In Top Tips for Teaching Kids About Empathy, we shared some basic tips for teaching empathy. To really raise empathetic kids though, they need a lot of practice seeing the world in different ways. (This is in no way an attempt to water down God’s Truths, rather to understand relationship dynamics caused by different points of view.) Fortunately, there are a lot of fun things you can do to help your kids begin to develop an empathetic heart.
Can your kids see the world from the point of view of another person, or do they only see the world from their perspective? While God’s truths are universal, many other things in life are seen from different perspectives. Often conflicts arise, because people view things differently and refuse to understand how and why the other person does not view the situation in the same way.
You may wonder why teaching your child empathy should be a priority for a Christian parent. Empathy is important because it’s necessary to reflect God’s love to others in ways they can feel it. If your kids only reflect love in the ways that make them feel loved, the other person may not feel loved at all. Empathy will help your kids take that step back and decide what the other person needs to feel loved.
Some of you are shocked to learn talkative kids exist. You may have a houseful of children who grunt more than they talk and think saying,”Nope” is exhausting. If you are raising a talkative child though, you may have days when you wish he were just a tad less vocal.
It’s probably no surprise to you (and certainly isn’t to my family) that I am a talkative person myself. I never meet a stranger, and can usually coax conversation out of even the most reluctant teen. It’s probably why I studied education in college and love to teach!
While your talker may wear you out at times, you need to understand this is a child who is displaying her gift from God. A talker can become an amazing Bible class teacher. She can get total strangers talking about their faith without breaking a sweat. He can preach a sermon without major nerves. Talking is a gift from God, He gave your talkative child to serve Him.
Unfortunately, talking, when undeveloped and unfocused, can drive people away from God instead of to Him. Self-centered talking can cause others to keep things quiet your child needs to know to serve more effectively. Talking when developed without the spiritual, godly aspects can create an arrogant, materialistic speaker – using his or her gift, but not necessarily in godly ways.
There are 5 things you need to do if you are raising a talker.
In Why Christian Moms Need Special Outings With Tween Daughters, I shared some of the reasons I believe it’s so important for moms to take the time to go on special outings with their tween daughters. Honestly, I would encourage you to continue the practice well into adulthood. Your daughters will need your love, attention and mentoring all of their lives.
Maybe you love the idea, but have no idea what would be a good outing after you have been to the movies, had a manicure or gone shopping. Below, I’ve shared some of the things I did with my daughter as well as some things my friends have done with their daughters. Unlike other areas of Christian parenting, I don’t think these outings have to revolve around a spiritual or religious activity. Some of our best conversations have happened in tea rooms or on walks on the beach.
Have you ever felt like a caterpillar? Did you ever go through a stage when you believed you would never turn into a moth, much less a beautiful butterfly? For some women, those feelings can last for decades, while others may only feel like that for a few weeks of their lives. I would imagine if you ask most women when those feelings peaked though, they would tell you the tween/middle school years.
When our daughter was in late elementary school, we found the Secret Keepers by Dannah Gresh. (This link is what I believe is the current edition. Ours had cassette tapes!) The program was about modesty, beauty and all of that fun girl stuff from a Christian perspective. The series itself was fine, but what made it so special was the “date” we went on for each lesson. I only remember one now, because our daughter got to bring a friend and it involved trying on a lot of clothes – not normally a favorite thing of mine to do. We had a blast though.