“Helping Kids Hear Truth in a World Blaring Lies.”
Article by www.thesource4parents.com
In his book “If I Had a Parenting Do Over,” author Jonathan McKee talked about seven vital changes he’d make parenting today. In an interview, he was asked “what is the one biggest parenting practice you wish you could do over?” Without hesitation he responded, “I wish I had spent less time trying to block out the lies and more time focusing on the truth.”
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
That’s amazing parenting advice, and it’s relevant today more than ever before. Sometimes we become so focused on finding the perfect defense for negative influences, that we forget about our offensive line! Here lies the mistake. Once we find the perfect filter for something or software monitoring program, we subconsciously think, “Whew. Now my kids are safe from the lies.” The question is, “so who’s gonna tell them the truth?”
Mom and Dad have the amazing opportunity (not to mention responsibility) to talk with their kids about truth. You can set all the blockers, filters, and parental controls in the universe, and not only will your kids still see things they shouldn’t, hear things they shouldn’t, and you still have to talk to them about why those things aren’t for them. In a world so potent with lies, today’s parents need to be that much more proactive about engaging their kids in conversations about truth. The big question is, “what does that look like?”
Here’s 3 way for parents to experience success in setting the stage to dialogue about truth:
1. Don’t just drop your kids off at youth group. Key word: just. Church, youth groups and Bible studies are awesome ways for kids to learn more about God, build community with other believers, and connect with positive adult mentors. And yes, that two or three hours of church each week can be powerful, because the Gospel message is powerful…but that doesn’t mean your job is done.
2. Get rooted in scripture. Key word: rooted. Think of the tree in Psalm 1 planted by the river. It grew strong and green when everything not connected to a life source was dry and dead. When mom and dad grow roots, that’s when they produce fruit. Yeah…that means it starts with us. I remember hearing some amazing parenting advice for dads: if you want to be a good parent, it starts by being a good husband. A good marriage rubs off on the kids. We’re talking about the trickle-down effect. The more mom and dad become transformed by scripture, the more the truth naturally flows from them.
3. Create a safe place. Key word: safe. Do your kids feel safe to ask you questions about anything? How are we going to engage in dialogue about truth if our kids are too afraid to ask us questions? In a survey, kids were asked “Why don’t you ask your parents your honest questions about sex?” The most common response was, “Because I know they’ll freak out.” If our kids are experiencing doubts about their faith, our tendency is to take it personal and respond poorly. On the contrary, we should be glad when our kids feel safe enough to verbalize their doubts. “It’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith, it’s silence. – Kara Powell.”
Are you creating a climate of comfortable conversation in your home? What is your family rooted in? “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” (Psalms 78:4, NLT)
~ Michael Rector