We are experiencing a shift in not only education but also in what children are encountering. This blog or portal is a collection of research, articles, and information from some of the top educators of our time. It is important that we understand not only our children’s own educational needs but also their mental and spiritual well-being. I hope you find the information helpful as we navigate Christian parenting in this digital age.
Mrs. Shanda Adams
Mother of five
Article 1 – “Eight Shifts We Must Make to Lead Them Well” by Tim Elmore (taken from the book, Marching Off the Map)
Part 1: Don’t think CONTROL, think CONNECT. “Too often, our ambition as a parent, professional or teacher is to seize control. We want to govern every action and direct each step kids take. Studies show that parents who over-program their child’s schedule often breed kids who rebel as teens. Why? They never got to truly be a child. Let me remind you: control is a myth. None of us are actually “in control”. Instead, good leaders work to connect with the next generation. Why? Because once we connect, we build a bridge of relationship that can bear the weight of truth. We earn our right to genuinely influence them” (Elmore, 53).
Practical Implementation at Home
Don’t think CONTROL, think CONNECT. Finding a way to connect with your child is one of the most critical areas in parenting (even teaching). We need to find a way to bridge the age gap in being with our kids. Admittedly, it isn’t often easy when our children enjoy something outside of our knowledge or comfort zone. For me, I try to connect with all five of my kids in various ways, finding it challenging with all of their likes.
For the child who is a painter, sit down and color with them or attempt to paint with them. Even if you have to trace the picture first and then paint over it, finding the time to appreciate how much effort goes into creating and painting the project will have a big impact on your child.
For the child who is the musician, listen to them play. Understand the song choice and/or favorite bands. We don’t have to have them as our own favorites too but at least we know the favorite bands and ask our kids why they like a certain brand or style of music. You may be surprised by their answers. Their response will give you a glimpse into what they are thinking and why.
For the athlete in your family, obviously attend the games but in addition, start out by understanding the rules of the game and the friends/players. To help understand more, start keeping score for yourself or keeping your own stats for your son/daughter (truly helpful if they are looking at playing a sport in college).
For your child who is a reader, buy the same book and read it together with him/her so you can talk about each chapter. Talk about the characters and why you felt the way you did at the end of the book. Participating in the book with him/her will foster a positive outlook on reading (still one of the best ways children can learn).
Lastly, play games with your children. A family game night helps with family bonding, often includes math, the practice of patience, and even more importantly, the value of being a gracious winner and an accepting loser. Even eating dinner together or watching an age-appropriate movie (as adults we sometimes forget how crucial age-appropriate movies are for our children) can be a family bonding experience where you are connecting to your children through various activities.