Author: John Trent, Ph. D
Pages: 416 (both books together)
Publisher: Focus on the Family (January 28, 2009)
Genre: Non-Fiction / Religion / Christian Life / Family
Edition: Paperback - many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!
Perfect for : Personal Use, Gift, Church Toddler Group Use, great for parents AND grandparents use!
In a nutshell: Some of my fondest memories as a child were bedtime, when my parents would say prayers, read with me, and my mom would rub my back or brush my hair while she sang me to sleep. Author John Trent has written a book that will help create these lasting (and very impactful) memories with "Bedtime Blessings." Each of the two books contain 100 bedtime blessings, in the form of stories and activities (talk, sing, experiment, do a puzzle, write a letter, etc) that will help parents and children end the day on a positive, faith-centered note. Each activity is quick and easy, and is followed by a related prayer that is specialized for your child. A few of my favorite activities in these books: Let's Look at Nature: Night Sky (p. 32, Volume 1), Let's Look at Nature: Nutty Friends (p. 97, Volume 1), Let's Play a Game: Chewable Checkers (p. 168, Volume 1), Let's Play a Game: Treasure Hunt (p. 5, Volume 2), Let's Do an Experiment: Invisible Ink (p. 28, Volume 2), Let's Make a Wish: Learning to be Thankful, (p. 68, Volume 2). I'm having a hard time not adding to this list - there are so many great activities in these books! These books are a blessing to parents and children alike, as they help parents to bless their children by spending time and saying meaningful prayers together, and as they will help provide lasting memories of faith and family for your children.
Content: Volume 1: In the introduction, the author explains that Genesis 27 shows us the importance of a parent's blessings on their children, and then he shows us how to bless our children by doing "Bedtime Blessings" which include an activity and prayer. He goes on to help you create a Blessings Box (not required), or a box full of the things you can use for your nightly activities. The remainder of the book is full of 100 activities/prayers. There are a few pages at the back of the book that provide answers to a few of the activities.
Volume 2: The introduction of this book covers the importance of spending quality time with your child, and creating fun, meaningful memories. This book also has a section dedicated to the Blessing Box, again, this is not a requirement for the activities, and then has 100 activities/prayers, ending with a few pages of answers to a few of the activities.Format: Each activity is short and simple, including all the instructions and dialogue needed to complete the "Bedtime Blessing," including a prayer that is easily personalized for you and your child.
Readability: Very easy and fun!
Overall: This is a wonderful set of books that will help you create memories that you and your child will cherish, as well as helping to talk about your day and reinforce prayer. I love these books and will continue to use them in my family. I also plan to share these books with other friends and family and think they will make great gifts.
Excerpt from Volume 1, page 12-13: (To read the introduction through the first 15 pages, including 5 different activities from Volume 1, click here. To read the introduction through the first 5 activities of Volume 2, click here.)
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE DAY
Good Day/ Bad Day
[Before you begin this blessing, decide on a form of meaningful
touch that you can give to your child and then your
child can give to you. Some ideas include:
• Lightly brush your fingertips up and down your child’s
• Rub your child’s back or shoulders;
• Smooth your child’s hair.]
Let’s talk about each other’s day. While you talk, I’ll
lightly brush my fingertips up and down your arm [or
whatever form of touch you’ve chosen]. When you’re finished,
I’ll tell you about my day, and you can brush your
fingertips up and down my arm.
So tell me. How was your day? Was it a good day, a bad
day, or just an okay day?
[Talk about your child’s response. What made the day good
(or bad or okay)? What was the best part? What does your
child hope will go better tomorrow?]
Now I’ll tell you about my day.
[Share some of the highlights of your
day with your child. Don’t be afraid
to share some of your challenges
and how you faced them, as long
as you don’t burden your child
with adult problems.]
Do you know who else we
can share our day with? We can
share it with God. He already knows
what was bad and good, but He’s glad when we tell Him
about it in our prayers, too.
Thank You for the good things that happened today.
Thank You for _________________________ [name
some of the positive things your child and you mentioned].
Thank You for helping us get through the not-so-good
things that happened today, like ____________________
[name some of the negative events you and your child mentioned].
Please give _______________ [your child’s name]
a really great day tomorrow!
From the Back Cover:
Begin to Bless Your Child Tonight!
Bedtime can be the best time of the day with Bedtime Blessings and Bedtime Blessings, Volume 2. Together these books offer 200 simple, easy-to-follow ideas to bless you and your child. With games, songs, stories, experiments, conversations, and prayers, you can impart spiritual truths that will last a lifetime while building a close relationship with your son or daughter.
It takes only a few minutes each night to send your child off to a peaceful sleep with a blessing. Make the most of those precious moments you have together with Bedtime Blessings.
About the Author: (From the publisher's website)
John Trent is committed to strengthening both marriage and family relationships worldwide. His first priority is to give his two young daughters a spiritual heritage to sustain them for the rest of their lives.
Over the past five years Trent has spoken to more than 75,000 people in more than 65 major cities at his seminars, as well as to thousands of men at Promise Keepers conferences. He has taught family enrichment programs and worked with Gary Smalley for nine years, ministering to couples and singles through Today's Family. In addition to speaking, he has authored and coauthored many best-selling books, a number of which have been Gold Medallion finalists or winners.
A featured guest on hundreds of radio and television programs, Trent's list of appearances includes Focus on the Family, Insight for Living, Life Perspectives, The 700 Club, Prime Time America on the Moody Broadcasting Network, and others.
John Trent holds a doctorate in marriage and family counseling from North Texas State University. He also has a master's degree in New Testament Greek from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters and live in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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