When parenting, some conversations with your children are easier to have than others. Try having a conversation about sex with them and you might get all sorts of “Let’s change this subject!” attempts! For example, my passing statement, “Sex is what makes babies,” was met by my son with, “Is there any watermelon in the refrigerator?”
Fortunately, most of our necessary conversations are easier to keep on track.
The adults that my children will become have been on my mind since they were babies. I look into the future and see them as great beacons of warmth and light in a dark and cold world. While that picture may be colored just a little by a mother’s love, the point is that I want them to be productive, creative, contributive, and awesome members of society! Beacons of warmth and light require a considerable amount of fuel; in short, they need an abundance of parental input and preparation. A superb time to start pouring in our own brand of fuel is right now.
In my developmental years, my parents were good at finding opportunities to squeeze in instructive conversation. Dad ended many TV shows with a conversation regarding the choices of the characters. Mom chose books to read to us that promoted good characteristics and that showed us who God is. (As an aside, her favorites were books by Patricia St. John).
Presently, our beliefs are communicated in a hundred different ongoing conversations that these “Shelter in Place” weeks have given us as a gift.
I find that school work is an excellent time to have these teaching moments. I can infuse life lessons into History, Science, English, and Math. Math? Yep, prayer and perseverance are traits that every adult can use. We can discuss political ideas and preferences, religion, and human nature all while studying at home.
A list of important lessons for our young children included:
- Obey the first time—so they would always obey the authority in their life. (We were thinking of God and government)
- Be kind—so they would know how to have good friends.
- No whining or crying to get what they want because success is found through claiming responsibility and hard work.
- No bad attitudes or looks—for obvious reasons; these speak to a lack of respect for authority.
- Ask before doing. This one came a little later from experience, not to prepare for adulthood, but to survive childhood.
As our children grew older, the lessons changed their focus.
- Look for God in everything. This will lead them to take care of nature as they see His magnificence in the natural world, to trust and follow God as they see His love in His actions throughout history, and to treat their fellow man with dignity as they see His creation in every person.
- Look to God for everything that is needed. No human or amount of money will ever satisfy.
What a blessing we have been given! These days of togetherness, these opportunities to influence our child’s schooling, and these moments for conversation will not be wasted.
Enjoy, my friends!