Can we change that to…..
These questions are often asked of us parents when we fail to give children the reason for our decisions and instruction.
While there it is true that our children should learn to obey us and trust that we have their best in mind (but again, that comes through lots of talking and letting them see that we have their best interest in mind!), we have determined four key ingredients that cause teens to rebel—Reishes’ Recipe for Rebellion.
I prayed for you today, though I didn’t know your name,
I saw a hurting look, so I had to stop and pray.
I prayed for you today, when I saw you on the street,
Playing on your trumpet, for everyone you meet.
That is the first verse of a song I wrote that we sang together as a family during family worship and in the van driving (especially on trips). It was our empathy song—the song that reminded us to try to put ourselves in others’ shoes and understand how they are feeling.
We wanted our children to ask questions–and lots of them! We wanted to be their answerer as much as possible. Thus, we “trained” them to ask questions–by answering them freely and endlessly.
Ray is the best answerer I have ever met (honest!). He is the one who made me come up with the little acronym that we teach at our parenting seminars. I have watched him day in and day out, year in and year out, answer a question. Then he paused and continued on with more answers and more answers and more answers.
“Jonathan, come in here.”
Daddy was home and was calling his fifth child, six year old Jonathan, into his room.
But Jonathan wasn’t concerned. He didn’t think he was about to get into trouble. He didn’t worry that he had done something wrong.
He knew what Daddy wanted: to praise, affirm, and encourage him. Jonathan knew that he was about to hear the words that all of our kids waited to hear in the evenings:
“I heard a good report about you!”
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).