In an age in which the notion of conventional religion is being called to question at rapidly increasing rates, finding ways to ensure the installation of a moral compass within our children is much easier said than done. Moreover, this task is further complicated when you do not subscribe to any particular religious ideology and do not have one set leader or deity to look to during times of turmoil and trouble. Nevertheless, making sure our children have a firm foundation despite the lack of dependence on religion is vital for raising children who become healthy, well-adjusted adults. That is to say, in order for our children to become happy and successful, we must give the tools to thrive in the face of adversity. That said, the following is a short guide to helping your children overcome issues with peer pressure and conformity as an agnostic mother.

First thing’s first, for the sake of clarification, let’s discuss the notion of “agnosticism”. While this is largely considered to be a bit of a dirty word among religious circles of all kinds, I like to believe it is just a misunderstood concept. Above all, being agnostic rests on the belief that there is no way to know who or what “God” or a “God-like” being consists of in this lifetime. It is neither the denial or outright belief in any given deity or religion. To make the distinction between agnostics and atheists, while atheists are strong in their belief that God does not exist, agnostics believe that there is no way to know if god exists or not. From a personal standpoint, while I do believe in a higher power of some sort, I also believe that any such power would be too complex and grandiose to be understood by the human mind. I believe that it is a very human inclination to try to explain away the unexplainable and since “God” or the ”Gods” don’t seem to be taking any Q&A sessions, all the pondering and figuring of the universe is left up to those of us who are simply a product of it. Therefore, as much as it pains people to consider, it is just as likely that man made God in his image as it is that the opposite is true.

READ More on Battling Peer Pressure and Conformity as an Agnostic Single Mom

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by Stacey Schifferdecker
Beyond Santa Claus – Teaching children the true meaning of Christmas
All I want for Christmas is… a dancing Elmo and a Kidzoom camera and a Littlest Pet Shop Pet Town and…
It is all too easy during the Christmas season to lose focus on Jesus and concentrate only on gifts, parties, decorations, and fun. If even adults have trouble keeping Christmas as a celebration of Jesus’ birth, how much more difficult it is for children entangled by the excitement and mystery of Santa Claus. But you can help your young children learn the true meaning of Christmas. Incorporate some of these ideas into your Christmas festivities this year–
Have a Nightly Christmas Story Time
Libraries and bookstores are full of Christmas books – you can easily find enough to read one book every night of December. Choose books that tell the story of Jesus’ birth rather than a Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty story. Some good choices for young children include
  • B is for Bethlehem
  • God Gave us Christmas
  • Room for a Little One
  • Who is Coming to Our House
  • One Baby Jesus
Make this a special time each night, perhaps snuggling up in front of the Christmas tree and reading by candlelight or flashlight with a cup of hot cocoa at hand. On Christmas Eve, read the story of Jesus’ birth straight from the Bible in the book of Luke.
Give to Others
Opportunities abound to give to others at Christmas time. Perhaps your church has an “Angel Tree” where you can choose a person to buy gifts for. If not, most malls have a tree or you can contact a social services agency in your town. Children especially enjoy choosing gifts for another child their own age. As you shop together, talk about how happy the recipient of the gift will be. Talk about how Jesus is a gift for us and how we can share his love with others.

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kids making Christmas cards with momMost kids love to make stuff and they love to give gifts – why not combine these two interests and let them make Christmas gifts? Think of the advantages of making Christmas gifts with your kids this year:
  • It will probably take less time than a shopping trip to the crowded mall.
  • It will save on your budget.
  • It will give you fun bonding time with your children and good holiday memories.
  • People love to receive items kids have made.
Here are some ideas for simple and easy gifts kids can make. Most will require at least some participation from you, although older children may be able to make some of these items on their own.READ More on Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make

There are many ways to make Thansgiving fun and special and there are many Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids you can work with on with your child. If you are a parent, teacher, Sunday School teacher, or work around children in any other type of profession, you will be interested to discover that there are a large number of crafts available for all holidays – especially Thanksgiving! You can discover ideas for toddlers, school age children, and even teenagers if you find the right resources. In this helpful and informative guide, you will be introduced to many Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids that both you, and the child or children that you work with will find very entertaining.

Tree of Thanks

One of the most favored Thanksgiving craft ideas of today is creating the ever-popular “Tree of Thanks”. This is a tree that is actually composed of foam. This craft project typically comes in the form of a kit that includes several different colored “fall” leaves, and a tree base. This makes a great craft for children as young as preschool age. All you have to do is provide some markers that the children can use to write down certain things that they are thankful for, or what they considered to be “blessings” in their lives. In most cases, this kit comes with many additional pieces so that more than one project can be completed. This means that there are plenty of pieces for small classes, or groups!

click here to learn how to buy this craft kit READ More on Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids

I found this poem which touched an emotion I would like to share. You see, I was adopted. As the poem points out, a mom is much more than simply 'blood'. The love a mom gives to her adopted or foster child is truely a love from the heart. It takes a very special, loving person to adopt or foster a child. To all those special Moms I hope you have the best mothers day or all.  Happy Mother's Day!

~ For All That You Have Given Me ~
For all that you have given me,
I can return but love. For you
Bound up the wounds I did not see
And gave me hopes and passions new.
I can return but love for you,
Whose unmoved faith my heart did move,
And gave me hopes and passions new,
And loved me till I turned to love.

Whose unmoved faith did my heart move?
The mother of my heart, not blood,
Who loved me till I turned to love.
And I became the soul I would.

The mother of my heart, not blood,
Bound up the wounds I did not see.
And I became the soul I would
For all that you have given me.
copyright by Nicholas Gordon

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The Meaning of EasterThe Easter Bunny has made his residence at the mall and the chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans can be found everywhere you go to shop. It’s Eastertime- a time when every kid looks forward to getting a great big basket full of goodies and toys.

It’s hard, especially in these busy, errand full days, to help make Jesus the focus of your family celebration. It takes a bit of ingenuity and time to make sure that your kids understand that Jesus is the center of this celebration and that his sacrificial death is the reason for the season that includes a giant bunny who brings eggs and goodies.
But how do we refocus?

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recycling - kids helping the earthIf you want your children to grow up to be environmentally conscious, you have to start teaching them while they are young. You can't expect them to just learn on their own. However, you'll find that there are a variety of great recycling websites and environmental sites out there where you kids can learn more about the environment and recycling, while having a great time. Wondering where to send your kids to learn more? Here's a look at 10 of the top recycling websites out there for kids that make excellent choices.

Website #1 – Kids Planet

Website Address: www.kidsplanet.org
This site has many great games for kids on the web of life, fact sheets on different animal species, and they provide excellent information on what kids can do to help protect and defend their own environment. They even have their own Wildlife Adoption Center on the site.

Website #2 – Kids for a Clean Environment

Website Address: www.kidsface.org/
The mission of this site is to provide excellent and education information to kids on environmental issues and to encourage them to work on improving the world around them. It provides information on how they can work in their own community and how they can work on recycling. READ More on 10 Best Recycling Websites for Kids

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