Here at Waite Park Church we believe the call of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is that parents carry the role of primary disciplemaker in the lives of their children. But we also believe that you weren’t meant to carry that responsibility alone. As a church, we are here to equip your family to grow in relationship with Jesus, His Church, and the world. One of the ways we do that is through resources like these to help you in your parenting journey.
Discipling at Home
If the idea of discipling your kids feels intimidating, you aren’t alone! The discipleship experiences below are designed to help guide conversations you have with your child on big topics.
You have 940 weeks with your child from the time they're born until they leave home. We want to help you make those weeks count. One of the ways we do that is through the Friday Family Flash - a weekly e-mail we send to parents with 3 quick and practical tips for building faith in your family. Contact us to get the Friday Family Flash in your inbox this week.
Another one of our strategies to put practical tools in your hands is through the Wonder Ink curriculum we use in our Sunday morning KidsPark ministries. Each week all of our kids – from 2s and 3s through 5th grade – are talking about the same passage or theme in their age-level classes so your family can have common points of conversation throughout the week. And we provide you with access to Wonder Ink's portal with activities and games to help you continue the journey with your kids at home throughout the week.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to grow as a family in your relationship with God, you can find entry points into a rhythm of family devotions here. And below you’ll find a number of resources that will help you engage with your kids in a variety of other ways.
As a parent, you know there are conversations you need to have with your kids to help them see themselves and the world around them through the lens of God’s Word. But how do you do that? When? What should you say?
While don’t have all the answers and every child is unique, these age-level conversation guides can help you get started on important subjects like bullying, questions of faith, handling technology safely, and more. Remember, these conversation guides are just that – guides. Follow your child’s lead in where they are at and what they seem ready to talk about and use these suggestions to maximize those opportunities.
Parenting is hard but having a helping hand along the way makes a difference. As a church, we aim to provide in-person parent training opportunities every fall and spring (usually in October and February). Additionally, there are great organizations out there that have made it their mission to provide hands-on resources for you as a parent. Below are a few that we’ve found helpful.
We love the way Connected Families approaches discipline, guiding you to connect with your child’s heart the way God connects with us in our mistakes through their Connected Families Framework. If you would like more training in this approach, we recommend the Discipline That Connects course, the Discipline That Connects book, or parent coaching through Connected Families. You can also peruse several of their blog posts on discipline here.
Creating Media-Safe Homes
Raising “digital natives” – kids who have only ever known the era of high-speed internet, smart phones, and Google – keeps you on your toes. How much screen time is too much? What boundaries are helpful to hold to keep my child safe online? How can I keep up with the endless stream of new shows my kids are finding to watch online? These questions and many more have likely crossed your mind. Below are a handful of resources to help you think toward solutions that work for your family so you can create a media-safe home.
Bark | Bark helps you manage and protect your child’s online life by monitoring the apps and platforms they use for signs of digital danger. Bark can also help you manage screen time and set up web filtering tools.
Circle | Circle can also help you set technological limits, block selected content, monitor your child’s online activity, and even turn off internet access for select family members during homework or bed times.
Covenant Eyes | Covenant Eyes provides screen accountability in the area of pornography. Through screen monitoring, screenshot analysis, and activity reporting to a designated accountability partner, Covenant Eyes can help break pornography habits for good.
Common Sense Media | Common Sense Media rates movies, TV shows, books, apps, and games so you can make informed entertainment choices as a family. They also offer a digital citizenship course to give them the skills they need to take on the challenges they face with technology and succeed.
Plugged In | Plugged In is a publication from Focus on the Family providing detailed information about movies, videos, TV shows, songs, and games. Their deep dives into specific content can help you understand and navigate the variety of media options your kids will encounter.
Screen Kids by Gary Chapman & Arlene Pellicane | A fantastic resource for helping create healthy screentime boundaries in your home.
Good Pictures, Bad Pictures and Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr. | The average age at which kids are first exposed to pornography is between 10-12 years old. That means that some of our kids will experience it at an even younger age. You can strengthen and equip them to fight for purity with these two books. They help kids understand what pornography is, why it's dangerous to their brains, and what to do if they see it. Keep in mind that these resources aren't overtly spiritual, so your kids will benefit from having additional conversations with you about grace, forgiveness, and how the Holy Spirit helps us live free from sin.
We've been talking about dealing with the discomfort we may feel around conversations on race and racial reconciliation. Figuring out how to do that as adults isn't always easy and that can make it hard to talk about with our kids. The resources below can be helpful starting places.
For preschool-aged kids, check out God's Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell. Newbell helps kids understand the "very good idea" God had in creating humans and the value in our diversity. She tells the story of how God rescued us and how we can be part of that rescue story now as part of His church.
For early elementary-aged kids, try reading Colorfull by Dorena Williamson. It tells the story of Imani and Kayla - best friends who learn how to celebrate their different skin colors as part of God's creativity in creation. And, at the end, Williamson includes a verse to memorize, a passage from the Bible to explore, and questions to think about together.
For upper-elementary kids, consider reading The Gospel in Color for Kids by Curtis A. Woods and Jarvis J. Williams with them. Not only are the illustrations stunning, but each chapter provides definitions for key terms that come up often in conversations around race, as well as questions to think through, Scripture to memorize, and ways to pray as we pursue racial reconciliation.
Sex, Sexuality, and Gender
Discipling our kids in this area requires intentional, ongoing conversations throughout their childhood and each of these resources will help you do just that in ways that are seasoned with grace and solidly grounded in biblical truth.
Bibles for Kids
Looking for a Bible that will work well for your child? Glad you asked! Below are a few options we are familiar with that may be a fit.
For Elementary Kids
* Indicates a Bible we have available at church and can be provided to your family upon request
+ Indicates the Bible we give away to each child at the beginning of second grade
Books for Kids
Storybooks on Bible characters like Moses and David abound, but ones about women in the Bible are sometimes trickier to find. Here are some great ones we'd recommend for your kids
Got a kid who's interested in science? The Indescribable books and family devotionals could be a great fit for you!
Here are some other great books we think your kids would love.
Scripture Memory Music
Looking for some music to get your kids singing Scripture? These groups are definitely for you!
If you’re looking for a good read to help you in your parenting journey, below are some options we think you might find helpful.
Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
Habits of the Household by Justin Whitmel Earley
Generation to Generation by Yael Eckstein
What Every Child Should Know About Prayer by Nancy Guthrie
Teach Your Children Well by Sarah Cowan Johnson
Notes from Jesus by Mikal Keefer
Powerful Prayers for Your Family by David & Heather Kopp
Growing With by Kara Powell & Steven Argue
Sticky Faith by Kara Powell & Chap Clark
The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family by Kara Powell
52 Creative Family Time Experiences by Timothy Smith