by Linsey Driskill
I once heard a story about a mom who went to the mall with her friends. All her friends’ kids were eating cheerios in their strollers just as they were told, while her daughter suddenly ripped off all her clothes and jumped into the mall fountains! At the time, she was horrified, but that same spirited child ended up becoming a missionary. A strong and passionate spirit is a beautiful thing. Yes, we want to instill respect, but God also uses the spunk and spirited parts of our kids’ personalities in great ways- let’s not quench that so they can explore, dream, discover, and become confident in the difference makers God has called each of them to be!
What creates a fearful child? Sissy Goff and Dave Thomas (counselors and authors) say fearful parents raise fearful kids. What do we convey to our kids? Do we allow them to explore and learn for themselves (within healthy limits), or are we constantly saying ‘be careful’ and protecting their every move, not giving them the freedom to discover and learn on their own? This spoke to me because I have to restrain myself from constantly saying ‘Be careful’, and ‘Don’t do that’. When I withhold these words, it is such a freeing feeling. These counselors said that CONFIDENCE grows in a child when they learn that they are ABLE. Let’s (including myself!) release our kids from an overprotective nature, and give them opportunities to learn that they are able, so they can be confident.
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Jesus often used questions to teach answers and to bring people to an authentic relationship with him. He was also so personal with people by asking them questions- Jesus asked 80 questions just in the Bible book, Luke! By asking our kids questions, we teach them to do the same with others. It is also such a great way to get to know someone better… How often do we ask our own kids questions just to get to know them better, or to help them reflect on their own faith?
Here are some fun and serious question ideas: You could ask your kiddos ones like Jesus did in the verses above, or here’s an imaginative one: In the Bible, after Moses, Joshua continued leading the Israelite people to the promised land, which was a beautiful land promised to them by God and described as flowing with milk and honey. That sounds pretty great doesn’t it!? What would your dreamland be like?
I love learning what’s in our kids’ little minds when they share their simple and sweet answers about who Jesus is, and to watch their creativity come alive in describing their dreamland. Enjoy connecting and getting to know your kids even more this week!
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