In this series of podcasts we offer a biblical, honest and thoughtful take on what each season of parenting life is like plus how knowing Jesus does indeed make it better.
Episode 1: Pregnant to 6 months: Ed chats through pregnancy and the early months with a Christian health visitor and mum, and a warmly honest and friendly Christian couple.This one is for you if you are newly pregnant or to pass on to someone you know who is, plus this is good ‘awake-at-three-in-the-morning’ listening for new mums and dads.
6 months to 2 years: On the show Ed speaks with a Christian infant feeding coordinator (and previous health visitor) - and mum and an Christian couple with 3 children under 2 about Christian family routines, navigating the return to work after maternity leave, and applying the Bible to our children’s fears.
3‘s and 4’s: Ed and special guests discuss the opportunities as well as the challenges of this age group. They are sociable, full of energy and love routine. They are just beginning to grasp concepts like sin, forgiveness, and boundaries. How do we encourage our children to develop and learn to regulate their emotions at a stage when they largely believe that they are the centre of the universe?
5-7's: By this age, they’re getting better at expressing themselves, knowing their own mind, and having a thirst for life. One of the potential challenges is adjusting to school life - especially when they may be either “ahead” or “behind” others in class. With discipline, we need to be really consistent, because fairness is huge for 5s - 7s. You need to work out what is childish vs what is disobedient. You can explain what is wrong with bad behaviour - you can even hint at the God-reason e.g. “We don’t hurt other people because God loves them”; “We don’t lie because God never lies”
8-11's: By now they’re full of energy, developing individual personalities. They still need their parents, but they’re often brave enough to try things on their own - bold and fearless, but also often wonderfully vulnerable and tender. Parenting pre-school children can be physically exhausting, but parenting 8 to 11s is often more emotionally exhausting, as everything is dialed up to 11. A wonderful thing about this age group is that they have few inhibitions about praying, so praying through live issues can be a brilliant way to grow spiritually, especially when they know that God has promised to listen to our prayers.
11-14's: Join Ed and guests as they share some anecdotal advice on how to navigate when children do not want to do what you want them to do, particularly when entering the teen years. They chat about how to help kids feel secure and navigate new challenges, as well as share some of their own stories along the way.“Home is actually a safe place to be, not a place of judgment. As Christians, we want to model the idea of grace and when you come home, it’s a safe place... then conversations can start.”
15-18's: They’re becoming more than just a product of their family and are still working out who they are. Clearly, the greatest thing that we could want for our children is for them to have faith in Jesus, but this is something we can’t generate for them. In this age group, parents will be transitioning away from just telling their children to read the Bible, and moving towards letting them decide while modelling a genuine spiritual life. Your children will pick up on how you pray, how you love one another in your marriage, how you deal with disagreements, how you relate to others. Young people are open to ideas, and are open to honest people who respect them and listen to them.
18's and over: ‘I can’t value highly enough the intergenerational relationships and friendships that our children have. I get great joy if I see my children at church talking to older adults in the service. A way of supporting each other in our parenting is by talking to other teenagers and kids, being interested in them. I know my children love it when other people come to talk to them and that then gives grounds for support, advice, wisdom - it just slips into the conversation in a really natural, easy way.’
If these podcast encourages you as you disciple your kids, please do send them to parents you think would appreciate it - maybe drop it into a WhatsApp group for your church’s mums/dads/carers group, with something you found encouraging.
If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We won’t read out your emails on the podcast if you don’t want us to, but we’d love to hear your stories and feedback. We would love to speak to some families or share your stories on social media, be brave and get in touch!