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Discipleship Parenting

I grew up in a family that loved (and still loves) to play table games. Card games, board games, trivia games, you name it. So, when my husband and I had our first son, we knew we wanted to teach him to play games, too. But, we weren’t really sure how soon he’d be able to grasp the rules, take turns, and keep focused on the gameplay. One day, we just decided to give it a try, and, to our surprise, our (very young) two year old did really well. Of course we didn’t start out with anything too complicated, but there are plenty of easy games for kids out there that are fun for adults, too.

Toddler holding UNO cards with text overlay: Easy Games for Kids and Why You Should Play | Disciple Mama

For Christian parents, discipleship of our kids has got to be the number one priority. One vital component of discipleship parenting is family worship. If you haven’t already read my post about why you should be having family worship, take a minute and read it now. I’ll wait.

Toddlers in a chair, sharing a book with text overlay: Tips for Meaningful Family Worship for Families with Young Children | Disciple Mama

Okay, so now that we’re all on the same page and you’re convinced (or you’ve been reminded) of how necessary family worship is for you and yours, let’s talk about how to make this worship time successful.

Confession time: I was all excited to participate in Finding Joy in Service Day (read about Finding Joy in Service Day here) but my kids have been sick, our bathroom is being demo’d and reno’d this week, and I just started a new (temporary) part-time job. Yesterday my kids and I weren’t up to anything big, and I let it go.Two toddler boys playing by a creek with text overlay: Finding Joy in Service Day - How I Learned a Lesson

An open Bible on wood planks with scattered autumn leaves, text: 3 Reasons Why You Should Be Having Family Worship-Disciple Mama logo

Last night we broke our evening routine and got home close to 10 p.m. after some family festivities. Our kids are usually in bed by 7:30 (and we often aim for 7), so we shortened the all-important bedtime routine considerably. For us, speed is of the essence when we’re late for bedtime, because our sweet little toddler, E, has a tendency to turn into a raging ball of pure tantrum when he’s short on sleep. So, we skipped his (almond) milk, and we rushed the toothbrushing.

One thing we did not skip, though, was having family worship. E looks forward to our family worship every night (and he has since before he could talk). Sometimes, like last night, we shorten our worship time (much to E’s chagrin–choosing a shorter story than usual almost caused a meltdown), but we don’t leave it out of our routine, even when everything else is out of whack.

Yellow tent lighted up from the inside with text overlay: Wild Discipleship: Camping with Kids

Camping with kids isn’t easy. Packing, planning meals, gathering all of the supplies…it’s all a lot of work. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the unpacking is (arguably) even worse. But, I promise that the benefits of camping (even with kids) far outweigh the difficulties. It’s good for our physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing.

Yellow car with text overlay - 5 Toddler Car Activities for a Screen-Free Trip

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or taking a summer road trip, you probably dread spending long hours in the car with your toddler. Trust me, I get it. For my family, long car rides happen quite a few times a year, as we live a long way from both sets of grandparents. To make things even more crazy, we practice screen-free parenting, so we have to find other ways to stay sane during road trips. Today I’m sharing 5 great, Disciple Mama-tested toddler car activities to make the journey (almost) as fun as the destination.

A woman and a little boy sit on the floor looking at each other with text overlay- Teach by Example, Flaws and All

Parenting, and especially discipleship parenting, is not easy. It’s not easy being patient when you haven’t gotten enough sleep for 2000 consecutive nights. It’s rough because the hours are terrible and you never get a day off. It’s hard because there’s a lot of really gross, really smelly, and even really slimy stuff you have to deal with on the regular. It’s frustrating because toddler logic (even on a good day) will stretch the limits of your patience, endurance, and probably even your knowledge of scientific, religious and philosophical truths. And, to top it all off, your actions teach by example (whether you like it or not) through it all.

Boy playing in a grassy field with text overlay - Screen-Free Activities: 5 Fun Things You Can Do at Home

Do you want to make it through the day without using electronic devices to entertain your kids? If you want to ditch your tech babysitters and go screen-free, here’s my list of screen-free activities to get you started. Each of these activities can be adapted to multiple age levels (I use them with my 2.5 year old (and some with my infant). And, bonus! Each activity on my list can easily work to support your discipleship parenting essential target teaching areas.

Two little girls hold hands and walk outside with text beneath- Screen-Free Kids: Unplug to Tune-In

If you’ve worked with children as a parent, teacher, doctor, or in any capacity, you’ve probably read a lot about how screen time affects them, and there are many advocates of screen-free childhoods. There’s plenty of information out there, and it can be confusing to decide whether tech is good or bad for kids. Honestly, I see both sides of the argument.

Parents helping their daughter ride a bike with text overlay- Discipleship Parenting: Getting Started with the Basics

A few months ago, I began thinking about blogging more seriously about parenting. It’s not because I’m an expert. I’m not. I’m 8 months into being a 2-kid mom, and I haven’t got the hang of it yet (and I may never fully master it). It’s just that I’m feeling more and more burdened with the desire to do what I can to help parents (including myself) raise kids who love Jesus through discipleship parenting. I’m pretty sure I make parenting mistakes every day. But the older my kids get, the more I feel the urgency of leading them into a relationship with Jesus.

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