Parenting - Elementary

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My Child’s Mobile Device


Technology is everywhere! It is neither good nor bad, it’s what we make of it. Most kids today have some sort of mobile device. We want to take some time to figure out how we build boundaries around our child’s use of mobile devices.

Initially we need to address the real question: Do children need boundaries with technology? There are tons of bad things that COULD happen as your child uses his/her mobile device and setting boundaries on those will help protect them. BOUNDARIES GIVE PROTECTION.

In Exodus 16 we read about the Israelites in the wilderness. They’re starving and begin to complain. God miraculously provides manna and quail for them WITH some boundaries. The instructions are that every person is to collect ONLY what they need FOR THAT DAY. However, there are people that decide they want to collect enough for tomorrow too, and the extra gets infested with maggots!

Yes, our kids need boundaries with their mobile devices. We can help provide boundaries a few ways:

  1. Limit time. Many apps and settings will actually monitor your child’s amount of time on their mobile device. Have your child turn in their device at a certain time every evening.
  2. Limit content. Unlimited access to Netflix and YouTube greatly increase your child’s chance of stumbling upon inappropriate content. Both of these apps have safeguards built in that can be set on your child’s mobile device. Surfing the internet via mobile device is a disaster waiting to happen. Take all internet surfing capability OFF of the mobile device OR give them a SAFE browser such as McGruff Safeguard Browser, K9 Protection Browser or AVG Family Safety.
  3. Limit apps. BE SMART about apps, they are not all OK. Many parents allow children to have apps like snap chat-which allows easy access to nude pictures, and Kik Messenger-an anonymous texting app. Know the app your child is requesting. You can check out reviews of apps for kids at and

The sex talk used to be the awkward talk that parents had to have, and, YES, you still need to have that one. But in today’s society we must have talk with our children about the risks associated with technology. They should know WHY boundaries exist. There are tons of resources out there that provide boundaries for kids’ mobile devices, so take some time to do a little research, and set your child up for technological success!

My Child and Technology in the Home


Maybe it was a Super Nintendo, Oregon Trail on the school computer, or immersing yourself in episodes of Full House, but our exposure to technology was vastly different from what our children experience. They’re inundated with technology EVERYWHERE they turn. They even have the ability to carry their technology around with them inside their pocket!

Does that mean we just hand them an Ipod, unlimited Netflix and YouTube access, and an unmonitored TV and allow them to handle technology however they deem fit? This month we want to help you as a parent understand the pros and cons of technology and how to manage it in a way that sets your child up for success.

How do we manage screen time such as TV, movies, video games, etc. with our child, and WHY should we put parameters around their use of technology anyway? This month’s video is going to tackle these questions, plus more from the home side (TV, movies, video games, etc.).

The second email for this month will include ideas for assuring your child’s safety with technology with mobile devices. Be looking for that in your inbox soon!

Your partner,

Pastor Deknatel

Part 2 of Walking Your Child through FEAR


Reoccurring bad dreams, bellyaches before school, anxiety before a new event, and fear of the uncontrollable are some of the ways our kids are dealing with fear. Even if their fear seems a bit illegitimate to us, you can guarantee it’s very REAL to them. So, instead of glossing over their fear, or telling them, “Just don’t worry about it,” we want to walk you through the best way to walk your child through fear, anxiety, and worry.

The best way to deal with fear is to OVERCOME it. Many of the emotions God has given us are from Him. However, fear is NOT one of those. 2 Timothy 1:7 clearly tells us God has NOT given us a spirit of fear. So instead of telling our kiddos, don’t be afraid, here are some great tools for helping them overcome fear:

  • Acknowledge the fear. Even if their fear seems silly to you, it’s real to them.
  • Respond to your child’s fear with confidence. Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7. Say it over and over again until you and your child believe it. Children sense anxiety, so if you know they’re feeding off your fears, get yours in check first.
  • Replace the “stinkin’ thinkin’” with good thoughts. Don’t dwell on the fear (if it’s a bad dream, don’t ask them to describe the dream), this just fuels that anxiety. It’s also not enough to tell them to STOP worrying. They need to REPLACE those thoughts with new ones. So help them figure out what to think about. Replace worry with a verse like the one in 2 Timothy OR Isaiah 41:10.
  • Help the bad dream pass by thinking of a great vacation memory.
  • For a child safety is developed through structure. Create routine for your family. Make sure it includes down time for great conversation, especially at night time.

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.”

One of the biggest ways to help kids deal with fear is to create security. Tell them often how much they are loved by you and by God. Perfect love casts out fear. Dwell on the perfect love of God as you help your child understand he/she was NOT created to fear!

Walking Your Child Through Fear


We all want our children to live life fully. One of the joys of childhood is the innocence that allows them to live with reckless abandon. As our children get a little older they begin to see the “real world.” Accompanying that can be some real fears that take hold in their lives.

How do we as parents help them confront fears, deal with them, and move past them so that they don’t control our child’s mind? Take a look at this video to see an overview of helping your child deal with fear.

In a couple weeks we’ll be sending out the second installment of this online parenting class where we’ll help you know step by step how to walk your child through conquering fears.

Your partner,

Pastor Deknatel

The Selfish Child pt 2


As you read the first email and watched the video about selfishness, I’m sure you found yourself saying, “YEP, my child can definitely be selfish!” Here’s the reality-WE ALL ARE! Each of us looks for ways to get what we want out of life. Yeah, we say it’s not about us, but, in reality, most of us live like it is!

The Israelites thousands of years ago did this same thing after being freed from slavery. They found themselves in the desert asking for more; more food, more water, more leadership.

Here’s the problem the Israelites found themselves in, and one we need to take heed of when it comes to parenting: The Israelites did NOT keep the end in mind! God was delivering them to the promised land for goodness sake, but all they could focus on was not having what they wanted in the present.

Sound familiar! Our kids can’t focus on the end because developmentally they can’t think that far ahead. But WE can. As parents we can keep the end in mind and make choices accordingly! Do we want our children to grow up to be selfless or selfish, generous or greedy? When we parent with the end in mind it helps us make better decisions in the moment.

Ultimately, we want our children to be completely satisfied in Jesus. Hebrews 13:5:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

So, when your kiddo asks for that next thing, whatever it may be big or small, let’s ask this question to them:
“Does this thing I desire help me become the person God has created me to be?”
This question helps us to keep the end in mind. And isn’t that the end goal, to help our children become the person God has created them to be?

"The Selfish Child"



Hopefully you are past the days of your child throwing a tantrum in the floor when you tell them you absolutely will not buy them their 50th Barbie or Ninjago Character. There’s a phrase that surrounds kids like this-spoiled brat. No parent wants a spoiled child, so why is it so hard to say NO, when we know NO is the best answer?

Check out this incredible video that gives us an idea as parents how to de-spoil our children.

So what about you? As you think through setting limits, being consistent and providing choices, which of these is most important for you right now? Is there one you struggle with more than the other?

Take some time to develop a plan for one of these areas and then practice being consistent with it!

As always, we welcome your feedback and prayer requests, so feel free to contact me with those at your contact info.


"Playing the Comparisons Game" pt 2


As promised, here is your second e-mail of January in our new parenting ministry.  If you missed part 1 or want to read it again, you can find it at;

Below is part two of the topic; Playing the comparisons game. Before you read about that, I want to invite you to a fantastic marriage event we are hosting here at Risen Christ called “Fight Night.”  It is a simulcast with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott on Feb 12 at 7pm.  It will be fun, funny, inspirational and instructive.  Cost is $10 advance and $12 at the door.  Check it out at;    

Have you ever had one of those days when you just barely make it out the door?  House is a wreck, you haven’t had a shower today and the kids are already fighting.  Your parenting self-esteem has already taken a hit when you run into THAT family.  You know the one:  they look like they just stepped out of the pages of a magazine, kids are behaving perfectly and mom has brought homemade goodies for the kids to share.  How do they do it?  Why can’t we do that?  Why can’t our child excel like theirs?  Sometimes you feel like a parenting what-not-to-do.

It is completely normal to compare ourselves and our kids to others.   Unfortunately, we often can pick out our own faults and flaws and they seem to be amplified next to those “perfect people”.  The truth is that no parent and no child is perfect.  Even those seemingly perfect families have their own problems, too.  So what can we do when we catch ourselves falling into the comparison trap?

  1. Remember that milestone development is relative.  Of course you want to make sure that your child’s development is on track, but obsessing over it is not helpful.  Don’t let others set the standard for where your child should be.  Talk with your child’s pediatrician.  If they are comfortable with how your child is growing, you should be too.  If you don’t trust your pediatrician, you need to find a new doctor.
  2. Don’t turn parenting into a competition.  Being a parent is hard, even on a good day.  Why make it even harder by setting unrealistic expectations on yourself and especially on your child?  Every family has their own set of issues that they struggle with every day, some just hide it better than others!  You never know what someone else may be dealing with behind closed doors.
  3. Realize that comparisons can steal your joy.  Why purposely invite any sort of conflict into your life?  We should be striving to be joyful and to find joy every day.  Comparisons can lead to envy and jealousy.  Proverbs 14:30 states “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”  Find parent friends who are supportive rather than competitive and be that friend to others.
  4. Be able to admit and own weaknesses, and at the same time recognize and utilize strengths.  What is your child good at?  Celebrate that and let them know that you are proud of them.  Help them to find activities and projects that interest them and that they enjoy.  Your child is a unique individual who has things they are good at…do you know what they are or are you too focused on what they cannot do?   Apply this to yourself as a parent as well.  You may not be the best goodie-baker, but you tell the best stories.
  5. The last one is the most important.  KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU!!!  Your worth before God is not measured by how your family compares with others.  Your worth before God is based on His amazing grace.  He loves you warts and all.  And, His love extended all the way to Jesus dying on the cross for you.  The Bible says that it was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us.  If you ever feel like you are comparing yourself to other parents, turn back to the cross and let God’s love flow over you.   

Take a good look at your child.  Are they happy, healthy, safe and loved?  Are you letting them know how much God loves them?  Congratulations, you are a good parent.  Ultimately, these are the things that are important.  Enjoy your children for who God created them to be and appreciate the job you have been blessed with as their parent.

Have a great day doing one of the most important tasks in the world—being a loving Christian parent to your child.,

Pastor Deknatel