One of our biggest desires in children and youth ministries at First Trinity is to partner with parents in helping children grow in their faith. This resource page will hopefully be one tool to accomplish that goal.
**NEW** denotes a recent (2022) updated resource. All resources under the “New Resources” heading are also recent.
If you have suggestions of certain topics or types of resources that would be helpful for your family, please contact Jen Florio, Sue Steege or Pastor Jason Christ.
- BOOK SUGGESTION: Sexuality Mentality by Heather Ruesch – A youth parent recently read this book and found it to be a helpful guide to talking with kids and youth about sex and related topics.
- BOOK SUGGESTION: The Grown Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp
- BLOG POST: The Power of One Caring Adult – Ideas of ways you can make a difference in the lives of kids you know even if you’re busy!
- Work Kids Can Do!: Chore Chart Example
- The Parent Cue: A Faith Based Resource for raising kids of all ages!
- Stepping in When Your Community Has a Tragedy: An article to help you navigate a discussion on tragedy with your teenager.
- Loving Youth When Transitions are Vulnerable: An article to help you understand transitions and work with your teen to provide a safe space.
*New* Axis Parent/Teen Resources
- A Parent’s Guide to Social Media
- Smartphone Addiction
- Parents Guide to Civility
- Parents Guide to Fitness
- Video Games
- Parent Guide to Sexual Assault
- Parent’s Guide to Difficult Conversations
- Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders
- Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo – A neat resource updated often with activities for families in the Buffalo area.
- Weekly Summer Schedule – Come up with a daily schedule to help plan activities for your family this summer. e.g. Make Something Monday; Take a Trip Tuesday; etc. (See link for one idea).
- 10 Simple Rules for Family Vacations – Some ideas of how to be fully present on your vacation and enjoy the time you have together.
- 50 Summer Bucket List Ideas for Families – 50 ideas for families of things to do this summer. Maybe use this list to craft your own “Family Bucket List” of things to do this summer to be intentional about spending time together. Some could be done with the whole family or some could be used as one-on-one time with each of your kids.
Family Relationship Builders
- Say This, Not That – Sometimes, the way we phrase things can make a big difference. It’s not always easy to remember what to say or how to say it, especially when your child is in the middle of a meltdown. So, here’s a quick reference guide for parents.
- 52 Family Discussion Questions (Part 2) – Use some of these questions at dinner or in the car while driving between sports and school and other events to get conversation going among the family. One idea would be to print them all out on slips of paper, put them in a jar and pull a couple out each day for everyone to answer. Many of the questions are great for all ages.
- The Marriage High Five – The Kids Parent resource email for this month is about self-care. In the midst of trying to care for your kids and care for yourself, caring for your marriage can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Check out this article for an idea of how to keep your marriage strong while raising kids.
- Making the Most of the “Chauffeur” Role – This is an article about how one mom leverages her role as chauffeur to build meaningful relationships with her kids.
- 52 Family Discussion Questions – Looking for ideas of things to prompt conversation around the dinner table or in the car? Here are 52 ideas. Another fun option is to use these questions but guess what the other person would say before they tell you.
- 30 Cheap Hobbies – A shared hobby can be a great way to build a relationship with your child or teenager. Here are some ideas to get you started in finding something you can do together this summer
- 25 Easy Ideas to Intentionally Spend Time with Your Child -Let’s face it. Connecting with our kids, especially during teen and tween years, can feel really complicated and difficult. We are busy and often overwhelmed. Each of these ideas takes less than 15 minutes a day amongst the craziness to make a connection and build the relationship.
- BOOK: The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family – In this unique and groundbreaking book, business consultant and New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni turns his sights on the most important organization in our lives—the family. As a husband and the father of four young boys, Lencioni realized the discrepancy between the time and energy his clients put into running their organizations and the reactive way most people run their personal lives. Having experienced the stress of a frantic family firsthand, he and his wife began applying some of the tools he uses with Fortune 500 companies at home, and with surprising results.
- 10 Ways to Make More Time to Spend With Your Child – The link above has ideas of how to spend time with your child. Here are some more that focus on how to create that time in order to be able to do some of those ideas.
- Spending Time with Your Teen During the Holidays – Your kids may be home for the holidays, either on break from college or home from school, and you may be glowing with excitement for this time you will spend together. On the other hand, you may be dreading the extra time with your adolescent, bracing yourself for the increase in arguments, hostility, and general disinterest they may have in family activities. Here are some ideas to spend time with your older children during the holiday season.
- Creative “Staycation Ideas” for Spring Break – Whether you’re excited for the chance to do fun things you normally don’t get to do during the school year or dread figuring out how to manage spring break with kids at home… this resource is for you.
- A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families contains 12 fun, hands-on, easy, meaningful activities to help your kids come face to face with the Easter story.
- Lenten Lights eight devotions to prepare your hearts for Resurrection Sunday. It can be used weekly or daily (in the week leading up to Easter).
- Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries are available online or printed copies are at the information center at First Trinity
- Super Simply Family Resolutions for a New Year – An outline of a way to make some super simple, easily attainable goals for your family in 2016.
- First Trinity Advent Pinterest Board – find all kinds of ideas for how to celebrate Advent and Christmas as a family together!
- Advent Bible Verse Cards/Calendar – Free printable cards with Bible verses to read each day or to use as an Advent Calendar
- December Parent Devotion: Chasing Peace in the Chaos – A devotion written with parents in mind as you go through what can sometimes be a crazy and busy time of year. Take a moment to stop and find some peace.
- Family Advent Guide – Use this resource to “Worship Fully” as a family as we head toward Christmas.
- Word For the Year – Instead of focusing on New Year’s resolutions, this guide walks your family through a process to find a “Family Word for the Year”. You’ll land on one word that you desire to strive toward this year, one word that unifies as everyone works to uphold it, one word that gives vision and direction for decisions as a family. Try it out or maybe do it once a month and have 12 “words” this year.
- Chain of Blessings Kit – Fun simple activity to do with your family around the Thanksgiving table.
- 10 Ways to Pray for Your Daughter and 10 Ways to Pray for Your Son – Printable resources to remind you of things you might want to pray about for your child.
- Teaching Kids to Pray – This article gives practical ideas of how to teach kids of any age how to pray along with conversation starters and question to ask yourselves and your children.
- Textable Devotions – Are your teens past the stage of slipping a note in their lunch box (never!)! Try texting them a devotion each day instead as a way to encourage them and help the grow in their faith. Here are over a months worth of options! (Maybe send them to your spouse too as a way to encourage each other.)
- Lunch Box Notes – 100 encouraging notes to help pass down faith. The notes are pre-written, include a scripture, and divided into helpful categories. All parents have to do is add their own personal touch, and it’s ready to go!
- Lunch Box Notes – Set 2 – Youth Edition – This resource is designed to help you offer a daily note of encouragement to your child. You can tweak the note, add what you want to say to it, and give it to your child. * Put it in their lunch box each day * Write out the note and stick it to their bathroom mirror * Slide it under their pillow * Text it to them each day * Stick it in an envelope and hand it to them as they leave for school or find another way to connect with them.
- The Family Five – A resource created by Rebekah Freed to help families engage with each other and with God in powerful ways just 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week. While this is edition targets families with teenagers, we will soon be putting out a version for younger families as well!
- BOOK: Sticky Faith by Kara Powell and Chap Clark
- 10 Ways to Safeguard Your Child Online – In this day and age, there are multiple access points that our children have to view things that we would rather them not. This document will give parents 10 tips to safeguard their house and devices so that they can ensure that their children are only viewing what they would like for them too.
- Parents Guide to Technology – A great resource put out by ParentTechGuide.com helping parents understand technology, it’s impact on their children, and practical ideas for using technology in safe ways as well as ways that honor God.
- BOOK REVIEW: Tech Savvy Parenting – We live in technology crazy world. Read this summary of Brian Houseman’s book called “Tech Savvy Parenting to find out some tips of important tech-related issues for our kids and see if you might want to read the whole book.
- Parental Controls Overview – Best Buy has an article about basic parental controls you can use to provide a safe environment for your children online. They mention Microsoft Family for Windows PCs, but don’t provide the link. Here’s a good overview of setting it up.
- The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality – When it comes to the matter of teaching kids about sex, Christian parents are often confused about what to say and when to say it. The Talk is a series of 7 studies, all anchored in the Scriptures, that helps parents to talk meaningfully with children about sexuality. The Talk was written for parents to read with children ages 6 to 10 years old. The study supplies elementary-age children with foundational truths about sexuality at a level they can understand.
- Talking with My Teen about Death and Suicide – A page filled with resources from First Trinity and other places to walk with teens and older children in the midst of a death of someone close to them.
- What Now? – An e-book put out by ParentMinistry.net helping families protect their homes from pornography and respond in a healthy way when teenagers encounter it.
- McAfee Family (Formerly Safe Eyes) – Parental Control Software from McAfee including pornography accountability software for computers.
- XXXChurch.com – Parent Resources connected with the issue of pornography including blogs, articles, accountability software for computers, phones, etc. and more
- Counseling Services – While there are many places to get counseling services, we highly recommend the Christian Counseling Ministries of WNY. If you need more information or other recommendations, please contact a staff member.
General Parent Resources
- Parenting Well In A Messy World – A 22-page quick read e-book that covers four main keys for parenting in a confusing, messy world: fight for simplicity, don’t parent alone, create rhythms, and HAVE FUN!
- Topical Bible Verses to Encourage Parents– Find yourself in a tough situation, or perhaps a wonderful one and want to see what encouragement God’s Word might have for you as a parent in the midst of it? This resources has verses for nearly 20 topics including: celebrations, funeral, divorce, loss of job, graduation, forgiveness, prayer, success, worry, and more.
- Allowance Story -There are tons of opinions out there on the best way to handle allowance with kids. Some parents don’t believe in giving allowance at all. Here is a story of how one family decided to handle giving their children allowance.
- 10 Biblical Truths For Your Child Whether They Win or Lose – Ten Scripture passages that you can share with your children as they compete that help them focus on what’s most important no matter if they win or lose.
Parents of Teenagers
- 5 Guilty Confessions from a Mom of Teens – You’re not alone! Come get some encouragement from someone who understands!
- 3 Efforts I’m Making in 2016 with My Teen – One mom’s efforts to connect with their teens in 2016.
- 25 ways Teens are like Toddlers – A funny read about how the teenage years are eerily similar to their toddler years.
- Crash Course on Parenting Teenage Boys
- Crash Course on Parenting Teenage Girls
- BOOK: Disconnected by Chap and Dee Clark – (See Rebekah Freed if you would like to check it out the church’s copy of this book.)
- BOOK: When Kids Hurt: Help for Adults Navigating the Adolescent Maze by Chap Clark and Steve Rabey – (See Rebekah Freed if you would like to check it out the church’s copy of this book.)
- Tips for Parents of Graduating Seniors – Here are some articles and tips for parents of seniors as their final year of high school comes to a close. This month’s edition focuses on how to spend quality time with your student while still respecting their greater and greater desire for independence.
- **NEW**Three Tips for Talking with Teens-Helpful tips for enhancing conversation with your teenager.
- **NEW**Giving Comfort to Hurting Teens-Help providing a safe space for teens while learning to understand when to involve a professional.
- **NEW**How Parents Can Prepare Their Adolescents for Life’s Transitions-Here are a few ways parents can prepare themselves to help guide their adolescents through key transitions.
- **NEW**At Home Discussion Guide for 40 Teaching End Goals for Youth Ministry-These are 40 statements we pray teens know and personalize by the time they graduate from high school. Be sure to click on the “Teaching End Goals” link at the start of the article to access the 40 statements and Scripture.
- Twenty Ideas for Grandparents – The more active, caring adult figures a child has in their lives, the better off they are in many ways. Here are some practical ideas for grandparents to get involved in their grandchildren’s lives whether they live close or far away.
Parents of College Students
- 30 Day Prayer Guide – This 30 day guide is our gift to parents of college students to help them cover their children in prayer during their college years.
- Launching Kids into Adulthood – This is part one of a guide by the Fuller Youth Institute to help parents with students who are in their young adult years. It would be a great read especially for parents with graduating seniors.
- BOOK RECOMMENDATION: How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen – First Trinity Preschool Director Debbie Ferrante recommends this book.
- How Your Teen is Wired – This set of 8 articles helps parents navigate through discovering more about their teen’s personality, gifts, and more while encouraging them to grow into godly young men and women.