Conversations Through TV Shows and Movies

This month’s video is on prompting conversations through TV shows and movies!

Television shows and movies are just two media forms that kids watch. Beyond that, network and cable television, DVDs, and online streaming providers increase access to media for our kids. This is the world they live in, and it’s likely not going to magically disappear. Rather than fearing what they could be exposed to, commit to teaching and training your child in the why—why it’s important to learn what is okay to watch and what isn’t.

Bob Waliszewski, the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting, offers a few ideas for parents who wish to take a proactive approach to the media. Waliszewski suggests having an honest and ongoing discussion with your child about the importance of protecting their minds.

In that conversation, you can talk about how the Bible encourages people who follow Jesus to guard their minds and hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it” and Jesus taught in Matthew 15:19 that “out of the heart come evil thoughts . . .”

The goal is to raise children that will begin to sense that conviction in their souls when they aren’t with you—and make good and wise decisions on their own that carry into their teenage years and adulthood.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/206402355/002158ccb9

I’m praying for you and your family. We are in this together!

Cassandra DeWitt

Fun Ways To Study Scripture With Your Child

Raising our children to pursue a personal relationship with God is something every Christian parent wants, but statistics show that only five percent of teens study the Bible on their own on a daily basis. And, just over half of teens say they read or study their Bible away from church.

That said, I’m happy to tell you that YOU can influence your children to be one of the five percent who study their Bible every day. How? By getting creative, that’s how!

For ways to make studying scripture with your kids more fun, check out this months online parenting class. It will give you a good start towards making positive changes in your home in this area.

I hope you find this lesson helpful. You are always welcome to email me with any prayer requests your family may have. I truly enjoy serving your family.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/141593132/13f9137123

Sincerely,  Cassandra

Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety

Parents, either you’ve already experienced separation anxiety, you’re in the middle of it, or it’s on the horizon. To be honest, I’m in the middle of it with our two-year old. Can I hear an amen, Lord help us?!

What is Separation Anxiety? Pediatricians help us understand that separation anxiety is so tough on kids because they don’t understand object permanence. A child realizes Mom is gone, and what they think is, “Oh my gosh, MY MOM IS GONE,” like…forever gone.

https://contentpathway.s3.amazonaws.com/separation-anxiety-full.jpg

It’s why we play hide and seek or peekaboo with little ones. We want to reinforce the idea that even though you can’t see an object, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. The fear produced over this misunderstanding is what we call separation anxiety. It creates anxiety in our children, and much of the time, an anxiety in us as parents.

Take some time to check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with anxiety. Later in the month we’ll look at some practical tools for how to help your child conquer separation anxiety.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/95865874/650be0e74c

GP Kids Parenting: The Comparison Game

Being a parent is hard work and sometimes we wonder if we are doing a good job?  We hear about other families, other people’s kids and it can be easy for doubt to creep in.  Comparing ourselves to others is natural and depending on the situation can either make you feel like parent of the year or a total failure.

The last thing you want to hear about when you were up all night with your ten month old is how someone else’s two month old is sleeping through the night! Or how about running into that mom who is always perfectly put together when you can’t remember the last time you got a shower?

Comparisons can be harmful to our self esteem and our outlook on how we are managing.  It’s easy to fall into this trap. We have to realize that we all have good and bad days.  No one has completely mastered being a parent!

Take some time and check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with those moments we feel like we don’t measure up.  Later this month, you will receive some tools to help you when you are playing the comparison game through our email list here.

Here is the link to the video: https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/90162336/2b9dba9f43

Thanks,

Cassandra DeWitt

 

Marriage Matters: Welcome to Baseball Season

The last few days of 70-degree weather have been a blessing and also a reminder ]that not only is spring on the way but baseball season is upon us.

I have been following the game since 1950 when my Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series. To me baseball is more than a game. It’s a life time of memories; my grandfather introduced me to the game he loved. He was a Brooklyn Dodger fan and taught me all about the game. He died in February 1955 before he saw his Dodgers win the 55-world series. Today, I have the opportunity to build memories with my grandchildren as we attend the Trenton Thunder games. It’s so much more than baseball. It’s about spending time with them and letting them know how special they are.

Too many children today do not have these special moments of building life time memories.

During the month of March Grace Point will be offering three classes on exploring the world of the developing adolescent. These classes will take place on March 12, 19, and 26 at 9AM in Rooms A1-2.

Some of the topics that we will explore are:

  • An Inside Look at the American Teenager
  • Adolescent Developmental Influences
  • The Impact of Trauma on Adolescent Development
  • Factors that Contribute to Good Psychological Health
  • Parenting Adolescents

These classes are recommended for the parents of children aged nine and above, teachers, counselors, and anyone else who lives with or works with the adolescent.

You can contact Chuck Arnold (carnold@gracepointpa.org) for additional information.

GP Kids Parenting: Technology

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 today. They’re inundated with technology EVERYWHERE they turn.

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, in our video below, 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 through a Biblical worldview.

The follow-up to this blog will be an email through our GP Kids list titled “GP Kids Parenting – My Child’s Mobile Device.” Sign up for those emails here.

Check out this 5 minute video!

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/86560654/63bc8c27e1

Happy Valentine’s Day

I am sitting in my home office and writing up notes for the Marriage, Family and Relationships Classes. I ponder what it would be like if every person had at least one healthy relationship where they felt connected, loved, and supported.

What do you and I need from others to have a healthy and connected relationship?

May I suggest three key essential building blocks:

  1. Trust
  2. Emotional Availability
  3. Sensitive Responsiveness.

We are currently looking at the topic of “Safe Haven Marriages/Relationships.”

Come join us on Sunday mornings at 9am in Room A-1&2 as, together, we explore the foundational concepts of having a safe haven relationship. These classes will take place at 9am in Room A-1&2, February 12th and 26th.

On March 12th, 19th, and 26th we will explore the topic, “Entering the World of Adolescence.” These classes are designed to help parents, teachers, and family members understand the complex and ever-changing world of the adolescent.

In April and May, we will explore the topic of “Personalities and Relationships.”

*The Myers Briggs Personality profile will be available for individuals to complete prior to the first class in April. If you are interested in completing the Myers Briggs profile, contact or see Chuck Arnold (carnold@gracepointpa.org)

GP Kids Parenting: Bullying

This is a big day as we start our online parenting class. At least once a month, we will be offering a Christ-centered, online parenting class/resource.  We want to partner with you and support you in your efforts to raise fully committed followers of Jesus Christ!  These “classes” will be usually five minutes or less, and we hope they will encourage you as parents and families!

We’re jumping right into a topic that you’ve probably already experienced with your child or know is on the horizon-bullying.

If you stop long enough to think about bullying you might have flashbacks to something you’ve experienced. It’s one thing for us as adults to remember those difficult encounters, but another one entirely to think about someone picking on our own kid.

When our child experiences bullying, we’re ready for the gloves to come off because, let’s face it, nobody messes with MY child! We also know fighting our children’s battles doesn’t help them in the long run. They need to experience difficulty, so how do we figure out when to step in and when to let them handle it?

Check out this incredible video that will help equip you to begin the dialogue with your child about bullying.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/73132864

GP Kids – Important Tel Hai Camp Info

Dear Families and Friends of Grace Point,i-bdvmq8z-l

I am writing today to share with you about Tel Hai Adventure Camp week.  Over the past 11+ years that I have been at Grace Point, Tel Hai has been a highlight of ministry for GP Kids.  This away-camp week for students 8-11 years old began as a thriving opportunity for our families to send their children to a Christian camp.

Similar to many ministry endeavors, the week has had high points and low points throughout the time Grace Point has led it.  At its start, about 14 years ago, we had nearly 50 kids from Grace Point and our local area that would attend.  The week served not only our students, but local children from Honey Brooke who wished to attend, so it became an outreach opportunity as well.  Over the years, while I have led the camp, I have taken time each year to pray over and evaluate the program.  This year, when our Tel Hai leadership team (comprised of both Grace Point and Crossing Community Church leaders) evaluated the program, it became clear that God was indeed directing us to reconsider leading this program.  After much prayer, I brought these considerations to both the staff and elders and decided, with their feedback, that we would not move forward with offering and leading Tel Hai Adventure Camp as a Grace Point sponsored ministry.

i-cgp8m3b-lHere are some factors that brought us to this decision. Of the 130 kids who attended Tel Hai Adventure Camp week this year, only 8 of them were from Grace Point.  Another few students were from Crossing Community Church, but the majority of the children were from the local area of Honey Brooke, PA.  While I loved the opportunity to outreach to the Honey Brooke area, it became clear to me that continuing relationships with those students we did reach was difficult due to our removed location in Newtown, PA.  And despite our efforts over a number of years, we have not seen the number of GP children increase. In a nutshell,  the amount of time, energy, effort and finances it takes to make this one week happen were a cost outweighing the gain.

I realize this ministry has become very dear to the heart of the many leaders and students who have been a part of it, and I assure you much prayer and deliberation has gone into this decision.  I, myself, am sad to close this door.  However, I am, at the same time, excited at what we will see God do in children’s ministry at Grace Point with more time and energy to invest here.

You may be asking yourself, what’s next then?  What could we offer by way of the camp experience some students will miss?  These are important questions I want to answer for you.  Our efforts will be poured back into the overall ministry of GP Kids at Grace Point.  It is my prayer to see the freed up time, leadership and finances used to further the ministry within our program here where the impact can be greater and lasting. Beyond that, I have begun researching other camp experiences that Grace Point would recommend for families.  We will not look to lead a week of camp as we did with Tel Hai, but we do want to offer options and opportunities that may serve you well.  To check out some camp opportunities and further updates, please use this link: https://gracepointonline.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/elementary-and-family-camp-ideas.pdf.

I care deeply about your family and any questions you might have.  Please email me questions at cdewitt@gracepointpa.org.

In love and prayer, Cassandra DeWitt

A More Meaningful Christmas

Christmas is rushing towards us like a diesel train. It will be here before you know it. Then it will be gone as fast as it came. Christmas is a time of joy and frustration. A frenzy of preparations and merry-making, followed by weariness and even emptiness: Is that all we get? And that’s a shame.

Here are some ideas borrowed from FamilyLife that can help you make you and your family’s Christmas more meaningful, memorable.

  1. Talk about the names of Christ: There’s nothing more meaningful at Christmas than learning more about Jesus Christ, the Savior whose birth we celebrate. For He is so much more than a baby in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. In fact, Jesus is known by many other names in Scripture … and in the Christmas hymns we sing. He is the “King of kings,” the “Redeemer.”
  2. Conversation starters: Download this PDF with a list of questions to talk to your family and friends about Christ and Christmas. You may work these into normal conversation, but often they work best as part of a Christmas party or formal celebration with your family. You might pose a couple of questions to the group, asking everyone to answer one or both of them. For young children, be sure check out the “Questions for Kids” section.
  3. Share stories about how God has worked in your life: Ever told your children the story of your salvation; meeting your spouse. Use the holidays to share your personal stories about faith and life change.