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).
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.
In the last “talking” post, I described a time in which talking isn’t needed at all. (You can read that here.) Those times are not all that frequently, however, since usually our kids have wanted our input, advice, and help. (And if they didn’t want it, they probably really needed it, so it was up to us to find a way to make it happen.)
To balance that “just listen” vs. “give too much input,” we came up with a solution that has become a popular buzzword in our home.
Summer schedules. Those two words do not seem to go together to most kids (and even many parents!). And yet, I want to propose a plan whereby summer can still be somewhat carefree. (After all, that’s what most people love about summer.) Yet, our children can all still be engaged in learning, developing disciplines for their lives, building relationships and memories, and more.
The scene was familiar….a teen sprawled across the foot of our bed. Hubby has to get up. The clock indicating it was after midnight. The aforementioned teen in tears.
Hurt. Disappointment. Rejection.
And the “all nighter” was in progress.
The scene was the same for our three girls and Mom and Dad—time to gather in the living room with calendars in hand, ready to go over the upcoming weeks and months to be sure we have everything down on the schedule—and to be sure that we have plenty of time set aside for each other and our family. What wasn’t the same was the addition of our future son-in-law—a sweet, amazing young man who has no need for meetings, sitting for long periods of time listening to three teenage/young adult girls and their parents gab. His response to our “calendar meeting” was hilarious as he put a pillow over his head and kept coming up periodically to ask if it was almost over!