sherry kyle Posts

Help Your Tween Girl Avoid the Comparison Game by Sherry Kyle

Tyndale Kids

When was the last time you heard your tween girl compare herself with others?

Maybe the person she is comparing herself to is better at sports, gets better grades, or has more friends. Or maybe she has perfect hair, flawless skin, and can sing and dance.

Maybe your daughter feels like a loser with a capital L.

Most of the time, tween girls feel awkward in their bodies and hope their BFF still wants to be friends. Most of the time, tween girls want to know they are loved.

How do you help your daughter in times like these? How do you help her understand God’s unconditional love?

  • As a parent, before you can do anything for your daughter, you need to understand God’s unconditional love for yourself. When you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you will understand the sacrifice he made for you—and for your girl.
  • Next, show your daughter how much you love her. If you love your child during the good times and the frustrating, get-on-your-last nerve times, you are telling her that nothing she does will make you love her any less. By loving her through thick and thin, you are showing God’s unconditional love.
  • Finally, get your daughter connected. Are you part of a church? Are there people in your daughter’s life who can speak God’s unconditional love to her? Do you have books for her to read that encourage and inspire?

Love, Lexi: Letters to God is an award-winning and exciting devotional experience for girls ages eight through fourteen. Each entry starts with a fictional letter to God from seventh-grader Alexis Dawn Cooper, a.k.a. Lexi, who humorously shares with God what’s going on in middle school and her life.

Love, Lexi: Letters to God also includes responses directly from God’s Word, short devotional thoughts, and journaling pages for your daughter to share her story.

Your tween girl will discover, along with Lexi, that when she compares herself with others, it’s easy to feel like she doesn’t measure up. She’ll always be able to find someone who she feels is better than her in some area. But God created her special and one-of-a-kind, and He loves her just the way she is—with her unique looks, talents, and personality. God loves her hair, the shape of her nose, the color of her skin, and the sound of her laugh. Your tween girl is made in God’s image and exactly how He designed her to be.

By the end, Lexi learns to seek God first above all else. And by reading Love, Lexi: Letters to God, your daughter will contemplate her own special place in God’s eyes.


Sherry Kyle has written several books for tween girls, along with women’s fiction. Her award-winning book for tween girls, The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, was awarded the God Mom’s Choice Award. Her second nonfiction book for girls, The Girl’s Guide to Your Dream Room, was nominated for the Christian Retailers Best Awards.


 

Getting Ready for Summer by Sherry Kyle

Tyndale Kids

Summer is right around the corner, and for most moms, this can be an overwhelming time. Sign-ups for summer camp and swim lessons are on the budget-conscious mom’s mind and so is the need for family fun! Try these action steps to help everyone transition to a stress-free summer.

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1. Calendar. Hang a calendar in a prominent place in the kitchen and have your child make an X at the end of each day. Kids love to see the countdown to summer, and it will help moms mentally prepare too.

2. Family Meeting. Now is a good time to sit down with your kids and discuss summer plans. Family vacation? Once a week beach day? An activity or team they want to join? Kids need something to look forward to, and when everyone is on the same page, it makes for a smoother transition.

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3. Stock Up. Make sure your child’s closet is stocked with plenty of shorts and t-shirts. A new swimsuit, if needed, is good to have on hand and so is a beach towel and a pair of flip-flops. Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit, as well as an adequate supply of bug repellent and sunscreen.

4. Friends. The hardest thing about summer for kids is taking a break from their friends, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Make sure to exchange phone numbers with the parents before the school year is out, and plan times to meet over the summer months.

5. Routine. As much as we’d like to think we’re going to keep the same schedule, it’s best to let that one slide. Let’s face it, summer is a whole lot different from the school year, so why try to keep the same pace? Some routine, like meals and sleeping habits, are good to maintain but, otherwise, enjoy the kickback days of summer.ice-cream-cone

6. Meals. Speaking of meals, summer is a good time to change things up. Get your kids involved with the planning. Pizza and ice cream on Tuesdays? Hamburgers on Thursdays? Why not! Add several picnics at local parks or interesting sights, and you’re sure to have a relaxed summer!

7. Books. Keep your kids’ minds in gear over the summer, and schedule visits to your local library to get a stack of books to read. Have a goal and give rewards, such as a movie or a trip to the local museum. (Remember, audiobooks and comic books count as reading too!) Summer is also a good time to hire a tutor if your child needs help with school.

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8. Creativity. There will definitely be times when your kids are bored, so make sure you leave wiggle room in your summer to be creative. These are a few ideas: bake cookies, make an obstacle course in the backyard, go on a nature walk, paint a picture, plant a garden, or keep a journal (like this DIY journal!).

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9. Community. Consider doing a few community service projects with your kids this summer, such as organizing a food drive in your neighborhood, hosting a garage sale or lemonade stand then donating the proceeds to your favorite charity, creating care packages for the homeless, picking up litter at your local beach or park, making cards for soldiers, or visiting the elderly.

10. You. With everyone home for the summer, make sure you take time for YOU! A hot bath, a trip to the nail salon, or an afternoon with a friend will rejuvenate you and keep the stress away. Take a few moments every day for some deep breaths and remember to capture every moment. Summer will be over before you know it!


sherry-kyle-authorSherry Kyle has written several books for tween girls, along with women’s fiction. Her award-winning book for tween girls, The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, was awarded the God Mom’s Choice Award. Her second nonfiction book for girls, The Girl’s Guide to Your Dream Room, was nominated for the Christian Retailers Best Awards. Most recently, Sherry is the author of Love, Lexi, a unique fictional story combined with a devotional and journal to allow readers to learn to seek God first above all else. 

 

 


For additional tips on how to maximize summer fun while cutting down on stress, check out these suggestions from Tyndale Kids author Kathryn O’Brien!


 

Kid Talk Tuesday: Journaling as a Discipline

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We are a journaling generation. Journals come in every paper style, color, and texture. Magazines are filled with articles about learning to journal. We journal our prayer lives, our events, and our secrets. And sometimes we figure out our stories in our journals.

For people who love to process life’s experiences, slowing down to dig deep and rethink events on the page allows just the right pace to see God’s hand. Many of us had diaries when we were young, but journaling can move beyond recording daily activities and enter the spiritual realm. And our stories matter to God. Journaling allows us to keep track of God’s influence and work in our lives.

Even if you never plan to write a book about your life, think of your journal as your own book—the story of your life between the pages. Going back through the years and reviewing past interventions from God builds our faith and the knowledge that he’s been with us always, through the good, bad, and very ugly. We see our “old” selves from years ago on the page, and we notice that the traumas that upset us in the past seem so minor in the present day, or that the difficulties we endured changed us .

We have grown.

For young people, tweens especially, starting a journaling discipline can provide a lifetime’s worth of analysis about their experiences, while creating the habit of looking for God’s hand in their days. Sometimes we need to intentionally look back over time and see what God has done for us. Journals record communication with God and his responses to us as we invite him into our struggles—and joys.

Through a nine-month prayer program at my church that requires us to journal regularly after our time with God and then review those entries to share with our small group, the power of journaling has shown me that God uses these quiet moments to speak to listening hearts. Without the discipline of solitude and writing, many of his quiet messages to me would either go unnoticed or be forgotten in the rush of daily life. The lessons have been abundant, but my memory can’t retain all the transformation and information. Journaling has been a rich discipline that allows me to relive, retain, and rethink experiences by adding a good dose of God’s wisdom to events.

978-1-4964-0963-8Tyndale has a great resource to help tween girls in their journaling endeavors. Love, Lexi is part devotional, part journal, and part fictional story of a young girl navigating the challenges of middle school by writing letters to God in her journal. Readers will relate to Lexi’s desires to fit in, gain the attention of boys, and battle her dissatisfaction with her looks.

The Bible is one long story with a beginning, middle, ending, lots of conflict, some foreshadowing that drops hints of Christ’s coming, and a resolution. Our individual stories, which are part of this larger story, show that God pursues us all and joins us in our days so that one day we can enjoy a happy ending with him.

What better way to see his work in shaping our lives than to create a record between the pages of a journal of each day we enjoy with God. And starting to journal at a young age will only add more pages to your book!

Happy writing!

 


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Linda MacKillop is the Acquisitions Editor of Children & Youth at Tyndale House Publishers.

6 Indoor Winter Activities for Moms + GIVEAWAY

All the snow keeping you and your kids indoors? Acquisitions Director, Linda Howard, shares some fun activities the entire family can enjoy together! To top it all off, we have an exciting giveaway for you all! See below for details.

photo-1452626212852-811d58933caeImagine a beautiful snowy day with a fire burning in the fireplace while you are completely engrossed in a great book for hours on end. How often does that happen for moms with young children at home? Stop laughing, we all know that is a dream – a nice one – but one that probably won’t come true until the kids are out of the house!

Winter can be absolutely beautiful, but at the same time it can make any mom’s life much more challenging. Snow, ice, and below freezing weather all combine to trap families inside for days at a time. Don’t let these days turn into a time of survival training. Instead, plan some fun activities that will build stronger familial relationships and create hours of fun for you and your kids. View these times as gifts that will allow you to get to know your kids better, and embrace the joy of spending time together.

Below are a few ideas for inside activities that are fun, will create lifelong memories, and offer creative opportunities for family bonding.

  1. Create your own Memory/Matching game. Glue pictures of your family or your kid’s favorite items onto poster board squares. Make two of each and get ready for hours of fun! Children love to see pictures of themselves and they will enjoy finding the pictures that match.
  2. Write your own stories and illustrate them. Have your kids dictate a story to you and then have them draw pictures for each page.
  3. Have an indoor picnic for lunch. Make hotdogs or sandwiches, add some chips, and fruit to the mix. Spread a blanket on the floor and pretend you are picnicking in the park. Have the kids take turns telling stories about their favorite times at the park.
  4. Play hide-and-seek. One of my grandkids favorite indoor games is hide-and-seek. We take turns counting to 10, and then look for each other. I have to say, though that the little ones don’t quite get the game yet. The minute I say “10”, they come running out giggling and looking for hugs. That’s my kind of game!
  5. Set up a “stage” and act out your favorite Bible Stories. Use bathrobes and other things around the house to create costumes. Feel free to join in – I’m sure you would make a great lost sheep!
  6. Make homemade ice cream in a bag together. See recipe below!

Homemade Ice Cream…in a Bag!

Makes 1 servingphoto-1447195047884-0f014b0d9288

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 14 teaspoon vanilla
  • Flavorings of your choice (chocolate syrup, vanilla, fruit)
  • 1 sandwich ziploc bag
  • 1 gallon ziploc bag
  • 3 cups crushed ice
  • 13 cup rock salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put first 4 ingredients in the smaller Ziplock bag and seal bag (Make sure it is tightly closed!). Put ice and rock salt in the larger bag and then add the filled small bag. Seal the large bag.
  2. Squeeze bag until ice cream is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove small bag, unseal, and eat with spoon.
  4. No need to even dirty a bowl!

Most importantly, remember to have fun with your kids. You blink, and they are headed out of the house on their way to college. Treasure these times together and build memories that will sustain you both for a lifetime!


GIVEAWAY

Be 1 of 5 lucky winners to receive a copy of Love, Lexi by Sherry Kyle!
978-1-4964-0963-8

Love, Lexi Giveaway
Linda Howard 2

Linda Howard is the Acquisitions Director of Children & Youth at Tyndale House Publishers.