DON’T MISS IT – KNOW YOUR KIDS
Posted by Reggie Joine
The better you know your kids, the better you will be able to lead them.
But here’s a problem. Your kids keep changing, which means their issues keep changing.
Your kids are navigating an important journey from childhood to adulthood.
You are not raising children.
You are raising adults.
As a parent, you have to resist the temptation to fix your child’s problems and learn instead to respond in a way that helps them grow. It starts with understanding how to stay alert to what is actually happening at every phase and learning how to read the signs.
Since every phase of a kid’s life has unique challenges, you should become aware of the kind of questions that are asked at each phase.
Preschoolers tend to ask “AM I” questions.
Am I safe?
Am I okay?
Am I able?
Elementary-age kids tend to ask “DO I” questions.
Do I have your attention?
Do I have what it takes?
Do I have any friends?
As they move toward middle school, there is a shift in the nature of a child’s questions. They become more philosophical and relational.
Middle school students tend to ask questions like…
Who do I like?
Who am I?
Where do I belong?
During high school, the questions continue to shift from concrete to abstract, from black and white to various shades of gray.
Why should I believe?
How can I matter?
What will I do?
At the center of each question is the pronoun “I.” That’s because each of these questions reflects a part of a child’s developing identity. How you respond to these questions can shape who your son or daughter becomes. So don’t miss it.
This is an excerpt from Don’t Miss it by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy.
About the Author:
Reggie is founder and CEO of Orange. He has co-written two parenting books, "Playing for Keeps" and "Parenting Beyond Your Capacity" as well as other leadership books including "Lead Small" and "Think Orange". Reggie lives in Georgia with his wife, Debbie, and has four grown children, Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah.
What Will My Kids Think About Their Childhood?
by Autumn Ward
I know it’s hard to imagine your child being an adult right now when they’re running around in a diaper eating dirt, but it’s going to happen.
They will become adults one day. Adults with thoughts and opinions and something I’m just now thinking about—a response to how they’ve been raised.
Kids don’t have a choice in . . .
who will be their mom and dad.
where they will live.
what happens in their home.
But as their hearts and minds mature, they will be able to look back and decide what they think about their childhood and all that was connected to it. After all, what we do as parents today is what our kids will be talking about tomorrow.
It happened to you. It happened to me. And it will happen to them.
So this is the question I’ve been wrestling with lately:
What will my kids think about when they think of me?
I’m getting to a phase in parenting where my kids can respond to the way I’ve raised them. They have been passed down some good habits and some not so good habits. I’ve given them a strong foundation in some areas and passed on cycles that need to be broken in others. I’ve given them good memories and moments we wish we all could forget.
I guess I hope more than anything that they will think of me as a mom who pointed them to God every day. I’m sure there are countless others who could have taught my kids more about the Bible or prayed more eloquent prayers, but I’ve had something all these years others don’t—and you have it too—parent power.
Yep, there’s just something extra powerful when mom and dad are the ones telling the Bible stories and praying the prayers. With that said, don’t let anything hold you back. Choose to be the one who talks to your kids about God and prays with them. Let THAT be something your kids think about when they think of you years down the road.
About the Author:
Autumn Ward writes for the First Look preschool curriculum and is the Creative Director for Parent Cue Initiatives on GoWeekly at Orange. She is the author of The Christmas Story and The Easter Story rhyming board books, written just for toddlers and preschoolers. She and her husband Chad have been serving in family ministry since 1996. They live in Cumming, GA with their two teenage daughters, Sarah and Anna. Their son, Chad, is a student at the University of Georgia.