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Growing with Preschoolers
Children are gift from the Lord, but knowing
how to care for your precious gift requires some training.
You want to develop skills and study your child to see
what specific approaches will reach his or her heart.
We have a lot of resources to help you work
with your child between the ages of 2 and 5 years. This
page will guide you through the many resources we offer
so you can find the best ones to suit your needs.
You might want to start with the Preschool Toolkit. It contains a beautiful Bible with 200 Bible stories just for kids. it also has three posters providing milestones for three, four, and five year olds including suggestions for spiritual growth as well. In addition, a booklet entitled, Preschool Explorers, gives a few chapters written by us about how to work strategically with that age.
You might also want to look at the full book Preschool Explorers that contains many ideas for working with young chldren using a heart-based approach. This book helps you understand your preschoolers. Developing responsiveness to authority and self-control are two key heart qualities to work on at this stage. Preschool Explorers shows you how.
Your child is in a stage of rapid physical,
intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth. It’s important
to be prepared for the many opportunities provided. In
these preschool years you can do a lot to help your child
build strong heart qualities that will last throughout
the rest if his or her life.
The heart is the place where we wrestle
with things and experience desires, temptation, and emotion.
It’s the place where children feel conviction of sin and
hold beliefs that will dictate much of their behavior.
The heart is also the place where God works, so introducing
your child to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
is important at this age. To understand more about the
heart you may want to read the book Parenting
is Heart Work. If you’d like to read a fun book that contains over
70 contributed stories about how parents connect with their
children on a heart level, you’ll want to look at the Family
Heart Moments Book.
Here are some different categories of resources
we have to offer as you maneuver through the preschool
1) Helpful Patterns for Instruction and
It’s important to build good patterns in the
preschool years. Keep two primary heart qualities in mind,
self-control and responsiveness to authority. These two
qualities are particularly important to develop during
the preschool years.
Often you’ll teach these and other
qualities to your preschooler using routines and games.
We’re not referring to schedule routines although they’re
also important. We’re talking about relational routines,
such as having a good plan for giving instructions, correcting,
using consequences, ending correction times well, dealing
with anger, accepting no as an answer, addressing attitudes,
changing from one activity to another, sibling conflict,
and a host of other every day experiences that face parents
and their children.
To help you develop effective and healthy
relating patterns you’ll want to consider the Heart
Work Training Manuals and CDs. This set of eight lessons contains
a wealth of tools that will help you step-by-step, to correct
bad patterns or just start new good routines in family
life. Once you’ve listened to these CDs and worked through
the manuals, you may want to use the children’s curriculum
we created called The
Treasure Hunters to teach these new
ideas to your children. The lessons for children’s contain
Bible stories, crafts, activities, games, science experiments,
and snacks that all have a lesson about family life. The
reason it’s called The Treasure Hunters is because God
has hidden treasure in family life and when you learn these
routines you’ll be more successful at handling challenges
outside the family both now and in the future. For example,
children need to learn how to set their agenda aside and
follow instructions so that they will be a better team
member or employee as they get older. Furthermore, once
you learn how to follow instructions you’ll be able to
listen to the instructions of God as well. There are five
skills everyone needs to learn when following instructions.
These are learned in the home. The five-step instruction
routine is taught in the Heart
Work Training Manuals and CDs and developed for children in The Treasure Hunters.
2) Teaching Children to Honor
Another resource that will help you set up good patterns
with your preschoolers is the concept of honor. We define
honor as treating people as special, doing more than
what’s expected, and having a good attitude. That definition
is so important and you can use it every day. You may
want to download the free poster on honor and print it
out for your child.
The concept of honor is developed in our
book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining,
and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids. Honor is not only for children but
it’s also for parents. In fact, honor deals with how we
relate together and how we get things done. Obedience is
important and you might like to download the free poster
on obedience, but honor is like oil in a machine helping
to reduce friction and make things work more smoothly.
Honor addresses sibling
conflict and helps children learn
to do more than what’s expected along with a host of other
ways to get children thinking outside themselves. Preschoolers
generally tend to be selfish and self-focused. Honor teaches
them to think about others.
Another resource for teaching honor to children
is the Kids Honor Club. Thirteen lessons are full of activities,
games, Bible stories, crafts, snack ideas and scripture
to teach children about honor. When your children join
the Kids Honor Club they learn to add energy to family
life, rather than drain it out. Most of all, honor is fun
because when you honor others you see the delight on their
3) Spiritual Training of Preschoolers
and dads are the primary spiritual trainer for their children.
Although you might find support and help from the church,
friends, or preschool, don’t miss the tremendous opportunity
and responsibility of training your kids spiritually.
We have a whole set of books to help you
lead exciting devotion times with your kids. They’re called
the Family Time Activities books.
Six books make up this series but two of them, in particular,
are designed for families with preschoolers. It only takes
about 20-30 minutes, once a week to have a formal family
time but those activities and discussions provide you with
many more opportunities during the week to share spiritual
lessons with your children as you see how that week’s lesson
applies to daily life. Each book begins with instructions
about how to have a Family Time, or you can listen to the
Teaching Spiritual Truths CD.
4) Specific Problems
Maybe you’re running into some specific problems with your
preschooler. Click on a categories below to learn ways
to address the problem you’re facing. Some of these links
will lead to resources already mentioned above but may
help you by pointing out what chapters or which CD might
best address your concern.
and temper tantrums
of cooperation, defiance
> Lying or
other forms of dishonesty
yelling or nagging
5) Additional Parenting Support
We know that parents sometimes feel overwhelmed or feel
lost when it comes to the challenges they face. You’re
doing the best that you can but you know that the particular
problem you’re facing needs some additional wisdom. We
offer several tools to help you.
First, please take a moment to sign up for
free email parenting tips. They come into your inbox a
couple times a week and provide you with ideas and encouragement
to parent your child’s heart.
Another resource would be to attend a live
parenting seminar in your area. The National Center for
Biblical Parenting offers three different parenting seminars
that can help you grow. These professional teachers provide
training for you in specific areas. See if there is a seminar
scheduled in your area or encourage your pastor or church
leadership to host a seminar. You might email your church
leader the link to hosting a seminar.
Parents often benefit from individual, one-on-one
help. Dr. Scott Turansky offers phone
coaching for parents
across the country. Email
Joanne Miller to learn more or
to set up an appointment. Dr Turansky can help you develop
a specific action plan for your particular child. If you
live near the National Center for Biblical Parenting headquarters
in New Jersey you may want to come into the office for
help. Dr. Turansky meets with parents and children in the
office. Robin Downs and Linda Ranson Jacobs, our associates
also meet regularly with parents on the phone. Email
Joanne to find out more.
At the National Center for Biblical Parenting
we’re continually looking for new and helpful ideas and
strategies to support you in your parenting. We have new
products coming out regularly and we’d love to keep you
informed about them. Please stop by often to see what’s
new or sign up for free email parenting
tips to hear about
the latest developments.