Fear is a natural part of childhood. From the monster under the bed to the first day of school, your children may experience all sorts of fears from time to time. Much of this is a natural reaction to trying something new and unfamiliar. With some children though, the fears and anxieties begin to negatively affect their quality of life.
Teachable moments are some of the best tools in the savvy Christian parent’s tool box. You can create an experience or take advantage of one that happens naturally to teach your children important lessons. A lot of the ideas in Parenting Like Hannah are actually ways for you to intentionally create teachable moments to help your child develop specific godly characteristics.
Sometimes, the teachable moments which occur naturally are not so much fun. You may find yourself in an awkward situation. Your child may be devastated emotionally over something that happened at school. Your children might stumble upon a situation exposing them to seriously ungodly behaviors you had hoped not to address with them until they were much older.
What’s the old saying? “Common sense isn’t so common.” If you love the book of Proverbs, you have probably realized wisdom is often in short supply in our world. Yet for our children to be productive Christians, they also need to be wise. So what constitutes wisdom? What if we don’t always feel so wise ourselves?
There are some basic principles of wisdom you can pass on to your children, even if you haven’t quite mastered them yourself. Let’s face it, King Solomon wrote much of the wisdom literature in the Bible and still made some pretty dumb mistakes (I mean 1000 wives and concubines! What was he thinking?!) There is probably a lot you can do, but here are some ideas to get you started:
If you have ever watched a horror movie, you know not to go into that dark basement when you hear a scary noise. Something bad always happens. Yet even though everyone watching the movie is screaming for what is coming next, the character blindly walks into disaster – sometimes more than once in the same movie. I think Dr. Phil calls it “doubling down on stupid”? You know the person who keeps making the same mistake over and over while everyone around them is practically screaming “Don’t do it!”?
Doesn’t sound very kind, but the truth is we can get stuck in life because we are not learning an important lesson and making changes. Those who don’t, live a life making the same mistakes over and over. What if you could help your friends and family get unstuck? What if you could unstick your own life? What if you could teach your kids those lessons and they could learn them before making some big mistakes?
I am a big fan of the work of Dr. Henry Cloud, so I was interested when I learned he had a new book Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again. As usual, Dr. Cloud doesn’t disappoint. The premise of this book is that there are ten basic mistakes people tend to make. The successful people in life only make them once – they learn their lesson, make changes and succeed because of it. The rest get stuck making the same mistake over and over again.
Shaunti Feldhahn is one of my favorite authors dealing with men, women and marriage. What I appreciate about her books is that she doesn’t just give her opinion and back it up with an example from her life. Ms. Feldhahn apparently does a lot of research to make sure her assumptions are correct.
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest effort The Good News About Marriage. With her co-author Tally Whitehead, she went back and looked at the studies and “facts”which are constantly cited in newspapers, magazines and even sermons. What she found was very exciting.