Simple Scripture Memory Plan for Kids

Simple Scripture Memory Plan for Kids

Simple Scripture Memory Plan For Kids This Summer

Need a simple summer Scripture memory plan for you and the kids?

Are you looking for a way to help your kids memorize Scripture?

Do you feel overwhelmed at the task because you’ve never done it before?

You know deep down inside that you want your children to have God’s word hidden in their heart…

Except, quite frankly, you’ve never really done it yourself.  

No worries, Friend!  

You can use this simple summer Scripture memory system to deepen your connection with your kids and memorize Scripture.  

Allow me to walk alongside you with my simple Scripture memory system for kids (and adults).  The best part is that it works for us imperfect moms too.

Win! Win!

Simple Summer Scripture Memory Plan for Kids

by Lindsay Leiviska | A Heart For All Students

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

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Why Use A Scripture Memory Plan for Kids?

For Christian moms, we know how important it is to hide Scripture in our hearts.  Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly encourages His people to hide His Word in their hearts.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Blessed is the man (whose…) delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  -Psalm 1: 1-6

Jesus himself uses Scripture as an offensive weapon against the adversary when he was tempted in the wilderness.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’. John 4:4

The Sword of the Spirit (Scripture) is our only offensive weapon in the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

Clearly we can see the importance of knowing God’s Word.  We know the value of hiding it in our hearts and even more importantly, in our minds.

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Scripture Memory Plan For Kids:  Make it Easy

By having God’s Word hidden in our minds, we are able to lean in to the truth of his grace and mercy in times of trouble.  

In this season of quarantine and social distancing, knowing where our hope lies is an incredible blessing.

In Chapter 6 of Deuteronomy, God emphasizes to the Israelite parents the importance of what messages we give to our children.  God encourages the Israelite parents to repeat the same stories of God’s provision again to their children.

These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

By doing so, God points to a child’s natural ability to memorize.  He knows how He has designed us and wanted His people to pass down what He had done for them in the past.   So He offered them the most efficient strategy. 

The reality is that messages we share with our children are the ones they will take with them into adulthood.   

Capitalize On Our Children’s Developmental Ability To Memorize

It’s so important that we allow our children opportunities to memorize God’s Word.

Engaging in Scripture Memory work while our kids are young is effective because children are especially capable of memorization in the younger years.  God designed the human brain to memorize effectively and efficiently while it grows in childhood.

We have all heard the saying, “Kids soak up everything,” right?  

It’s true in so many ways.  Let’s jump on this opportunity. 

Let me pause and address the elephant in the room.  If you are starting scripture memory work with an older child, this does not mean that your child is unable to memorize.  They absolutely can and will!  

It’s never too late.  Where there is a will, there is a way. 

Aren’t Kids Too Young To Understand?

Friend, you may have heard arguments against rote memorization of information.  

Whether it be the multiplication facts or Scripture verses, rote memorization has received a lot of flack.  

Some argue that children often lack the capability to understand some of the greater concepts within Scripture or any subject area.  They continue to say that it is useless to have kids memorize what they cannot understand yet.  

The argument follows that memorization of anything which cannot be fully understood is moot.

I cannot more highly and passionately disagree.  

Scripture Memory & Rote Memorization: Here’s The Deal.

If we do not provide our children with an opportunity to easily embed Scripture into their minds while they’re young, we miss a great opportunity.  A child’s inherent cognitive ability to memorize is a gift to be captured. 

The reality is that as they grow, memorized Scripture is not going to leave their minds. In fact, God will only reveal Himself more and more over the years through his Word. 

We all know that Scripture read once, is just that. It’s never mastered.  

Remember, Scripture is living and active.  It will take on a whole new meaning as time goes on and with each reading.

Friend, just do it and have fun as you memorize Scripture with your kids this summer!

scripture memory plan for kids

Step By Step Scripture Memory Plan For Kids

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. 

If you are ready to walk alongside your children in Scripture memorization, get excited!  

I have created a simple and fun way for you to deepen your connection with your kids while memorizing Scripture.

This is the exact strategy that I have used with my kids for years.

1. Choose A Chunk Of Scripture

There are tons of ways and plans for Scripture Memory Work out there. 

However, I have found that most of them are based on one Scripture verse in isolation at a time. This has never been an effective strategy for my kids and me.  

There’s something about memorizing Scripture in chunks that has served us so much more than trying to pick and choose one verse at a time. 

Chunks of scripture that we have memorized are:

  • Psalm 100,
  • Matthew 5:3-12,  The Beatitudes
  • John Chapter 1
  • Proverbs 2
  • Isaiah 11
  • Philippians 2
  • Colossians 3

2. Print Scripture

Once you have chosen the chunk of Scripture that you are committed to memorizing, print it out.

It is important to consider visual input whenever you are teaching your child anything.  Make the Scripture visually appealing and not too overwhelming.

I tend to favor printing the Scripture passage on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. 

Make sure the text is in large font and, at a minimum, double spaced.  We want it to be read from a distance of 3 to 4 feet.

I always insert the Scripture in a sheet protector.  Then we display it either on the refrigerator or we keep it safely in our homeschooling binder.  

Choose what works for your family.  In the end, just make sure to have a home for all of your memory work printables.

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3. Choose A Short Burst Of Time To Spend On The Verses Each Day

It’s summer time!  

There are no rules about what time is best to memorize Scripture.  

If you have littles and everyone is up at the same time each morning, practice the verses while eating breakfast.

Teens sleeping late?  

Catch them at lunchtime. 

It doesn’t matter.  Just choose a time to gather 4-5 days a week for a whopping 5 minutes.

4. Rhythm and Rhyme

Get ready to bust out the rhythm and melody in order to memorize the verses one by one.

We all know what it is like to hear a song that we haven’t listened to in years.  Every word comes back to us as if we had just heard it yesterday.

There is power in music and our brains were designed to create memory through music.  

Focus on one verse at a time and chant to a nursery rhyme tune or song.  

There are lots of options.  You choose what works from verse to verse.  You do not have to use the same tune for the entire passage.

5. Incorporate Movement

By using movement while learning Scripture, you are utilizing multiple parts of the brain.

Employing the various sensory systems allows information to more efficiently and effectively stick.  

Capitalize on multisensory learning whenever memorization is needed.

6. One Step At A Time

I know that I mentioned how helpful it has been for my family to memorize larger chunks of Scripture.

One of the reasons this is effective is that we do so over a longer period of time.  Each time we begin a new verse, we review the prior one.  Doing so over a longer period of time allows the Scripture to move from short term to long-term memory.

Choose one or two verses to focus on each week.

Highlight each verse as you progress.  Spend your short periods of time reviewing the prior verses and then work on the new verse.

By the end of the summer, you and your kids will have fully memorized an entire passage of Scripture that will stick for years to come.

So… what does this look like on a practical level?

Download The Simple Scripture Memory Plan For Kids 

Check out this video of my girls and I reciting Psalm 100.   Use this as a guide.

By the way, this is not a perfect video. This is reality.  My kids are older now and not as excited about performing for the camera.

The point is that they know His Word.

Modify the chants, movements and songs to fit your family’s desires.

Make this a fun time and thank God for the gift of music, fun and family this summer!

This video was made last year.  We hadn’t practiced this Psalm for close to a year at this point.

We used each step outlined above slowly… over time… and memorized this chunk of Scripture.  

The kitchen island was our rehearsal studio and the memories of coming up with hand motions and rhythms will last a lifetime.

Get excited about taking on this simple and fun Scripture Memory Plan with your kids.  

What about you, Friend?  Do you have a fun system for Scripture Memory?  Share below!  

And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (@aheartforallstudents) or Facebook (@equippingmoms) and share your progress!  

Parenting Growth Mindset For Moms

Parenting Growth Mindset For Moms

Moms Need A Parenting Growth Mindset

Friend, I am convinced that all moms need a parenting growth mindset.  For the sake of our kids, we need to shift our mindset.

Think about it.  

How many of us have grown because of our children?  

Many of us enter parenthood believing we are going to be the perfect parent.  

“I will never let my child co-sleep.  That is not a healthy sleeping habit.”

“I will definitely co-sleep.  Attachment parenting is the only way to go.”

“When I have kids, my child will never talk back to me.”

“What is wrong with these parents?  I will never allow that behavior with my kid.”

Are you laughing at the arrogance or the fact that you once believed something like this?

Here is the deal though.  Whether you believed one of the above statements or something else, every mom grows through parenting.  

We change as we learn.  Parenting is a process.  Many of us get to the point where we finally realize that there is a heck of a lot we do not know. 

Parenting Growth Mindset For Moms

by Lindsay Lieviska | A Heart For All Students

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

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Moms Need a Parenting Growth Mindset 

What is a growth mindset?  

Growth mindset as a term was coined by Carol Dweck, PhD.  Basically Dweck explains a growth mindset as one that sees:

  • challenges as opportunities, 
  • obstacles to be overcome,
  • criticism as learning lessons,
  • and ultimately the general sense that we are not “stuck” in any one position forever…

She focuses her efforts on equipping children with an understanding that they can succeed and that they are only limited by their beliefs.

While Dr. Dweck’s work has been primarily geared towards the educational system, all people are impacted greatly based upon their mindset. 

She points to the great difference in life outcomes for those who have a fixed (I can change nothing mindset) or a growth mindset.

Clearly, we can see how our beliefs about ourselves and those around us, can radically impact the quality of our lives.

Raising ADHD or Autism?  Parenting Growth Mindset

Friend, it’s essential to the well-being of our neurodiverse children that moms embrace a parenting growth mindset.  

Are you parenting a child with ADHD?   Does your child have Autism? 

SPD?  APD?  GAD?   Any acronym?

Or does your child simply struggle to fit in the box of the world’s expectations?

Do you wake in the middle of the night worried about your child’s future?

“What is going to happen to him?”

“Will she always struggle?”

Friend, I’ve been there.  And I have come to the conclusion that if we want our kids to avoid a bleak future,  we mommas may want to rally together to make a change.  

Parenting Growth Mindset vs Parenting Fixed Mindset

Fortunately, we moms tend to get to the point where we settle in to the fact that we are not God.   As we embrace the reality that we are not in control of everything nor everyone, we have some choices to make. 

A fixed parenting mindset tells us to dig our heels in the sand when our kids don’t fall in line.  When those little people living under our roof dare to be different, we do everything we can to force those kids to get in line.  

“Nope.  He will learn to obey right away because that is what my parents expected of me.”

From experience I know where that leads.  This often leads us to broken relationship and a whole lot of stress.

The growth parenting mindset allows us to sway with the winds of unmet expectations.  It frees us to see our struggles with our kids as not personal failures, but as opportunities to grow.

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My own journey to a parenting growth mindset

My hubby and I adopted a baby boy 6 years ago.  His transition into our family was relatively smooth.  

That is, until he hit 18 months.  It was then that his uncontrollable behaviors began to destroy our home and our family.   

This was the lowest and most desperate season of my life and in parenting.  

The isolation and shame.

I felt overwhelming guilt for my two biological daughters who had lost their mom.  They found themselves living in a war zone within their home.

Humiliation and depression suffocated me for several years.  My husband and my girls suffered greatly every day.  

The internal dialogue in my own momma head did not help one bit.  I truly believed that life was over.  

Except it wasn’t.

Mercy Triumphs

Friend, God used this season of absolute HELL to radically change the way I see everything and everyone.  

As we sought help for my boy, I learned from incredible pediatric specialists.  Ultimately, we found some answers for my son. 

And I found answers I didn’t know I was searching for.  

You see, I was forced to acknowledge my need for outside help.  

I entered Christian counseling and faced my own internal junk.  

God used the agony to chip away at some boulders that had been holding me hostage for years.  

Let me cut to the chase.  

I had been stuck in black and white thinking that labeled a child’s outward obedience as the ultimate sign of a good Christian momma.   

For decades I had been believing that something was true without ever having examined it.

By God’s mercy, He used another baby boy to offer more freedom to me and my family.

In this journey, I have learned so much about His design of the brain and His heart for the broken.  

He looks at the heart and sees in each of us who He designed us to be… even when we mess up. In His grace, God allowed me the opportunity to develop a parenting growth mindset.  And I am so grateful.

Parenting growth mindset saved my kids

Developing a parenting growth mindset has been key to the progress we have made with our precious boy.  Even more, it transformed my relationship with my biological daughters.  

Honestly, I believe it has saved their lives.

When we adopted our boy, we had no idea that our daughters needed their mom to develop a parenting growth mindset.  For one of my girls in particular this soon became apparent.

For years, I tried to make her into a social butterfly like her older sister.

I didn’t understand why she was so “shy.”  

I worried about her heightened-sensitivity level.  

Why did she hang on the outskirts when we would get together with friends for play dates?

I tried to “fix” her so that she could be “happy and healthy.”

Fixed parenting mindset is the thief of mental health

When she did not do what I wanted when I wanted it, I would become frustrated with her.

And she felt it… she soaked up my disappointment.

She felt the judgment of others because she wasn’t an outgoing conversationalist.  

It kills me to think about what she felt about herself while I was trying to get her to “act” a certain way.

“Kids should be outgoing and social.”

“Children need to come out of their shells sooner rather than later.”

It is not the being different that could have posed the greatest risk to her well-being.  Nope, it was the messages she received from the world around her.  

Sadly, she got the idea loud and clear even from her mother (me).   

My girl was learning that she needed to be someone else in order to make others happy.  That in order to be “good,” she would have to pretend to be a girl who God never intended for her to be.  

It is this message that could have destroyed her life.

I fight the tears right now as I think about what she would have felt and believed about herself if I had continued parenting her with a fixed mindset.

Embracing a parenting growth mindset has allowed me to see the beauty that God has intentionally woven into my precious girl.  She is His girl.

He looks at the heart.

Mental Health Crisis Hamster Wheel

By being willing to examine our beliefs about how we approach our outside-the-box kids, we open the door to hope. 

Adopting a parenting growth mindset that seeks to find the strengths in each of our children offers an alternative to:

‘What’s wrong with me?’

‘I always screw up.’

‘The teacher is mad at me again.’

‘My mom is always disappointed in me.  Why can’t I get it together?’

‘The noise was just too much and I couldn’t handle it. I’m so stupid.’

‘I cannot focus in a room full of other kids.’

‘What is wrong with me?’

How many more kids have to scream for help through drug-abuse, cutting, suicide, eating disorders, before we take a good look at this one-size-fits all system that is FAILING so many children?

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Moms willing to examine unhealthy expectations

Friend, moms need to feel safe within community in order to best serve our kids.  So many of us have kids who don’t fit in the box of the world’s expectations.  What is crazy is that so many of these expectations are never even questioned.

And yet we can easily spend our fleeting time of influence trying to force our kids to conform to unexamined and unhealthy expectations.  

The end result?  Broken relationship between parent and child and, ultimately, hurting adult children.

Parenting growth mindset frees us and our kids

When we develop a parenting growth mindset, we become moms living in freedom.  The parenting peanut-gallery commentators lose their power.  We feel confident to care less for what the “experts” say if it is going to destroy our children.

These years matter. What our kids believe about themselves matters so let’s examine the beliefs that are influencing how we raise them.  

Let’s do this differently in community, Friend.  If you have a child who dares to be different, join us in A Heart For All Students private community

We would love to support you as you raise the child God has given you to thrive with confidence and purpose. 

Life will get tough

A parenting growth mindset is not some Pollyanna dream world. 

That is why we need mom support from other ladies who share a parenting growth mindset.  We were made by God for relationship.  We will  need others to support us with the growth mindset vision that we can’t see in those hard and weary moments.

And when we are willing to receive support from others as we parent our outside-the-box kids, we are then able to equip our children to thrive.

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Parenting An Anxious Child

Parenting An Anxious Child

Parenting An Anxious Child

by Lindsay Leiviska | A Heart For All Students

Parenting An Anxious Child

Raise your hand if you are parenting an anxious child.  Friend, you are not alone.  Just recently, I posted the following question to a private Facebook group primarily made up of moms.

If you could solve one major problem that you are currently navigating with your child, what would it be?

The answers to that question revealed a lot of common issues that parents are facing.  However, the number one underlying issue these moms were facing?  I’ll tell you:  parenting an anxious child.

I don’t think this comes as a shock with all that is going on in our world these days.  

Whether your child has a formal diagnosis or not, so many of us are parenting at least one anxious child.  

So what can we do when we are parenting an anxious child?

Disclosure:  This post may contains affliliate links.  If you purchase anythink through the affiliate inks, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I won’t ever recommend a product that I do not stand behind.  Thank you for your support so I can continue to offer as much free content as possible.

Parenting An Anxious Child

Hope in Numbers?

Knowing that so many of us are parenting an anxious child can actually offer parents hope.

Why should we moms be hopeful when so many children are struggling with childhood anxiety? 

Perhaps the one silver lining of parenting an anxious child is that we know that our children are not alone in this. 

The more we moms speak up about the need to support our anxious kids, the more awareness.  

When we are open with moms and professionals about parenting an anxious child, the more we can work together to best support our kids. 

The Demands Of This World Create Greater Anxiety

The reality is that our children (whether or not they have a diagnosis) are bombarded by so much stimulation. 

Whether through the demands of school work, social pressures and a world-wide virus, kids are stressed out.

Teen Anxiety & Bible Study

On a Saturday morning, I sat with a group of 9th grade girls from my church.  We had just begun a Bible Study about their Identity in Christ. 

Many of these sweet girls shared about their stresses at school.  As I looked around this table of 7 typical teenage girls, it hit me.  

Every single one of them struggled regularly with anxiety.  

Friend, we are not the only ones parenting a child with anxiety. 

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Parenting an anxious child in my own home

I understand how debilitating anxiety can be and how much it can negatively impact life. 

Coping with anxiety is hard enough on adults. Pushing through life with anxiety is beyond exhausting. 

As our children begin to show signs of debilitating anxiety in greater numbers, we need to take note.

Signs That You Are Parenting An Anxious Child

You may be thinking,

“I am not parenting an anxious child.  My child is just disobedient and angry.”

Here is the reality. Anxiety in children does not necessarily present the way we often think.

When children are anxious it can show itself in many ways.  If we are not careful, we can exacerbate anxiety.  We need to stop to recognize it. 

How often do we see…

  • A child who is throwing a “temper tantrum”
  • The destructive child who cannot keep his hands to himself
  • A student who appears to be checked out in class
  • Tween girl who is struggling to turn in homework
  • Student who bombs a spelling test that they were confident about the night before
  • The child who complains of headaches and stomach aches
  • A kid who cannot sleep at night

Often in our culture, adults see these types of behaviors as willful.  We demand that a difficult behavior stop without finding the root behind it.

“Stop biting your nails. It is a disgusting habit.”

“Keep your hands to yourself or you will lose recess.”

“You are so irresponsible. You forgot to turn in your homework again!”

“Snap out of it! I told you to pay attention!”

These “difficult” behaviors are most often symptoms of fear, shame, embarrassment and anxiety.

Anxiety Needs To Be Released

Because most children do not have the vocabulary to identify what they are feeling, they often act out negatively. 

These outward symptoms are simply a reflection of those emotions.  

When parenting an anxious child and when we notice these behaviors, we need to pause.  Like us, our children experience thoughts and big feelings daily. 

We must be intentional to see these painful times as opportunities.  We can use these anxiety-driven moments to equip our kids with the tools they need to work through their stress.

Tools To Help Parents With An Anxious Child

Tools to help when parenting an anxious child

Here are some of my favorite tools that you can use at home to help your child navigate anxiety well. 

These resources support children in their understanding of their own thoughts and feelings.

When we give our children a vocabulary to describe and understand their physical sensations, thoughts and feelings, we give them an incredible advantage.  

Additional Tools For Parenting An Anxious Child

Turnaround: Turning Fear into Freedom by David A. Russ, Ph.D. & Christopher T. McCarthy, M. Ed.

This resource  is phenomenal. 

Several years ago, my oldest daughter suddenly developed severe separation anxiety.   Overnight she became paralyzed with fear and could not leave my side for more than two months.  

Because her fear was so intense, we immediately began Christian counseling.  It was then that her counselor recommended this program.

This is a 10-day program.  Each day includes an audio and workbook component.  The story follows a group of children as they attend camp. Each of the characters struggle with some area of anxiety.

Following the audio session, there are workbook exercises for your child to complete.  There are written and drawing exercises that help kids label and illustrate their fears in various ways.

The fact that the storyline follows a group of kids who understand anxiety is so beneficial.  Children can more easily relate and invest in the strategies provided.  

The strategies introduced to the child equip them to combat the thoughts and feelings that lead to anxiety. This gives these kiddos a greater sense of control.

Personal Success

My daughter was 12 years old when she used this set of materials.  While she was very apprehensive when she started, she felt relief after the first day. By the end of the ten-day program, she was much better able to combat her anxiety.

Turnaround: Turning Fear into Freedom is recommended for children ages 6-13.  I highly recommended it to moms parenting an anxious child.

Praise God that my daughter was quickly diagnosed with PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome).  She was treated  and is back to her old self.  

If you notice sudden-onset severe anxiety, aggression or OCD-type behaviors, please talk to your child’s doctor.  For more about our story with PANS and PANDAS, check out this post.

Zones Of Regulation For Anxious Children

Zones of Regulation by Leah Kuypers, MA Ed., OTR/L

When parenting an anxious child, using the Zones of Regulation chart can be incredibly helpful.  

The Zones were introduced to me through my son’s developmental pediatrician, Dr. Yasmin Senturias of Atrium Health.  

Dr. Senturias has been a godsend to our family as  we desperately searched for answers for our son.

The Zones of Regulation materials were developed by Leah Kuypers.  She is an Occupational Therapist and has an education background.  

She created this resource as a way to help children learn to develop emotional and self-regulation skills.

The materials are often used in schools as well as in mental health settings.  The Zones are a visual representation of what a child may be experiencing internally at any moment-in-time.

The Zones of Regulation program contains a simple chart.  This chart is made of color bands that represent specific feelings and thoughts.  It is especially helpful for young children who learn well with visual cues.

By giving kids a visual representation and vocabulary for emotional states, they are able to move through tough feelings and bring themselves back to a “regulated state.” Using the Zones, you provide your child the ability to release and communicate that which they are feeling.

This is a wonderful childhood anxiety resource. 

Check out this post where I discuss practical and actionable ways to use this tool at home today.  

Anger Iceberg

The Anger Iceberg is a visual tool.  It helps children understand the multitude of ways that anger displays itself. 

All adults will benefit from understanding that anger and difficult behavior is just a symptom.  Anxiety and fear is often the root of anger and rage.

By simply discussing the anger terms, parenting an anxious child will be less intimidating.  

Quite frankly, it is important to learn to look behind the your child’s angry behavior.   By doing so, you allow your child to release and process the underlying emotions.   

If we don’t allow our kids the opportunity to understand and verbalize the stressors inside of them, they will come out eventually.   Most often, anxiety and fear will come out in even more destructive ways.  

Choose to discuss a few “anger” terms at a time.  If your child does not know what a term means, explain it.  Share a story from your life that applies to the specific anger word.

Simply engaging in these conversations will deepen connection with your child.  This, My Friend, is the best medicine for anxiety.  There is power in knowledge and relationship.

Worth Mentioning

What to Do When You Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner

This workbook series is an excellent resource to help children navigate many issues including anxiety, complaining, fear, etc.

It is an entire series based on varying issues that children will face throughout life.  It is definitely worth checking out.

Parenting An Anxious Child And Our Kids Identity in Christ

One last thing to note if you are parenting an anxious child.

If you are a Christ-follower, may I encourage you to equip your child with practical knowledge of their identity in Christ?  

We often talk to our kids about their identity in Christ and yet we fail (me included) to clearly explain what that means.  Confusion just adds to fear, right?

Equip your child to know deeply what it truly means to have an Identity based on what God says and not based on what the world tells them.

Download FREE Identity in Christ Printables.  Use them with your kids.  Read them aloud daily, discuss them, and pray them over your child.

For more about helping our kids know what it means to have their Identity in Christ, read this post. 

Friend, let me encourage you.  God has chosen each one of us on purpose to raise our kids during this delicate time.  You are exactly the right mom for your child even when you don’t do it perfectly. 

God doesn’t expect us to do it all perfectly.  So give yourself grace to do the best you can to love your child well during these hard seasons.  

He is in this with you and He loves your child fiercely.  

Would love to hear from you.   We are in this together.

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids to Thrive

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids to Thrive

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids Well

To my momma friends who are fiercely in love with and are parenting neurodiverse kids, let’s be brave. 

You know the ones I am talking about.

  • The children who are constantly hearing that they are not enough.
  • The ones who will never live up the expectations of the adults around them.
  • Like the kid back in school who was considered a troublemaker (yep, he ended up exactly as expected by the adults around him)
  • The “loser” with a life that went nowhere.

So many of these neurodiverse kids simply grew up shrouded in a culture that believes that outward behavior is always willful.  

Sadly when it comes to parenting neurodiverse kids and children in general, this mindset is often quite dangerous.  When we have black and white thinking to what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, outside-the-box children end up suffering.

The Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids to Thrive

by Lindsay Leiviska | A Heart For All Students

What is neurodiversity?

 The concept of neurodiversity is basically a viewpoint that says that all people are wired differently.  

For kids with ADHD, Autism, or any other cognitive difference, this shift can be life changing.   This means that instead of viewing them as disordered people who need to be “fixed”, we embrace their differences as part of their wiring.  

When we remove the “willful disobedience” mindset, we begin to see the whole child through the eyes of grace and of strength.

Our responses to perceived infractions on expected behaviors lose their rough and often aggressive edge.  We are able to then see the strengths that need to be harnessed for good. 

Our kids lose the shame and instead are able to see us as in their corner.  We can then parent our neurodiverse children with what they need to thrive.

Diversity in who we are and how we are all designed.  Doesn’t that sound like something to be celebrated?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

Mom Paranting Neurodiverse Kits

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids Well: Difference vs disordered  

As moms begin parenting neurodiverse kids from this mindset, anxiety and fear is lessened.  By recognizing our child’s ADHD or Autism as an inherent part of what makes them unique, we experience freedom. 

Parenting our neurodiverse kids in this way allows us to focus on their strengths instead of trying to constantly fix these traits out of them.  

For more about neurodiversity, check out this article from Understood.org.  

Neurodiversity brings freedom 

Culturally, when adults cannot “control” the “challenging” behavior of a child with ADHD, the perception is that there is something wrong with the child.

The idea that perhaps we are using the wrong approach with these kids rarely comes to mind.  Adults blame the child and continue with the same ineffective, life-sucking discipline strategies… and the behaviors increase as the child’s sense of self-worth decreases.

Albert Einstein is often credited as saying, 

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  

So… as we parent our own neurodiverse kids, what is our goal? 

To force these fish to climb a tree, never allowing them to swim in the pond for which they were designed?  Do we want them to believe there is something inherently wrong with them when they can NEVER meet our expectations?

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Kids set up for failure

So many of our kids are placed in no-win situations.  They continuously fail to live up to the accepted expectations of the world around them.

These expectations are often based upon an environment that they were never meant to thrive in. 

Sadly, our outside-the-box kids are consistently living from a marginalized position.  They are repeatedly corrected, punished, and shamed.  

These kids spend their formative years hearing about their faults.  Oftentimes these “faults” are simply differences in the way they receive and process the world around them.  

What about the real world?

Some may argue that modifying how we educate and parent neurodiverse kids is not realistic because “they have to learn sometime”.

Hello?!!!

There are millions and millions of people in this country who are suffering and have suffered their entire lives because of this belief that its the kid who is broken.  

We live in the United States of America.  It’s 2020.  We say we celebrate diversity.  So let’s do it.

It is time we offer an alternative system.  

Parenting Neurodiversity Kids Well

Momma Friend, I hear it every day.

  • The school called. My kid flipped out and hit a little boy in class. Now he is suspended.
  • My daughter clings to me at church because it is so loud and crazy in there. She started melting down in the middle of the foyer last Sunday.
  • The teacher said that my child is off in lala land and that’s why she can’t learn to read.
  • My son comes home from school every day and screams and has meltdowns. No one believes me because he is quiet at school.
  • My child begs me not to send him to (church, sports, school, etc).
  • Getting my child to do her homework always ends up in tears and stress. She just screams that it’s too much to do.
  • My child hates going to birthday parties, he just cries and avoids the other kids.

These children struggle to please adults and even other kids around them by trying to suppress their responses to an environment they were never intended to live in.

They receive the message loud and clear that they are inherently defective.  

Our neurodiverse kids are suffering.  Their anxiety is through the roof.  Wouldn’t yours be as well?  

Christian Moms & Neurodiverse Kids

Mental Illness Hamster Wheel

These misunderstood children frequently end up trapped in a cycle of mental health issues that plague them for life. 

Rates of childhood anxiety, depression, cutting, and suicide are growing.

Moms parenting neurodiverse kids… we need to join together to advocate for our children.  We need to be brave enough to parent the children God has given us and not the one Aunt Edna wants.

We are raising children to one day be adults. These formative years are crucial.

Moms parenting neurodiverse kids differently

It’s time to be BRAVE for our uniquely-designed children.  

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Sensory Processing Differences
  • Learning Differences
  • Anxiety

These are not personality defects.  These are inherent differences in wiring just as are introversion and extroversion.

  • That struggle to take direction is not her being willfully stubborn but is her independence
  • His hyperfocus on his latest “obsession” is not a disorder.  It is a gift that has allowed some of the greatest inventors of our time to change the world.
  • The boy who cannot sit still was made to move… he receives and processes information through movement.  
  • Is your daughter the day dreamer? The one who can’t focus? That is her incredible imagination taking her places that others will only experience when she becomes a published author.

We must begin to shift our perspective so that we can set these kids up for success.

Let’s stop shaming those who don’t fit the mold.  We need to stop clinging to this belief that our kids are WILLFULLY making a choice to disobey.

It is time for us to be our child’s cheerleader and coach.  

Let us coach them well while we equip them to thrive as who they have been designed to be.

special needs kids, adhd, autism, aspergers, aspie, asd, sensory, moms, parenting, homeschool, christian parenting, aspie girls, aspergers, autism, adhd, aspie girl

God Intentionally Chose You

Moms, you know in your gut there must be another way for your neurodiverse kids.

Deep down, you know that God has created your child uniquely and that He must have a plan for your child. 

Yet, fear takes over.  

  • The world tells you that a child who is screaming in public deserves a good spanking.
  • Aunt Edna tells you that you had better nip that bad behavior in the bud now.
  • Your mother-in-law glares at your child when he begins jumping on the couch.
  • That perfect mom stares in shock when your child begins shrieking uncontrollably at the fireworks display.
  • The teacher at your child’s school told you that your child needs to learn to sit still now.

You don’t know what to do, but you know your child will never thrive knowing that he is a constant disappointment.

Parent the child we have been given

We must be willing to parent our children who have been created differently. As a Christ follower, I believe with every bit of my being that God creates every child with gifts, passions and purpose. 

We must be willing to think outside-the-box with our outside-the-box kids.

Let’s partner with our children so that through safe relationships, we can influence them.  We want to equip our kids with tools and strategies so that they can live a life of confidence and purpose.

Or we can continue to listen to the world and it’s rewards and punishment mentality.  

How is that working for your child?

Every child needs an adult who believes in them… let’s be that for our kids.

Wisdom of Moms Raising Neurodiverse Kids

Mom Friends, it’s time to be BRAVE for our children.

It’s time to be willing to allow other adults to disapprove of us in order to save the future lives of our children.  Let’s allow our kids to dare to be exactly who they are.

If you are looking for the support of other moms who are parenting uniquely-wired kids to thrive, join the private AHFAS community.  

We are in this together!

homeschool mom, special needs mom, adhd, autism

Zones Of Regulation – Stress | Anxiety | Meltdowns | Tantrums

Zones Of Regulation – Stress | Anxiety | Meltdowns | Tantrums

Zones Of Regulation & Childhood Anxiety

We mommas love our kids fiercely, but can become overwhelmed when our children struggle daily with tantrums and meltdowns.

For moms raising kids who have ADHD, Autism, or any other executive functioning difference, this stress is often heightened.

A simple tool such as the Zones of Regulation chart can make a world of difference for the entire family.

This is why it is so important for moms to be armed and equipped with resources to best support their families and uniquely-wired children.

Meltdowns & Emotions

More and more I am connecting with moms who have children who are struggling in so many ways. 

  • Meltdowns during homeschool,
  • anxiety and stress when asked to do any non-preferred activity,
  • sibling rivalry,
  • social anxiety,
  • impulsiveness…

Whatever it is… moms and kids alike are being hit with layer upon layer of stress.

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We All Experience Anxiety

Throughout life, we have all at one time or another experienced some form of anxiety.

Often, we do not respond to our anxiety in the healthiest and most appropriate ways.

We snap at our hubbies.  Yell too loudly at our kids.

However we release the tension, if we don’t identify the emotions and the causes behind them, we frequently end up in trouble relationally.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

zones of regulation, adhd, autism, spd, special needs moms

Behavior is Information

Behavior is information.  It is a form of communication.

When children “act out,” they are actually trying to tell the adults around them something that they can’t easily vocalize.

Children often do not have the vocabulary to communicate effectively and appropriately. 

Like our kids, we mommas we know the frustration when we can’t find a word.

Jenny, Mike, Sarah, Sam…

Think about how often we have to run through all of our kids’ names (let alone our hubby’s and pets’ names) before we say the right one.  That alone can be so frustrating for adults.

Similarly, our children often become frustrated when they cannot communicate what’s going on inside of them.  They experience an “unsettling feeling” inwardly, but don’t have the experience or language to pin point it.

Without the ability to let it out verbally, our kids are going to act out behaviorally.

A Simple Tool Goes a Long Way

That’s why a simple visual cue like the Zones of Regulation chart can be used by parents and teachers to provide children with a way to communicate a variety of emotions.

Emotions and general mental states are identified and broken down by colors (or zones) to use in everyday situations.

Zones Of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation

This tool was originally created by an awesome occupational therapist and teacher named Leah Kuypers, MA.Ed, OTR-L.  She has created an entire program often used in school settings and at home. 

I was originally introduced to it by my son’s developmental pediatrician, Dr. Yasmin Senturias. This is phenomenal for children and families alike.

Speaking from experience, it has proven to be a lifesaver for my family as well.

When we notice children struggling with difficult behavior, it is crucial that we start challenging ourselves to shift our perspective about how to respond.   

Outward Behavior Not The Be All End All

If we only look at outward behavior at face value, we will likely not solve the actual problem. 

We need to look behind the behaviors and help children identify triggers.  We want them to know “what sets them off.”  More importantly, we want them to know how to process those thoughts and emotions the next time. 

The Zones of Regulation chart will help you equip your child to understand these concepts in a practical way.

Willful Disobedience or Not Yet Equipped

When a child behaves in a way that may initially appear as disrespectful adult needs to pause.    If we take a moment to really think about what is happening, we will likely be able to propel the “behavioral” needle forward if we approach our kids differently.

christian parenting, special needs moms, adhd, autism, emotional regulation

Appropriate Emotional Self-Regulation

Think about this:  How many adults do you know that don’t know how to handle their emotions?

I would venture to say that we all know someone in this category. 

We all know with certainty, that every single one of us has experienced our own version of a temper tantrum (and will likely have another one).  We are just people, right?

The reality is that we fill our kids’ heads with a ton of information about math and reading.  However, we often fail to help our kids learn how to process through life’s tough situations.  

ADHD, Autism, Or Any Uniquely-Wired Thinkers

For our children with ADHD, Autism, or any executive functioning struggles, it is even doubly important to equip them with emotional regulation skills.   This will also support them in their interpersonal relationships now and in the future.

Let’s set up our kids for life-long success by equipping them with the tools that they need to promote appropriate emotional self-regulation.

How about you, Sweet Friend?  Have you tried the Zones of Regulation chart?  Or what tools have you found helpful in your family?  Comment below.

For more information as to how to support your child gifted with the ADHD brain, check out this post about supporting the ADHD brain in learning.

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Private Community of Moms

Friend, I encourage you to join the AHFAS Private Facebook Group.  

In it, you will find a tribe of moms who are safe to process through the stress of the daily meltdowns.

Whatever your situation, find community with moms who get it.   We know what it is like to navigate a higher-needs child and have all felt the isolation that comes from it.

None of us should do it alone.

Equipping Our Kids – Identity in Christ

Equipping Our Kids – Identity in Christ

Our Identity In Christ

In my 15 years of experience in children’s ministry, I’ve noticed a pattern related to our identity in Christ.

As we share Jesus with children (and newer believers), we tend to use the same verbiage over and over again.  Some would use the term “Christianese” to describe the language used in Christian circles and in ministry.

Intentional Language

In the church, this language begins when our children are young.

We start intentionally teaching preschool-age children using and repeating key phrases.  We choose specific truths from the Bible and repeatedly use those ideas to convey the message of the Gospel.

“Jesus is your friend forever.”

“God loves you so much.”

“When you are afraid, you can trust Jesus.”

As our children grow older, we may beef-up our language.

“Do all things through Christ Who strengthens you.”

“You are covered in Christ.”

“Know who you are in Christ.”

Truth of Scripture- Yes!

The key wording we use to express biblical ideas are wonderful and based on the Truth of Scripture.  However, I’ve observed a shortcoming in our efforts to grow our children (and often new adult believers) in the Truth of the Gospel.  The apostle Paul reminds the early church:

“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.” 1 Corinthians 3:2

By the term “milk” Paul is describing the way in which he initially shared the gospel with the church. 

Specifically, that when he first told this new church about the good news of Jesus, he approached them with what they could digest at the time. The milk he shared with them were the basic truths about Jesus.

An example of the milk we may share with children in our modern churches might be:

“Jesus is your friend forever.”

Reminding our preschoolers and younger children of this is such a great thing!  It meets our kids where they are and this is awesome!! 

But… this is just the beginning.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

christian moms, parenting, identity in christ, special needs

Cornerstone Truth 

The truth of God’s love for His people is expressed in these simple expressions that we share with young children.  These basic truths are the foundation of our faith.  Using this basic language with our children is the crucial foundation to a deeper understanding of the gospel.

Paul would not have used the term “milk” to describe the way he presented the Gospel during the infancy of the Corinthian church if it were not appropriate to do so. 

However, the pattern that I have seen often in the church (and that includes me) is that we fail to move from “milk” of the Gospel to the “meat.”  

This lack of depth was glaringly obvious in my own home one evening a few years back.

He Uses All Things For the Good…

Our family was in a deep season of chaos, stress and growth.

My daughters had both entered the world of navigating their own friendships. That evening one of my girls was struggling with a hurt relationship and feelings of rejection.

It was one of those moments in my momma journey that I’ll remember for a long time.

How I wished that I could “fix” it and take away her pain!

That power was and is not mine. I comforted her as best I could but ultimately, I had to point her to Him.

What do we want our children to absorb?

Here’s the deal… our children are going to grow up receiving a multitude of ideas.  What do we want them to absorb?

Do we want them to soak up the expectations of a world which tells them that to be valuable they need to:

  • Be a certain size,
  • Wear a specific brand of clothing,
  • Have the latest phone and
  • Avoid the uncool and unpopular in fear of being ostracized by their peers?

What do we want our kids to believe about themselves?

The Truth of Their Value

As Christian parents, we want them to know the beautiful truths of Scripture.

Furthermore, don’t we want them to grow more deeply in their understanding of the truths we began teaching them when they were young?

So many of us say that we want our kids to know the love of Christ.    We fiercely want them to know what it means to be in relationship with Him.

However, as I realized in my own home that night, we are going to need to be intentional if we want to truly equip them.

“Who you are in Christ is what matters,” I told her.

“Remember who you are in Christ,” I would implore with both of my girls.

Behind closed doors, I desperately prayed for both of my girls to know how loved they are by God.

Earnestly, I pleaded with God to allow my children to know their value because of Jesus.

I begged Him to make their faith their own, to please give them the gift of knowing who they were because of Him.

Suddenly, it hit me.

  • Who am I in Christ?
  • What exactly does that mean?
  • Do I even know who I am in Christ, Lindsay?
  • How do I expect my children to cling to that truth of their Identity in Christ if I am not exactly sure myself?

I need to find the verses of Scripture that tell me more about my Identity in Christ.’ 

Did I Know My Identity in Christ?

I had been in church for almost three decades prior to that night.  In depth Bible Study, line-by-line inductive study, was my jam for years.

I knew a lot of truth and a lot of the Bible.  In fact, I had chunks of Scripture memorized because my girls and I had made Scripture memory work part of our homeschool time.

Yet, when it came down to it, I really wasn’t clear of the specifics.

Where did that idea come from?

How could I equip my girls to know deeply that their identity is found in Jesus alone? 

No longer were the illustrated picture story bibles going to do.  So… I did some digging with intention and created these Scripture printables.

christian moms, confident kids, childhood mental health, growth mindset, identity in christ

The Offensive Weapon

It was time to teach them to use God’s Word as the offensive weapon it has the power to be.

They needed to guard their minds against the lies of this world.

It was time to equip them on a practical level, with the Sword of the Spirit.

On A Treasure Hunt

I created a personalized printable of the Scriptures for each of my children and framed and displayed them in their rooms.

These reminders have been a source of strength for each of them as they navigate the world.

Initially, I had them read aloud straight from the printable so as to embed the truth deep in their minds.

Repetition is an awesome and simple memory tool. 

To this day, when I sneak in their rooms to get one more snuggle before bed, I use it as a tool.  I pray the Scriptures out loud over them and now over my son.

Identity in Christ Scripture Download

Oh Friend, I am convinced that all of us need to know who we are in Christ.

Often, we need encouragement and practical tools to help us remember.  This is ok.

There are incredible blessings that come from having our identity based on Christ and not on what the world says about us.

However, it is almost impossible to recognize and live in that freedom if we don’t know what Scripture really says about it.  Let’s equip our kids and ourselves to face this world with confidence because of Jesus.  We are in this together!

Sign up below to access the printables.

  • Repeat them aloud at mealtimes
  • Insert your child’s name while praying with them at bed time.
  • Share them with one another in the car.
  • In the hard moments, refer back to those Scriptures… tease through them with your children.

Equip Your Children with The Truth

May God’s Word be the loudest voice you and your family hear each day.

Do you have any creative ways and ideas that have helped you and your family deepen your faith?

Please comment below and share.  We are in this together!

Behind The Behavior | Identity In Christ