Gifts: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Want to make Christmas easier for the guest with special needs? We need to address the whole gift thing. Day 5 of a 5-day series.

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net

The Whole Gift Thing: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Welcome to the fifth and final day of the series “5 Ways to Make Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs”! If you missed yesterday’s post about travel, you can find it here.

Today the topic of discussion is gifts. Gifts elicit reactions at opposite ends of the spectrum. They either bring a sparkle of excitement to someone’s eyes or lead to a sigh of disappointment – or worse. It all depends on your past experiences. And having special needs (or not) doesn’t change the fact that giving and receiving can be a blessing or a thorn in the flesh. It seems that people are overjoyed with what they receive or are sorely disappointed and trying to hide it from friends and family members.

These reactions can be more pronounced in people with special needs for many reasons. If they’re on the autism spectrum, they may not have the self-control or the social skills necessary to handle the situation gracefully. Disappointment and excitement both can trigger meltdowns because of the inability to handle strong emotions in constructive ways. Someone with chronic health issues who is already exhausted by the festivities may not handle these situations well because of sheer exhaustion, which increases frustration levels and decreases patience. Pain can do the same thing.

And then there’s the financial stress caused by trying to buy for everyone. Having special needs – or a child with special needs – is expensive. Trying to get a nice gift for everyone in the family is unrealistic.

The bottom line is – how do we handle the whole gift thing?! Despite what our families would lead us to believe, we do have options:

We can choose not to do gifts at all. It’s not a popular choice, and many families don’t want to entertain the idea, but there are more and more families who are finding freedom in skipping the gift-giving in extended family situations and just enjoying time spent together. It takes the financial stress off, and it eliminates the issue of what’s the best gift to give everyone.

Draw names. If you want to have more time and money to spend on choosing just the right gift for someone, draw names within the family so each family only has a certain number of people to buy for instead of buying for everyone. With less pressure to show up with as many gifts, you can take time to discover what each person would really like to receive or really needs, and get that.

Buy for the kids only. Same principle as above. You narrow the number of people you buy gifts for and can focus on finding out and purchasing something the person will really like.

Limit the amount. However many people your family chooses to buy gifts for, you can put a limit on how much is to be spent per gift. This will eliminate some of the financial stress and may lead to some creative gifts!

Give gift cards or cash. It’s not the way everyone likes to go, but you can always do it and let the recipient buy whatever he wants!

Practice your responses. Adults and children alike should practice gracious responses to unwanted gifts. I usually have my kids practice one more time just before we go into the gift-giving situation. A simple “thank you” is enough. It means, “Thank you for thinking of me and getting me a gift.”

Receipts. We have family members who will tuck receipts into clothing or give us an envelope at the end of the day that contains the receipts for all our gifts. This is very helpful in case something needs to be returned or exchanged. It eliminates the awkwardness of having to ask for a receipt or get “trapped” with something that makes you miserable.

What are your family’s best ideas for handling gift-giving?
Want to read more Christmas series about a variety of topics? Check out the iHomeschool Network Christmas Hopscotch!

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Travel: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Really want to make Christmas easier for the guest with special needs? Consider the issues surrounding travel. Part 4 of a 5-day series.

Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net

Travel: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Welcome to Day 4 of the series “Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs”! If you missed the discussion about the schedule and planned activities yesterday, you can find it here.

Today we’re talking about travel. Many, many people travel for Christmas, but when a family member has special needs, travel can be complicated. Here are some issues to consider:

What’s best for everyone involved? Is the guest with special needs able to travel? Is it in his best interests to travel, or would he be better served by staying home and having everyone come to him? The answers to these questions may change from year to year. You may have to alternate locations or settle on one, depending on the health status of various family members.

It may not work out this year. No one wants to think about not being able to see family members at Christmas, but when multiple family members have special needs, there may be years when no one is able to travel.

If traveling is okay, have necessary arrangements been made? Be sure that all necessary precautions have been taken so that the person with special needs can travel safely and stay as healthy as possible. (See the quote below for some of the many issues families have to consider when traveling with someone who is medically complicated.)

Is traveling too unsettling? Even if someone is in good health, traveling may not be a good option for some people. Children on the autism spectrum or adults with social anxiety disorders may find holiday travel too overwhelming or so far out of their routine that they can’t handle all the changes and overstimulation. In that case, family may need to travel to them. It will still be a change in routine and increase in stimulation, but at least they will be in familiar surroundings and can escape to their own rooms if the need arises.

Are critical resources available at that location? Is the necessary food and medical care available, or should family travel to a different family member’s house where the needed resources are nearby?

There are many factors to consider when a person with special needs travels for the holidays. This is yet another area where open communication laced with kindness and compassion will solve a lot of problems.

From a mom with a medically fragile child, because it bears repeating:

“Understand our logistics aren’t ‘just throw clothes in a bag and go.’ We have to plan out where is there a good hospital, can we get supplies from our DME at our destination if something happens (like a stolen bag with kiddo’s feeding pump in it), how much food do we have to bring/can we restock on safe foods? Do we have enough medication for the time we are traveling, can we get refills (some cannot be refilled out of state)?” – Meg Falciani, Adventures with Jude

Stop by tomorrow for the final day in the series: The Whole Gift Thing.

Want to read more Christmas series about a variety of topics? Check out the iHomeschool Network Christmas Hopscotch!

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The Schedule: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Want to make Christmas easier for a guest with special needs? Consider your schedule and planned activities. Day 3 of a 5-day series.

Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net

The Schedule: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Welcome to Day 3 of “Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs”! If you missed yesterday’s discussion about food, you can find it here.

Many families only see each other a couple of times a year, and Christmas is the big one. As a result, they try to cram as much into the few hours or days they have together as possible. This is exhausting for everyone, but for the guest with special needs, it can be impossible. When you’re planning your schedule for the holidays, trying to fit in everything is fine – as long as you understand that others have limitations you may not have. They may need some time away from the events you have so carefully planned. Please remember that it’s not personal. They understand and appreciate all the hard work you’ve gone to, but to be able to enjoy as much of the festivities as possible, they may need to take a break.

Packed days lead to exhaustion for everyone, but people with certain conditions may not be able to maintain the pace of a full schedule. Arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, immune deficiencies, and other disorders cause a greater than average amount of fatigue and endurance, leading people suffering from them with a very real need for a nap or time to rest. This is critical for them to be able to enjoy time with you later, and it’s not because they don’t want to participate in whatever is going on at the moment. They have learned through the years that pushing past a certain point means lengthy recovery time, which will kill the rest of the holiday season for them and the rest of the family.

Other people, like those with autism and social anxiety disorders as well as true introverts, need time away from the lovely chaos of scheduled activities to regroup and recharge. Having no downtime means emotional exhaustion and a possible meltdown. Without a chance to be alone for awhile, they don’t enjoy anything at all because they’re spending the whole time trying to act the way everyone expects them to even while they are falling apart inside.

While you don’t have to change your plans, acknowledging your guests’ needs and setting aside a place in the house where they know they can go to have some quiet time or take a nap would mean the world to them. Not only would it give them something they desperately need, but it would show a tremendous amount of compassion and understanding.

In other cases, the individual is able to participate in the planned activities, but he just needs to know what’s coming next so he is mentally prepared. Share your plans with the family so that everyone knows what happens when and can take whatever steps are necessary for each family member’s comfort level.

Again, communication is key.

Here’s what others have to say about this topic:

“I need to know exactly what to expect. Cookies after a church service are nice, but it will lead to an upset child if I don’t have an allergy-safe substitute in my purse. Similarly, my child gets very stressed if I can’t answer all her ‘how much longer?’ questions. Even worse is if I tell her we’re going home after such-and-such, and I’m wrong because I didn’t know all of the plans.” – Mom on Facebook

“They may need some time to be alone to gather themselves. Let them have a few minutes without questions. (Alzheimers).” – from Facebook

“Keep it calm and quiet. Limit touching. Don’t be offended if we need a quiet time in another room, outside, or even a short car ride. Don’t push foods; we know what we can and can’t have.” – from Facebook

“Christmas and other holiday gatherings can be physically painful. Allow the individual with special needs to control how much interaction they have and when.” – Grandmother on Facebook

Join us tomorrow as we address travel!

Want to read more Christmas series about a variety of topics? Check out the iHomeschool Network Christmas Hopscotch!

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Food: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Want to make Christmas easier for a guest with special needs? Food can be a big issue. Day 2 of a 5-day series.

Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net

Food: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Welcome to Day 2 of the five-day series “5 Ways to Make Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs”! If you missed Day 1, you can find it here.

Food plays an important role in Christmas in our society. Often, family gatherings revolve entirely around food, and all activities are planned around menus and treats galore. For people with food allergies and intolerances and other dietary restrictions, the abundance of food during Christmas events is problematic. In addition, the long history behind many families’ celebrations makes it uncomfortable for them to alter or change their plans in ways that accommodate the affected family members. This can cause a lot of drama, hurt feelings, and unnecessary heartache.

Food allergies and intolerances and dietary restrictions due to health issues are very real, and they are not something that someone asks for or pretends to have because it’s “in.” They are, in fact, very serious and possibly life-threatening and should not be taken lightly. This can be difficult for people to understand who have seen people eating gluten-free to try to lose weight or following a fad diet that resembles restrictions people may have for medical reasons. I understand that, but I also understand the frustration people experience when someone puts them in a life-threatening situation because they don’t think their food requirements are a real issue.

This is an area where communication, understanding, and compassion are in order. It’s not the time for questioning diagnoses or for explaining what Aunt Susie’s friend’s doctor told her to do. It’s time to figure out what needs to happen for everyone to have something good to eat and to be safe and comfortable. Maybe that means modifying favorite family recipes so that everyone can have some. Maybe that means changing family traditions to include a few dishes that are food allergy friendly. Maybe that means keeping everything the same while the family member who needs accommodations provides all his own food for the weekend. A good conversation can help all parties involved determined what the best way is to keep the affected individual safe and well-fed.

What other moms say about food:

“Please do not attempt to make my child eat everything on his plate or to try something new. Do not be offended if we bring stuff for him to eat and drink incase he won’t eat what you are serving.” – Samantha Pavia

“Please tell me what you are serving ahead of time so I can make hers “match”. Please don’t serve nuts.” – Mom on Facebook

Up tomorrow: The schedule / planned activities.

Want to read more Christmas series about a variety of topics? Check out the iHomeschool Network Christmas Hopscotch!

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Communication: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Communication goes a long way toward making Christmas easier for the guest with special needs. Day 1 of a 5-day series.

Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

Communication: Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Welcome to Day 1 of the 5-day series “Making Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs”! If you missed the introduction/landing page, you can find it here.

To make Christmas easier for guests with special needs (and their families), a good place to start is with communication. Many times families think they’re communicating, but they’re not.

While we may hear what the other person is saying, we’re not really listening. Or we’re trying to figure out what we’re going to say next instead of paying attention to what the other person is saying. Or we can’t really understand what the other person is saying because preconceived notions get in the way.

In talking with one another about family holiday plans, we’ve got to take the time to really listen to one another and to look at the whole situation with love, with the other person’s best interests in mind. These conversations may be difficult, and they will require understanding, patience, and give-and-take on both sides, but I believe true communication will help families come up with ideas that will make the holidays special for everyone involved.

To get these discussions started:

Schedule a time to sit down together. Because of the sensitive nature of these discussions, they’re probably not going to happen unless you make time for them.

Listen to both sides. It’s important that both sides have the chance to speak, to make their concerns known, and to hear what the other side has to say.

Remember you’re all on the same team. This isn’t about who wins. It’s about making Christmas a pleasant experience for everyone in the family, and some family members are going to need accommodations, through no fault of their own. No one is trying to ruin anyone else’s Christmas by asking for help or a modification to a long-held family tradition.

Let love win. Even if it’s hard to change dearly held traditions (like favorite holiday dishes that always appear on the menu), let’s remember that the most important thing about holidays are the people. It’s always about relationship over stuff, even if that “stuff” has been part of our families for as long as we can remember. We can always start new traditions that make Christmas fun for everyone. We have done this with some of our extended family members, and the more flexible we are, the more everyone enjoys the event. Starting new traditions makes memories that we all take into the future to share with others, both in our family and without. Who doesn’t want a legacy of love that shows up in flexibility and concern and respect for all members of the family?

Here’s what some other family members had to say about holiday planning:

“Understand our logistics aren’t ‘just throw clothes in a bag and go.’ We have to plan out where is there a good hospital, can we get supplies from our DME at our destination if something happens (like a stolen bag with kiddo’s feeding pump in it), how much food do we have to bring/can we restock on safe foods? Do we have enough medication for the time we are traveling, can we get refills (some cannot be refilled out-of-state)?” – Meg Falciani, Adventures with Jude

“Ask what would make things easier for us!” – Anonymous mom, Facebook

Come back tomorrow, and we’ll discuss food!

Want to read more Christmas series about a variety of topics? Check out the iHomeschool Network Christmas Hopscotch!

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5 Ways to Make Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Make Christmas more enjoyable for the guest with special needs. Check out this 5-day series to find out how.

Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

5 Ways to Make Christmas Easier for the Guest with Special Needs

Christmas is a difficult time for many families. Even in the best of situations, it can be busy, stressful, and expensive. But when a family member has special needs, Christmas is an extremely hard season. There are many extra preparations and precautions that must be taken, and often family members and friends don’t understand or refuse to discuss them.

For the next five days, we’re going to look at major points of contention, and I’m going to share some of the thoughts that special needs families wish they could share with extended family and friends.

My hope is that this series will open the door for families to discuss these issues and create holiday plans that work well for everyone. Each day this week, the link to the newest post will be added until all five are live. If you want to share these thoughts with others, sharing this page will make sure that the reader has access to the entire series as it’s available.

Day 1: Communication

Day 2: Food

Day 3: Schedule/planned activities

Day 4: Travel

Day 5: The Whole Gift Thing

(Gift ideas for kids with autism and sensory issues coming soon. I’ll add the link right here, so stay tuned!)

Want to read more Christmas series about a variety of topics? Check out the iHomeschool Network Christmas Hopscotch!

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My Prayer Journal: The ESV Journaling Bible

How I'm using the ESV Journaling Bible as my prayer journal. Associated giveaway ends Monday, November 16, 2015, at 9 pm CST.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the ESV Journaling Bible from Propeller Consulting, LLC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

My Prayer Journal: The ESV Journaling Bible

I’ve been trying to keep a prayer journal for a long time now. In fact, I have started one a few times – and it eventually gets abandoned. It’s one more thing to keep up with. I’ll do okay for a while, and then it will fall by the wayside. Later, I’ll stumble across it and read through the pages I filled out, and I’ll see many requests that have been answered, but I never took the time to go back and mark the date or document how God met the need. I have wished over and over that I were more faithful in keeping up with a prayer journal, but it just hasn’t happened. Until now. . .

A couple of weeks ago I got a copy of the ESV Journaling Bible. I loved it immediately. It was pretty, the size of the square journals I’ve drooled over in my local bookstore, and covered in a beautiful cloth that I don’t get tired of seeing no matter how many times I pick it up in a day. (And I pick it up a lot!)

The first page of this Bible suggests using it as a journal—to use the extra wide, lightly lined margins as a place to record your prayer requests, praises, reflections, notes, and thoughts—right there in the Bible! Since I use my Bible every day, this is the perfect way for me to keep a prayer journal. As I read and study God’s Word, I’ve been writing down my prayers in the margins, where I’m sure to see them again and can remember how God answered each one (and jot a note about it next to my original note). These reminders of God’s love and faithfulness will grow the more I use my Bible, and they will leave a legacy of faith for generations to come.

ESV Journaling Bible page - jenniferajanes.com

The ESV Translation

I have never read the ESV translation before, and I have to say I really like it. It’s a good balance between the KJV I grew up with and modern readability. It’s something I really appreciate about this Bible, although I was originally reluctant because I’ve been using a different translation.

In the ESV Journaling Bible, I have found my new favorite Bible. It’s beautiful, useful, and very readable. I can’t wait to see what the margins look like in six months! (Thanks to the sturdy sleeve the Bible came in, I know the cover will look just as great then as it does now!)

ESV Journaling Bible Cover - jenniferajanes.com

Want an ESV Journaling Bible of Your Own?

I’m giving away a copy of the ESV Journaling Bible, courtesy of Propeller Consulting, LLC:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

In addition to the rules stated above, the giveaway works like this:

      • The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada ages 18 and older.
      • The giveaway ends on Monday, November 16, 2015, at 9:00 pm CST.
      • To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering the question below.
      • Only one comment per household.
      • Duplicate or “extra” comments or comments left after the giveaway ends will be deleted.
      • The winner will be chosen at random using the plug-in And the Winner Is.
      • The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway and will have 24 hours to respond with the requested information. If the information isn’t received, another winner will be chosen. The information will be sent to Propeller Consulting, LLC so your Bible can be shipped.

Ready to enter? Leave a comment answering the following questions:

What feature of the ESV Journaling Bible is your favorite?

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Fine Motor Skills and Cursive: Our Journey with How to Tutor

How to Tutor by Samuel Blumenfeld helped me teach my child with fine motor skill delays how to write in cursive - with no tears!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of How to Tutor by Samuel L. Blumenfeld from Alpha-Phonics. I was not required to write a review at all, and I was certainly not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. I share this product because it has been helpful to my family, and I hope it will benefit yours!

Fine Motor Skills and Cursive: Our Journey with How to Tutor

My daughter’s handwriting has been a struggle since the beginning because of some fine motor delays. I heard and read over and over that cursive writing would be easier for her and would also help with reversals because of the “flow” of cursive writing. I thought it was worth a shot. We had struggled with manuscript writing for a few years by this point, and even with occupational therapy, we weren’t making as much progress as I would’ve liked. We began using the How to Tutor lessons for teaching cursive writing. I liked the plan because it was a slow and steady plan for learning cursive, with each lesson taking two weeks and the entire course taking two years.

It didn’t work. It wasn’t the program that was the problem. It was that my daughter just wasn’t ready. She was in second half of third grade at the time, but it didn’t work. I put it away and waited.

In fourth grade, after we got everything else going, I brought out How to Tutor and tried again. It’s amazing how much difference a few months makes in a child’s maturity and development! This time she did very well using the How to Tutor cursive program, and she made real progress in her handwriting. The slow introduction of letters and combinations of letters along with two weeks of practice really was the right decision for my daughter. She needed to develop the muscle memory from the two weeks of practice so she didn’t easily forget what she had learned. (I had tried something else before this that moved very quickly, and she couldn’t easily retain the information.)

How to Tutor also has kids writing words within a few weeks, so they feel accomplished rather quickly. For example, they might begin by learning to write lowercase a, followed by lessons in lowercase n and maybe lowercase d. Before long, they’re learning the lowercase letter n and are practicing that while combining the letters they know into the practice of small words like an, ad, and and. It’s brilliant.

We’re in year two of How to Tutor now, and my daughter’s cursive writing is coming along great! Her cursive writing is much more legible than her manuscript writing is now, and it’s improving every day. And now that she knows how to write cursive, she’s learning to read it too – and that’s a terrific life skill to have!

I’m very thankful for the How to Tutor cursive writing program. If you have a child who’s struggling with handwriting in general or needs help with cursive in particular, it would be worth checking it out to see if you think it might help your child too!

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Dear Mom Struggling with Guilt and Shame

A letter to the dear mom struggling with guilt and shame - and wanting desperately to break free. Take this first step.

Photo Credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

Dear Mom Struggling with Guilt and Shame,

I don’t know what brought you to this place. It might have been some form of domestic abuse, financial problems, homeschooling woes, public schooling woes, health concerns, family issues, choices your children have made, choices your spouse has made, choices you have made. There are a million ways to get to this point—the point where guilt and shame are eating you alive. You want to crawl into a hole. You don’t want anyone to know what you’ve done or what you’re going through. You have isolated yourself to the point where you feel more alone than ever—and with all those overwhelming emotions!

I understand. I’m walking that road myself. The isolation is about to do me in. It’s time for us to come clean, to tell a few trusted people who will pray for us and support us. There is a life past the guilt and shame if we’re willing to do the work to get there. We’ve got to end the isolation, develop a plan to get past where we are, and move forward.

Maybe you didn’t bring this situation on yourself, and you’re dealing with the consequences of someone else’s actions. That’s hard. It’s unfair. But we can do this.

Maybe your actions are exactly what brought you to this place, and you’re suffering the consequences of your choices. That stinks, but there is a way to move past it!

We are not the situation we find ourselves in today. We are loved. We are worth more than we can imagine. (And yes, that’s true even if the people around you don’t see that or tell you otherwise.) We are beautiful, despite our mistakes, faults, and whatever other “warts” we may live with.

There is help, and there is hope for something better than this. Something better than guilt, shame, despair, fear, anxiety. But we’re going to have to let someone else in. We’re going to have to swallow any pride we have left – those feelings that tell us if we tell someone what’s really going on that they’ll think even less of us than they do now. Trust me, I know.

I have found an amazing group of women in a weekly support group I attend. There is a common thread that ties us together even though our situations and stories are different. There is no judgment there, even when we make stupid choices. We’re all doing the best we can, and we extend grace and love to one another. Were it not for our circumstances, I doubt that any of us would have ever become friends. But there we are every week, rejoicing when one of us celebrates a victory, crying when someone else is suffering. I didn’t find this group by accident. I found it when I reached out and told someone how I was feeling, what was really going on. It was then that I discovered I’m not alone.

You’re not alone either. Whatever the cause of your emotional distress, there are others going through it too. When you step outside the isolation, you’ll find your people, and they’ll become family. It’s an amazing and beautiful thing.

There’s no shame in seeking help. It doesn’t make you weak or incompetent to admit that you’ve come to the end of yourself and need help, whether that comes in the form of seeing a doctor, counselor, pastor, or someone else. The support, encouragement, and accountability will make you stronger.

You can do this. We can do this. Don’t struggle alone with the guilt and shame any longer. Find someone you trust and open up. There is hope, and better days are ahead for both of us.

Sincerely,

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To read more heartfelt letters to moms from the moms of iHomeschool Network, visit Dear Mom, (goes live on Monday, November 9, 2015, at 6 am ET).

DearMom

Posted in Encouragement, Life | 8 Comments

Why My Daughter Uses the NIV Bible for Teen Girls

Why my pre-teen book lover likes using the NIV Bible for Teen Girls. Associated giveaway ends 11/4/15 at 9 pm CST.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the NIV Bible for Teen Girls from Propeller Consulting, LLC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Why My Daughter Uses the NIV Bible for Teen Girls

My almost-teen daughter is a reader. She is also learning to really study the Bible. She has two Bibles that she uses daily. The first helps her to defend her faith and to learn what the Bible says about core issues, and the second helps her understand how to apply the Scriptures to her life. This second one is the NIV Bible for Teen Girls, and there are several reasons why she likes it so much (and some reasons why I do too!):

It’s pretty. This was the first reason she gave me. It seems superficial, but aesthetics are important to girls, and especially pre-teens and teens! Zondervan did a great job with the design of this Bible. It’s green with pink as the contrasting text and design colors and is decorated with drawings that remind me of the popular adult coloring book designs. It’s a very attractive Bible.

It has great character profiles. My daughter really likes the character profiles of the women in the Bible. She enjoys knowing the meaning of each woman’s name as well as what made them special and where to find each one’s story.

The devotionals are “really good.” My daughter is very impressed with the daily readings scattered throughout the Bible. She didn’t recognize any of the authors except Bethany Hamilton, but she enjoys how they explain sections of the Bible and show her how the Word applies to her life and the situations she faces.

It’s NIV. My daughter appreciates Bible translations that make the Word easy to read and understand, and the NIV certainly meets that need.

The book introductions are helpful. This is one of my reasons. The introductions to each book of the Bible help teens understand when the events in the book took place, the primary people involved in those events, and a summary of the main events. It’s all written in ways that are easy to read and understand.

There’s a decent concordance at the end. So many Bibles for students don’t have a concordance, and this is something that my daughter wanted to have and learn how to use. While not comprehensive, there’s a pretty good start here.

Some of God’s promises are highlighted. Throughout the Bible, you find verses highlighted in pink. They bring some of God’s most precious promises to her attention.

If you want to find out more, check out Zondervan’s website or contact them on Facebook or Twitter.

NIV Bible for Teen Girls Collage - jenniferajanes.com

Giveaway of NIV Teen Bible for Girls

Update: The winner of the NIV Bible for Teen Girls is Jami!

If that’s not enough to get excited about, I’m giving away a copy of the NIV Teen Bible for Girls, courtesy of Propeller Consulting, LLC:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

In addition to the rules stated above, the giveaway works like this:

      • The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada ages 18 and older.
      • The giveaway ends on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 9:00 pm CST.
      • To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering the question below.
      • Only one comment per household.
      • Duplicate or “extra” comments or comments left after the giveaway ends will be deleted.
      • The winner will be chosen at random using the plug-in And the Winner Is.
      • The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway and will have 24 hours to respond with the requested information. If the information isn’t received, another winner will be chosen. The information will be sent to Propeller Consulting, LLC so your Bible can be shipped.

Ready to enter? Leave a comment answering the following questions:

What special pre-teen/teen in your life would enjoy this Bible? Why?

Posted in Book Reviews, Giveaway, Review | 6 Comments