Great Way to Prepare Your Kids for the Unexpected

As a Christian parent, you want your kids to be able to make wise, godly choices and avoid sinning – even when you aren’t there to guide them. Even if you have spent a lot of time teaching them God’s commands and principles, it can be hard to know if they can apply that knowledge when faced with an unfamiliar situation. How can you prepare them for the various situations and temptations they may face in the future?

While it would be impossible to fully prepare your kids for every possible situation, there are things you can do to prepare them for the most common temptations and choices they will face. Here are some favorites.

  • Brainstorm things to say. When I was a teenager, a Christian magazine published lists of things you could say if a peer tried to pressure you into using drugs or having sex outside of marriage. Some of them were serious, but many of them were rather humorous. I don’t think I ever used many of them, but making the list fun encouraged me to think about what I might actually say if I found myself in that situation. Encourage your kids to think of things they could say if peers are pressuring them to do something that is wrong. Let them be a little silly or add some humorous suggestions of your own, but arm them with plenty of options so they don’t have to make one up in the moment.
  • Have practice sessions. Michael Oher (Blindside) wrote in his memoir about how his foster mom prepared him for recruitment dinners at fancy restaurants by taking him to fancy restaurants and helping him practice every kind of scenario that might happen at a meal like that. Are your children encountering a new situation soon where they might be tempted to make poor choices? Create scenarios that are as realistic as possible and let them practice various options until they find ones that not only work, but are easy for them to remember and use.
  • Have a parent/child date. Pick an activity that allows a lot of conversation like high tea, a meal at a nice restaurant or even a hike or attending a baseball game. Spend some time talking about an upcoming new event or life season like a new school or activity. What types of things might happen? What are some good ways to handle them. Let your child do most of the talking, asking questions to help guide the conversation if needed.
  • Consult the ”experts”. Know someone who has successfully navigated the next stage or activity while making godly choices and staying faithful? Your child may listen to advice from an older teen or young adult with a bit of extra respect. Just make sure you are using a young person who really did make godly choices and not one who learned how to put on a great show.
  • Play a game. Create a scenario game and have your kids take turns either choosing the best option or acting out their solution to the problem presented.

Taking the time to prepare your kids will make it easier for them to make good choices and avoid sinning when tempted. It’s worth taking the time and effort needed to help them be ready for whatever comes their way.

Published by

Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.