Encouraging parents in their efforts to raise their children to be enthusiastic servants of the Lord.
Author: 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. Their daughter Katrina, who has been an integral part of their service adventures, attends Pepperdine University.
Parents often take their child’s future college education very seriously. Toddlers spend beautiful afternoons touring the “right” college campus, particularly near the football stadium. Elementary students are admonished to study so they can have the grades to go to a “great” college. Children practice pitches from dusk to dawn so they can have the skills for a baseball scholarship to the “best” program.
How much time though, do we spend with our child pointing out the characteristics of the “best” husband? How often do we help our child practice his relational skills so he can have a “great” marriage? How much do we emphasize the importance of finding the “right” spouse to our child?
Lately, my teenage daughter and I have enjoyed watching re-runs of the old Waltons show from the 1970’s. I love laughing about how the supposed Virginians mispronounce Monticello. My daughter enjoys spotting the road we saw at the Warner Brothers Studio in CA. The best thing about the show is that it celebrates something many people no longer enjoy – several different generations having fun spending time together and learning from each other.
Sometime in the last twenty years we have almost totally lost the ability to spend time with anyone who is not our age or in the same exact spot in life as we are. I am sure it started with the 1960’s version of “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Over the years, it has morphed into “If someone isn’t just like you, they don’t have a clue what you are going through or how to make it better.” The problem is that this attitude has also invaded our churches.
Moral sequencing is the ability to analyze a situation and decide what the moral outcome may be from a decision made today. It requires a person to not just analyze the current decision and the probable outcome, but continue the process out several more steps. When there is a lack of competence in moral sequencing, a person may not realize that what is merely a questionable choice today may lead to more disastrous outcomes in a few weeks or months.
Some people call this the Sodom and Gomorrah effect. I seriously doubt Lot moved his family in that direction so they would move so far away from God’s ways. As far as we can tell from the Bible, his main thought was better pasture land for his animals. If he had stopped and used moral sequencing though, he may have had second thoughts about his choice.
Sequencing is a very important skill for children to learn in preparation for reading. Sequencing usually involves a child being given a set of pictures. He may be told which is first in the sequence. He must then decide the order of the remaining pictures. He makes the decisions based on what he thinks the outcome will be from what happens in the previous picture.
Sequencing is also an important math skill. A child needs to learn how to sequence numbers properly in order to count. Sometimes a child is given a set of numbers in some unnamed pattern. The child must decide which numbers come next by deciphering the pattern. (Which is what you do in counting. You are actually adding one to the previous number.)
My husband can never understand why our teenage daughter and I know every bit of news – sports, world, local or family and friend news, before he does. We remind him that he has yet to join the rest of the world on Facebook or as I jokingly refer to it, “the source of all knowledge”.
There are many pros and cons about whether or not to even allow your child on Facebook. I believe it is really a family decision, based at least partially on the maturity of your child. If you do decide to let him enter the world of Facebook, I think you can also use it to teach some godly principles.