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Safari Babies :: February ParentCue Article

You love your baby. You might even be surprised by how deeply you love him or her. In fact, there is a good chance this past year redefined how you think about love entirely. But if you want your child to grow up knowing you love him or her, you will have to prove it over time. Every kid needs adults who love them in a way that convinces them they are worth something. And the way you consistently prove love over time will give your child a healthy sense of worth. One way to prove your love is to show up.

It’s hard not to show up—especially when your baby is utterly dependent on you just to eat, sleep, and stay reasonably clean. Besides, if you don’t show up fast enough, your baby’s built-in alarm system may activate and alert the entire neighborhood.

Don’t underestimate the significance of your physical presence. It’s more than just de-activating their crying. Even though your three-month-old may not say “thank you” or make you a special card to celebrate your efforts, the attention you give now is making physiological and a psychological difference that will impact her future.

Brain research shows the more consistently a baby receives loving support—especially during times of stress—the larger and more developed the social portion of a baby’s brain becomes. Psychological studies show that the more consistently a parent shows up and responds to their baby, the more trusting the child will be in later phases. Spiritual development suggests establishing trust in early years lays a foundation for later faith.

Simply put: You cannot give your baby too much love. So keep showing up. You are giving your baby the love they need every time you . . .

»» smile and make eye contact
»» touch your nose to their nose
»» make silly faces
»» wiggle their toes
»» imitate their babbles
»» sing a lullaby
»» give them a shoulder to sleep on
»» pick them up when they cry
»» show up to let them know you care

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.


Quest :: Week of February 2

February is the month of love, so it’s the perfect time to teach children how much Jesus loves us! Jesus loves us SO MUCH. In fact, there is nothing wider or longer or higher or deeper than the love Jesus has for you and me. This month, our goal is for children to know that Jesus loves them, and that nothing will ever change that!

This week, we learned about the time Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to Him.

When you go into your child’s room this month, say, “Good morning, [child’s name]! Today is going to be a great day because Jesus loves you! Who loves you? (Say with child) Jesus loves ME!”   

Download this week’s Parent Cue card HERE.


Safari Toddlers :: February ParentCue Article

 

Life can be challenging and unpredictable. And, if you’re parenting a two-year-old, you’re guaranteed this year will have plenty of both. That sweet baby who used to cuddle in your arms has not only learned how to walk but now he can run away from you—and fast. That little angel whose smile used to light up your world can now smile at you as she drops your phone—into the bathtub.

Personally, I’ve raised two men that have given me four beautiful grandchildren all currently under the age of six years old. I’ve seen enough to know the phrase “terrible twos” wasn’t invented without reason. There are days in this phase when “terrible” may seem like the only word to characterize the state of your home, your schedule, and your patience. This is the phase when a toddler suddenly explodes with personality.

It’s the moment they fall to the floor screaming because you cut their sandwich the wrong way. Or you bring them the milk they asked for, and they realize they really wanted orange juice. Or you tell them they aren’t allowed to do that completely irrational thing they were just trying to do, and the world suddenly falls apart. Yes, you will have moments this year when you stare, wide-eyed, at the determined child in front of you and wonder, What am I supposed to do with this?

The answer, even though it may not seem true in the moment, is really what it has always been: Love. Becoming a grandparent has heightened my senses to my grandchildren’s need for love. It’s funny, the way time gives us perspective. Love is the thing every selfish, stubborn, crazy-headed toddler needs most.

I remember when my grandson Amari was two he told me he loved me for the first time.  Each time he said it, he put his whole body into it. It was like he couldn’t say it loud enough or strong enough. He just had to let me know that HE LOVED ME!

One day, as I was leaving his house, we started a back-and-forth shouting match to tell each other how much we loved each other. It was so passionate and so pure that I took out my cell phone and recorded him on video. Within days after sharing it on social media, over 26 million people had watched, commented, and shared the video. The video was shown on Good Morning America and The Ellen Show.

I know most people’s toddler videos don’t make national television. But that’s not the point. The point is there’s something about the love of a two-year-old that can capture the heart of a nation. And that love is inside your child too.

Sure, this year your toddler is becoming more independent. But that means when she shows you love and affection, she does it because she chooses to. When he tells you he loves you, he says it because he means it. And as the parent of a two-year-old, you’ll discover you have more love inside you than you ever knew possible. It’s a shouting-match kind of love that will see you through the tantrums. It’s a love that may catch you off guard as you find yourself captivated by this adorable, growing, bundle of personality.

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.


Motion :: Week of February 2

We’re tuning in to Cam’s vlog, Cam I Am, to learn about the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to strengthen, encourage, and help us. When we listen to the Holy Spirit, we start developing a specific set of character qualities the Bible calls the “Fruit of the Spirit.” The Bible calls it fruit because it shows up when we are growing in our faith.

In this week’s episode of Cam I Am, Cam answered the question of the day by teaching us about the Holy Spirit and how He helps us grow.  

During eGroup time, we learned more about who the Holy Spirit is and how He helps us. We took a look at John 14:15-27 to learn about the time Jesus promised the disciples He would send the Holy Spirit to help them. Once we make the decision to follow Jesus, God promises His Holy Spirit will help teach and guide us. The more we spend time with God, the more can learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Him!

At dinner this week, discuss how the Holy Spirit helps us (guides, teaches, comforts us, helps us grow) Tell your child about a time the Holy Spirit helped you.

Download this week’s ParentCue card HERE.

Faith Starter Kit
As you talk about the Holy Spirit with your family, your child might have questions about what it means to accept Jesus as his or her Savior. The Faith Starter kit is a resource designed to help you navigate the questions your child has about following Jesus. You can find more information about the Faith Starter Kit HERE.


Visit the Cam I Am website for music videos, Cam I Am episodes, and free song downloads HERE.


Safari :: Week of January 26

WE’RE LEARNING… God helps me.
MEMORY VERSE: “God is my helper.” Psalm 54:4a (CSB)
BIBLE STORY: The Mean Giant I Luke 2:1-7

Play a fun game with your toddler to help them remember God helps us.

As you’re driving in the car or while you’re at home, say ‘I Spy’ and point out different locations, or items, your toddler might be familiar with. For example, you could say the playground, school, church, home, etc. After each location or item ask, “Can God helps us when we’re at (name of location)?” Pause for your toddler to respond. Say, “Yes! God loves you and will always be there to help you. Who helps you?” Encourage your toddler to say, “God helps me!”

Repeat the game, choosing a different location each time.