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When You “Cue” Your Kids for Talk Time—Our Talking Song
“Talk to me; show me that you care. Talk to me; listen to the words I say. Talk to me; there’s so much we can share. I know you love me when you talk to me.”
I can still sing it from memory. And so can my kids. It was our talk song. And now I am crying.
Years ago we used to listen to a “cassette” that had this catchy, heart-warming song on it about talking. The chorus was that “talk to me” line above. I wish you could hear it being sung as it is so sweet.
Like a lot of things that we heard, read, or watched together as a family, it became part of us. And we used it…over and over and over again. And never tired of.
Do you state more than ask? Do your sentences to your children almost always end with a period rather than a question mark? If so, you might need to learn the lost of art of asking questions to build relationships (with your kids and others!).
Many years ago we were introduced to the concept of teaching like Jesus taught. We have since delved into that further, realizing that Jesus was not only a model of how to teach concepts to our children, but he was also the epitome of relationship building with people. This has helped us in our parenting and discipling of our children in general (not just in “teaching” or homeschooling). Continue reading →
And I love having fun as a family…I mean, honestly, we were a FUN family. And we still go to Disney World as a family every five years!!! (Thanks to Plexus, we are moving that up to every three years!)
But for this post, I would like to propose a different bucket list than the traditional, fun, memory-making bucket list. It is the Summer Family Bucket List to Grow.
Summer. That care-free time when we make a list of fun activities—and a list of good intentions for teaching and growing. To be sure that the summer doesn’t pass you by with unmet goals and regrets, I wanted to apply some of our goal setting information to your summer!
If you have heard us talk about goal setting for your family, you know that we encourage you to make your goals like this:
Earlier I introduced Gregg Harris’ “attachment” principle for doing the many things that are important in our kids’ Christian upbringing. (Read Attaching Important Things To Your Schedule here.)
Today I want to introduce another paradigm that has kept us going in all of the myriad Christian training endeavors: If something is important to you, you will do it more often than you do not.
Simple, really. But it has kept us going when we felt defeated, overwhelmed, or unsuccessful in our parenting. No matter what was happening, we tried to follow that principle. When one of us got discouraged, the other would remind the first that we were, indeed, doing what we were supposed to be doing.
Besides the “techno free” zones and “sitting in your house” that I described in earlier posts, drive time has come to be a meaningful talk time for our family. (See Who’s Got Their Shoes On? for more one-on-one vehicle talking tips.) In this drive time post, I just want to encourage families in general to reduce the “independent” times in the vehicle and make drive time more “community” time.
When we had three young children four and under, we went to a parenting seminar in which the wise teacher (Gregg Harris) taught us how to manage our day—and get in the things that are truly important to us: “Attach things that are important to you to something that is already in your schedule.”
I was a struggling young mom, trying to teach our little ones to obey, love each other, enjoy learning, be helpful, desire God’s Word, play creatively, and more. However, like many young stay-at-home moms, I had prioritizing and follow through problems. Mr. Harris’ advice helped me get a handle on my preschoolers’ days.
What is a techno-free zone today? I remember when we would have our nightly living room meetings with our teens and pre-teens before they went to bed at night. We only had a television on a cart in our bedroom closet that we would pull out to watch things together as a family. We had one desk top computer in the dining room—an open room between the kitchen and living room. And that was it. Period.
Techno-free zones were easy to come by for us.
It got harder as the kids got older. We eventually had to declare techno free talks—phones off, etc.
WHEN YOU “SIT” IN YOUR HOUSE—PREFERABLY IN A TECHNO-FREE ZONE
Out of all of the times/places that we are told to teach our children diligently in Deuteronomy, “when you sit in your house” has got to be the most challenging. Over twenty-five years ago, Gregg Harris gave us the greatest advice in his parenting seminar (that we have used weekly and teach others to do the same): Whatever is important to you to do with your children should be attached to something that is already in the schedule. Thus, we attached reading together to rising/going to bed; we attach family prayer to meals; etc. However, finding time to “sit in your house” is another matter—and one that I would like to address as a talk time in this blog post.