RAISING CHRISTIAN KIDS Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. We are here because of this. Because we love God. Joshua 24:15 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God” Deut. 4:2 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God. —James 1:5 17 … the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peaceloving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:13-17 Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Basics 1] God first. He created us …He knitted us together…. 2] We are what our parents’ genes made us. The human genome determines our many characteristics. No two persons are identical, …. I dare say even in identical twins…. Especially identical twins grown up. 3] The genius of God – who made provision through epigenetics. Our environment, what we eat, our experiences So although we will canvass and discuss many approaches to child rearing, we always come back to these 3; that each approach acknowledges the primacy of God in our journey. “Epigenetics” Epigenetics So we are unique because of God-given epigenetics and resultant neuroplasticity etc. • Gestational diabetes (animal model) • Psychological changes • Treatment neuroplasticity • Antidepressants may have a neuroprotective effect during depression. • One study. OFC regional volumes largest in age-matched controls, than in depressed patients exposed to antidepressants, who in turn are larger volumed compared to the drug-naive depressed subjects. How to Grow a Connected Family with Contagious Love and Faith! Parent Workbook James and Lynne Jackson www.connectedfamilies.org 1. Foundation 2. Connection 3. Proaction 4. Correction Foundation, Connection, Proaction, Correction Antecedent –what happened before (your parents, your schooling, friends, significant others, adolescence, your experiences, what you read) Behaviour - what’s happening now Consequence - how it affects your children/family Decision, Development - What will you do for the better of all (requires willpower, not easy to change…for anyone, hardest of all perhaps for yourself) The ABC’s of psychology Why My Foundations (the A’s) are important The 3 principals of childhood learning:1. ROTE learning is the strongest, easiest way to learn Mirroring, parroting, copying, mimicry 2. Do what I say but don’t do what I do – rarely works I … but you don’t… Don’t lie Don’t smoke Don’t you yell 3. The reward that never fades is the love/attention of a parent Building my FOUNDATIONS Who am I? What shapes my ability to relate to my children, to others? MY RESPONSE… When do we feel confident as parents? What makes us confident? KID CONNECTION! Ask your children, “Who are we? What are our family’s strengths? What helps us to be strong?” LET YOUR KIDS HAVE A SAY … AND LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO YOUR CHILDREN Be ready for it to backfire You have to have strong foundations CONNECTION The 5 love languages of Children/Teenagers by Gary Chapman • Words • Touch • Time • Acts of service • Gifts: ceremonial, meaningful, one-on-one Barriers and Boundaries When there are Barriers to Raising Christian Kids • What should I do ……..? MY RESPONSE… • ABC Antecedent = Build Foundations (who am I? my past-times, build faith/relationships, check insight), • Build Connections = Languages of love – focus on these, increase them – think of the BALANCE • Unconditional love – prodigal son “I love you, it is the behaviour I don’t like, I love you” Barriers and Boundaries What causes barriers: • THE PARALLEL REALITIES: Cultural and other background differences, cognitive/thinking styles, strengths and weakness • Time – think of the leisure of God, He is never in a hurry • (Negative) attributional bias • Loss or rhythms, routines, structures • Sleep loss – affects you and your child in all the above 1 Timothy 1:16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Implications of Short Sleep Times • • • • problematic behaviours neurocognitive deficits obesity increased accidents Reference examples: • Touchette E, Cote S, Petit D et al. Short nighttime sleep-duration and hyperactivity trajectories in early childhood. Pediatrics 2009;124(5):e985-93 • Yokomaku A, Misao K, Omoto F et al. A study of the association between sleep habits and problematic behaviors in preschool children. Chronobiol Int 25(4):549-64, 2008 • Ayas N. If you weigh too much, maybe you should try sleeping more. Sleep 2010;33(2):143-4 • Tikotzky, L., De Marcas, G., Har-Toov, J., Dollberg, S., Bar-Haim, Y., & Sadeh, A. (2010). Sleep and physical growth in infants during the first six months. J Sleep Res14, 89-96 • Patel S, Hu F Short Sleep Duration and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review. Obesity (2008) 16, 643–653. Good Sleep Hygiene X • Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy. • If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of the bed. • Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bed. X Do not drink alcohol within six • Get up at the same time every morning. • Get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. • Avoid taking naps if you can. • Keep a regular schedule. • Don’t read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, or play cards in bed. • No caffeine after lunch. hours of your bedtime. Do not have a cigarette or any other source of nicotine before bedtime. Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal near bedtime either. Avoid any tough exercise within six hours of your bedtime. Avoid sleeping pills, or use them cautiously. Try to get rid of or deal with things that make you worry. Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little bit cool. • Avoid media and light emitting devices after sundown Barriers and Boundaries When there are Barriers to Raising Christian Kids • What should I do ……..? MY RESPONSE… • ABC Antecedents = Build Foundations (who am I? my past-times, build faith, check insight), • Build Connections = Languages of love – focus on these, increase them – think of the BALANCE • Unconditional love – prodigal son “I love you, it is the behaviour I don’t like, I love you” FOUNDATION Building FAITH: 1. Pursuing God Uniquely 2 Selecting Activities Wisely 3. Listening Attentively to God FOUNDATION Building FAITH: 1. Pursuing God Uniquely – what habits best help us experience God’s love? Keeping a prayer book Singing/music Memory verses Sensing God in the everyday – comment on it Building FAITH: 2. Selecting Activities Wisely Do my time commitments deepen me, or drain and distract me? OUR RESPONSE… What are the significant activities to which we’ve committed our children or ourselves? Do these activities • Refresh or drain our (or our children’s) relationship with God • Strengthen or weaken family connections • Match our (or our children’s) gifts and calling Or do they – • Distract from God’s purposes Foundatio n Building FAITH 3. Listening Attentively to God Our RESPONSE… When have we felt deeply loved by Christ in a discouraging time? How did we respond? Kid connection: Someone’s watching and listening. Foundatio n Building COMMUNITY: Relationships 1. With our Spouse 2. As a Single Parent 3. In Spite of Parenting Differences 4. With Others of Faith Foundatio n Building COMMUNITY: Foundatio n 3. In Spite of Parenting Differences How can we decrease the stress of parenting together? MY RESPONSE… 1. On what basic parenting principles might we agree? How might I begin that discussion without prompting a defensive response? 50:50? 2. How could we each implement in our own way the parenting principles on which we agree? 3. Build insight Building our INSIGHT: Effect of our Core Beliefs They are most easily identified when we experience strong emotions in my parenting Identify False Core Beliefs replace with True Beliefs Catastrophisation Foundatio n Transformed Parenting: Insight + Faith = True Change A True Belief Romans 8:1, 37-39 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Foundatio n Building INSIGHT: KID CONNECTION! You-tube, movie, or TV show – they are a source of strong role models/beliefs. Before they become your child’s main role models, Take action In early childhood, didactic teaching is the way to go. Engage: Talk about what the characters might have been thinking, feeling, and believing that caused his or her response. (Also helps teach discernment and values to your children.) Foundatio n Connection LOVE, LOVE, LOVE: Love No Matter What The Essence of Connection How can I know if my love is truly unconditional? Consider the affection expressed toward the prodigal son - What is a typical difficult struggle for each of my children that could be a great opportunity to express unconditional love to that child The 5 Love Languages… • Words • Touch • Time • Acts of service • Words • Gifts: ceremonial, meaningful, one-on-one Of what you say….. Non-verbal communication is 90% of the message Hand on the hip. Work stress. Tired out. You have the flu. Your face and body language says – I am not interested in you, go away, you upset me. Facial and body language Tone Speed Loudness Take the words: “I’m off to work.” Eye to Eye, Heart to Heart ENGAGEMENT through •Attention •Interest •Face!! .. and body •Time •The magic touch •Silly and playful •Our voice (vs words) Fast or slow, Tone MY RESPONSE… Thinking back to the last few times my children entered the room I was in, what were the first messages communicated to them by my facial expressions, my body language, and my tone of voice? Connectio n Read My Lips – “I Love You!” Connection through WORDS How can I be sure my child receives my words of love? What is the balance between your affirmative and negative communication? Affirmative communication. • Avoid emotionally weighted/judgemental wording Who in the world would put the plates in the drawer? • State the facts The plates go on the shelf. Enjoying My Teens Connectio n How can I strengthen the joy we share? Children are an extension of us till about 10-15 years; then they are individuals who have their own interests, dress code, language… We are parents… and then we are friends. But we can easily become strangers. TEEN CONNECTION! Ask each of your children, “What makes you feel the most loved?” Helpful Bible Verses And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deut 6:4-7, cf. Deut 4:9-10, 11:18-19) Do not be fearful but with … present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and Your minds in Christ Jesus.Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Col 3:21) Teenagers have many uncertainties and life is like the ocean on a windy day – there are huge swells and ebbs. We don’t always have answers for them. That can come across as despondency and desperation; hopelessness. But the great thing is that we can always come up with a verse from the bible, and everything is allright, because it is in God’s hands. “He can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph.3:20) – there is no assurance of how the problem or issues will be fixed but it will be in a way that is immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. …. Which is why we don’t have the answer right now. Helpful Bible Verses (2) Praising God and giving thanks to Him frequently – do it in a way that shows your genuine thankfulness; just like if you were indebtedly grateful to someone who has just provided you with something valuable; that you needed; far above your expectations Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 3:14-15) The Strength to Connect with Teens What can I do to help besides “just try harder”? Analogies and hypothetical stories Laugh at yourself – silly playfulness Bible verses – say them, send them, post-it them, mean them Prayer – pray frequently, pray together Luke 3:22, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” In Christ we have been given the Father’s love and pleasure. Bring closure (Proaction) Review and affirm – catch the smallest successes • ―Nice work! Even though you started to get upset again, you didn‘t do any name calling!‖ • ―I noticed you stopped interrupting when your sister asked you to. Good on you. • ― Thumbs up. Wink. Not only is conflict inevitable, it provides a powerful opportunity to teach reconciliation and forgiveness in relationships. • ―When we reconcile with each other, it also helps us understand God better. God loves reconciliation or ‗reconnection;‘ that‘s why he sent Jesus, to reconnect us to God when we sin.‖ • ―When you forgive each other, you act like Jesus‖ We forgive because He first forgave us. 100:100 Practical Conclusions 1. Acknowledgement that we are not wise by our own making that our wisdom comes from God. We are on a journey together, many here are well experienced. 2. Ask God to move among us tonight so that we may learn from each other the wisdom that comes from God. 3. We haven't got a degree in theology so if anyone can find a verse from the bible for some of the things we talk about, please pipe up.