About Anna’s Friends

 

Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect.
No other person or outside force has a greater influence  on a child than the parent.

–Bob Keeshan, “Captain Kangaroo”

One of the highlights of working with youth was when I discovered and came to understand the motivational gifts found in the book of Romans. I had an ahah moment… Imagine the impact on our children’s lives if we could truly guide them in the direction they were born to go in! (Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.) 

I quickly jotted down some ideas and created a notebook for each one of the gifts, then set out to completely and thoroughly understand each of them. It was exhilarating to imagine the impact on children if they only understood why they did the things they do–if parents understood why their children did the things they do!

Anna’s Friends is a series of 8 children’s books written from the perspective of children, each one with a different motivational gift found in Roman’s 12:6-8. The books show the interaction between each of Anna’s friends and how they would respond to one another based on their gift. The Parent’s Guide to Understanding What Motivates Your Child is companion book for the parents to read so they can discover their child’s gift(s).

Let’s discover our motivational gifts
 
Roman’s chapter 12 is a guideline to all of us as to how to live with others. There are seven motivational gifts (unlike the ministry gifts in Ephesians 4 or the manifestation gifts in I Corinthians 12) found in Romans 12:6-8. These gifts are the inward drive that we all have to express God’s love.

For the purpose of the Parents Guides to Understanding What Motivates Your Child, we only focusing on the seven motivational gifts since they are the foundation for understanding what guides our child’s interactions with others, and ultimately their life path.

Parenting can be a challengeWe have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. Whoever has authority should work hard; If it is to encourage others, we should do so; Whoever shares with others should do it generously; Whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully; If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; If it is to serve, we should serve; If it is to teach, we should teach. Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Rom 12:4-9 (Good News Bible) Note* The order of the seven gifts is listed alphabetically for ease and efficiency in this guide.

Each of the Lesson’s contain the following:

• The purpose and description of the gift
• Getting to know a Bible character with the gift
• Recognizing and Identifying Character Traits of your child’s gift
• Challenges for the child with the gift of the respective gift 
• Family Engagement to develop the gift
• Story of a famous person with the gift
• Meeting Anna’s friends

Meet my 7 cutout kids!  To share in the discovery of better understanding your child I have written a series of eight books written specifically for the eight-year-old; those in this age group I find are very eager to learn who they are (Children from age six to twelve have read these books). You will meet (front row in photo at the right) Sarah (the teacher), Anna (the facilitator/administrator), Hiro (the exhorter), Maria (the giver), (back row) Daniel (the prophet), Cayden (the merciful), and Jesse (the servant).

Yvonne G. Williams with Anna's Friends cutouts

Yvonne G. Williams with Anna’s Friends cutouts

This clan of friends interact with one another in a multitude of life scenarios that children will be able to relate to. You may find your child connecting with a character that most resembles them thus enabling them to learn what motivates and inspires them as well.  

Here’s what one mom said about Anna’s Friends: Elizabeth: “… This is a tool (the Anna’s Friends series) that I as a parent, as well as my children, have thoroughly enjoyed. It became the book that my three girls requested to read every night. Early in the study, they would each be so excited to see if the next character was the one they could closely relate to. Then, when they had the exciting moment of figuring out their gift, I found myself being equally as excited. They enjoyed the questions at the end of the chapters in Book 1 that helped them figure out if they were like Maria, Anna, Jesse, Hiro, and so forth. My youngest two daughters, ages 4 and 6, would squeal with excitement, “That’s me! I do that!” Interesting enough, not only did this book series help build confidence in each child regarding their gifts and how best to use them, but it helped build confidence in their “weaker” areas. For example, my middle daughter, age 6, who has the gift of Mercy, realized that daydreaming is common for others who possess the gift of mercy, as well as the hesitation to jump in and make new friends. She is less self conscience about these things now because she sees it as part of God’s design in her and others. It has encouraged her not to shy away from those areas, but to embrace them and grow.

I definitely would not limit this series to a young age group because even my pre-teen, age 12, would request that we take a break and read it. In fact, she grew tired of waiting for us, and read on through the series herself! Again, thank you for sharing. I find myself recommending this series any time I am talking with another mom about books for their families. In fact, I have been loaning mine out already as we finish each book! “Anna’s Friends” is a good, solid study and is enjoyable for the whole family.”

 

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