"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
he gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40 v 11
Our days are long right now and in some cases there is a sameness about them. We have found real times of joy and a reminder of the smaller things, by making sure we each have three things to be thankful for at the end of the day. We know it is a small thing, but sometimes hearing our children's lists has made our day. No, they do not always want to do it but for us it has been worth persevering for.
We are not any of us doing this alone, there are millions of parents/carers going through the same thing. We are here. If you need anything, just get in touch and we will do our best to help.
We are expecting there to be bad days, bad moments and interruptions in the routines we set but we are pressing into having grace for ourselves with that. And seeing what God has for us in those moments too.
We wanted to share with you a selection of articles and videos that other churches and organisations have produced that we've found really helpful:
- https://www.crossroads.net/media/articles/parenting-well-in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic - a quick read, with some really helpful tips for talking to your kids about the current situation and parenting through these times.
- https://bridgetown.church/homeschool/ - a longer read, but lots of tips for you as a parent and loads of resource recommendations.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDnNrno5fPM&feature=youtu.be - if you prefer to watch rather than read, this is an excellent short message to parents from our friends at Care for the Family.
Resources for Parents/Carers
A list of parenting resources, specifically for the time we find ourselves in for all parents/carers:
- Nosy Crow’s book for children re COVID-19, illustrated by Axel Scheffler! Also has a number of links for parents at the back https://nosycrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Coronavirus-A-Book-for-Children.pdf
- Supporting your child’s mental health during the pandemic (Young Minds) https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/supporting-your-child-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
- Looking after yourself - Take note Parents/Carers! https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/supporting-your-family-s-wellbeing-during-isolation/
- Parenting in a Pandemic (especially for young children) https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p089psz9
- Indoor games for younger children https://www.unicef.org/parenting/coronavirus-covid-19-guide-parents/indoor-play-ideas-stimulate-young-children-home
- Really useful, clear and easy to follow reminder of parenting wins at this time: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips
- Handling sibling fights https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/behaviour/friends-siblings/handling-fights
- Handling self-regulation and emotional control. We use this in our VKids spaces and if you are on our mailing list, we’ve sent you these for use at home. This is a link to the official website http://www.zonesofregulation.com/index.html
- Care for the Family podcasts. (https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/family-life/podcasts?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItp6OgtOP6QIVQYBQBh2phgyWEAAYASAAEgKmV_D_BwE)
Christian Resources for Parents/Carers, Kids and Families
If you are wondering how to be encouraging your children’s faith at this time or indeed looking into adding to or creating habits, we and others have found these useful (again not an exhaustive list and we will add to this).
- The Bible Project: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVfwlh9XpX2Y_tQfjeln9QA.
- By the Hand, free printable by Sally-Lloyd Jones from Thoughts to make your heart sing. https://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/downloads-for-you/
- Indescribable or How Great is our God by Louie Giglio, Thomas Nelson (Devotionals for children/families)
- Family activities to go along with VCUKI’s new children’s worship album “We Shine” Super creative and fun. https://www.vineyardchurches.org.uk/resources/we-shine-family-activities/
- Odyessy (online bible stories - 28-day free trial) https://www.oaclub.org/
- The Bible App for Kids - https://bibleappforkids.com/ (fun app for kids to watch Bible stories and interact with them, plus lots of companion resources on the website.)
- Sticky faith, by Dr. Kara E. Powell & Dr. Chap Clark, Zondervan (Everyday ideas to build lasting faith in your children.)
- That’s a Good Question, by J.John, Theology for Little People (Helping children answer their questions.)
We're all in this together so do share with us any resources you find particularly helpful.
Manny & Sinead