A new trend in my life is that I often go for an hour or two very hungry or thirsty or in deep need of caffeination, and here’s why. ☕️
My office is upstairs. I know that the minute I open the door, the little humans in the house will come flooding toward me with a barrage of questions, thoughts, musings, and updates. Plus usually at least one “Do you want to hear about the dream I had last night?”
If I’m in my writing groove, I want to stay in it. I don’t want to be “discovered.” I sometimes literally tiptoe down the stairs and hunch down as I sneak toward the fridge to grab something and rush back up.
It’s ALWAYS unsuccessful.
(Please know they’re occupied and genuinely fine while hubs and I are working. More on that another day.)
Indeed, our kids - ages 6, 9, and 13 - all continually have a lot on their minds and hearts.
And while I need to set work boundaries I also need to stay alert and be fully present when I can. Because….
Dylan wants to share the funny parts from the last show he watched. Or a new bike accessory that would be cool. Or he’s thinking about brownies, a day trip to Chicago, what his buddies are up to, music, and yes, girls.
Elle is thinking about the dogs in Mexico. And whether she’ll be able to play in the MLB as a woman. She daydreams of being in the show Dude Perfect, and she thinks about the amount of kids she’ll have one day.
Carston is thinking about football and baseball cards, football and baseball players, football and baseball games, and playing football and baseball with his friends.
And guess what? They are ALL thinking about God. They all have questions, things that are on their mind and heart, at their own level.
In my harried state, I sometimes brush past all of these things. I don’t even look up. I’m in a mode of getting out the door or getting dinner on the table or unpacking from an event we returned from.
But when I’m a better version of myself, I stop. I look them in the eye. I stand there and listen even for the first couple of minutes as they begin to share, perhaps then moving on to the sock sorting as they continue to talk.
And when I do that I learn a lot. In particular that their theology is most definitely forming at a very young age. And they have a lot of thoughts about the stories in the Bible and how this God they read about intersects with their own lives.
Everything is of course at their own level, but here are a few of the things that come out of their mouths:
-Did Jesus ever get bullied as a child?
-Did God get married?
-Why does God let bad things happen to us?
-Did Jesus get hurt as a baby?
-Why did God let sin into the world?
-How can I get the swear words in my head out of my head?
-Can God control His plan a little better?
That’s some pretty important stuff. And I don’t want to miss it. I bet you don’t either. And I certainly don’t want to miss the opportunity to field those questions and teach them as their parent.
This article isn’t so much a “how-to” on this subject. It’s more of a “hey, stay alert!” Keep checking in with your children, from the point they can talk until, well, forever.
Please know that your children ARE thinking about things, wondering things, and have a lot to share. They need to know you’ll stop long enough to hear them.
And some of the stuff they’re thinking about has to do with God. As parents, we help shape their faith, their understanding of God, and their love for God. And we help them feel known…. by paying attention to what is on their heart. Their individual, uniquely designed heart and personality.
Now for you parents who are saying, “Geez, I wish my kid talked. He’s a closed book.” Invite him to write down on a paper what he’s thinking or wondering about over the course of a few days. They may be better about jotting it down than verbally sharing it.
Or perhaps attempt a different method to get them to open up. Maybe sitting on the kitchen counter stool eating an after school snack will never be their time. But perhaps a simple one-on-one outing to get ice cream will do the trick, getting them out of the house. Or hanging with them for a bit longer at the end of the day when they climb into bed.
You never know when the floodgates of emotions and questions will burst open, but we must keep giving the opportunity FOR it to happen so they will feel loved, heard, and guided in their faith. 💛
If you’d like individualized coaching on this topic, I’d love to help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or peruse kimcaifano.com/coaching.
Love to you all.
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