their kids sleep better, night terrors cease to exist and they rest beautifully... because folks.. scripture does that.  The Word of God is alive and powerful!!)
-Hide 'em In Your Heart DVD/CD: This is an amazing DVD/CD set.  The fashions are a little dated, but the kids playing and colorful scenes are engaging for kids and adults alike. The tempo is upbeat and fun.  We really enjoy these for daytime viewing. (Volume 1 and Volume 2)
*Bible Stories (Reading)
-Read and Share Bible: This is my daughter's absolute favorite book. (We also LOVE the DVDs)  She takes it with her EVERYWHERE. She has read these stories to Buddhists, Hindus, Free Thinkers, and Muslims. (who said a 7 year old can't be a missionary?) The illustrations are colorful and exciting.  My only teeny tiny "negative" feedback is that my daughter often gets confused by the babies in the book.  The babies in different stories are illustrated the same so, because my daughter is a literal thinker, it took us a long time to convince her that the babies had not jumped into other stories of the book but that they each had their own name (and own parents). (For example: Kylie kept telling us that the baby Samuel was Ruth and Boaz's son... nope... the babies just look the same in the book.  Samuel's mommy is Hannah and Ruth and Boaz's son is Obed).  However, this is a miniscule complaint vs how much we LOVE this book and DVD set! Seriously, It is GREAT!
-The Jesus Story Book Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name: This is my absolute favorite book to read to my daughter.  The illustrations are not that engaging for children (in my opinion), so I choose to read this to Kylie at bedtime after she is already tucked into bed. The writing is amazing and I LOVE that every story circles back to Jesus and the Big Picture.  You aren't left wondering how it all fits together in the end.

*Bible Study/Devotions
-Word of Life Gopher Buddies Quiet Time: This is a quick daily devotional for you to do with your child.  Each lesson is short and sweet and gives them a hands on activity that requires zero prep. Kylie LOVES it.  (Also, the lessons are easily adaptable based on your child's abilities)
 -Keys for Kids: (online version or book version). This is also a favorite of ours. These are not as colorful, but the stories are captivating and so applicable to every day life. Plus, you can get the first book free or read online for free.(This website also shows the ABC's of salvation)
*Biblical Training/Discipline/Parental Guidance
-For Instruction in Righteousness: My absolute favorite resource.  Behaviors are listed topically (example: Anger, Pride, Friendship, etc) and each section is divided into: What the Bible says about this, What are the consequences if you Don't do as the Bible says, What are the blessings if you DO what the Bible says, Examples of Bible Characters who did and did not obey and what happened to them, practical ideas of object lessons and other helps for parents.  Much scripture is listed and reinforces that our children are to obey God's word (through parental instruction).

 This really helps our family reinforce that Kylie is not just disobeying/obeying us as her parents, but more importantly she is disobeying/obeying God.  It also gives us ideas of the GOOD things she is doing so we can reward and encourage her appropriately as we see these positive behaviors. I love that discipline is not just negative... but what it is SUPPOSED to be: Teaching and Training.
-The Child Training Bible: This website gives you a full tutorial, shopping list and tips on how to use the Child Training Bible.  While it is time consuming to put together, it is a great resource. You simply follow the tabs for scriptural helps to teach your child about that issue or concern in the Bible.  They also offer a Virtue Bible.
-The Five Love Languages of Children: This is an Amazing book for parents.  I can't say enough about it.  Knowing how to discern Love Languages is so important to every aspect of your life: Parenting, Work Relationships, Church Relationships and so much more.  It helps with every communication style. One of my favorite parenting books.
*Faith Based Toys
-There are so many to choose from... See this link for a big list.
Fisher Price Noah's Ark Play set
12 Disciples 

The spiritual training of children is an awesome responsibility and privilege. When you think that God placed your child specifically in your arms for such a time as this... well, it is overwhelming to think any of us could ever do a good enough job. But the amazing thing is... God knew we could never do it alone.

 In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Luke 1:37 reminds us that "NOTHING is Impossible with God."

(Enjoy this sample song from Scripture lullabies: "Everything is Possible")


God has promised to be with us EVERY step of the way.  He will give us just what we need in the moment to do HIS perfect will.

You CAN do it and you can do it WELL.

While I know the resources available are many, I hope some of these particular resources will be helpful to you!  I'd also love to hear what other resources you have found valuable. I hope you will share by commenting below.