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Parenting Preschoolers
Children are a 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 years.

1) Helpful Patterns for Instruction and Correction
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 Manual and 8 Audio Sessions. 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 Manual and 8 Audio Sessions 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 faces.

3) Spiritual Training of Preschoolers
Moms 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.

> Anger and temper tantrums
> Lack of cooperation, defiance
> Lying or other forms of dishonesty
> Sibling conflict
> Parental yelling or nagging
> Mealtimes
> Bedtimes
> Other problems

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.

Preschool Explorers
What Your Three-Year-Old Really Needs Poster
Parenting is Heart Work Training Manuals and Audio Sessions
Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual
Family Heart Moments
Treasure Hunters
Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids
Kids Honor Club
Family Time Activities Books
Specific topics
specific ages

Here are quick links to many of the things we offer...

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