Patrick was four and Anna was six; they were playing outside on the swingset. I stopped to look out the window just to check on them. At that moment, the next-door neighbor Josh, who was seven, came over to join the fun. They were going up the ladder and down the slide over and over. Isn’t it amazing how children enjoy repetition without boredom?
Patrick had his hands on the rail to climb up, when Josh came running around for another turn. He grabbed Patrick’s arm and started to pull him away from the ladder. Patrick hung on. Josh pulled again. Patrick hung on. Josh was pulling one more time when Patrick turned his head toward Josh and yelled “NO-O-O!” in Josh’s face. Josh backed up a full step while Patrick went up the ladder.
As a young dad I was proud of my son for taking a stand.
As our children grow up they must learn to say NO to many things: to bullies, to temptation, to fear. How do we build that into them? (more…)
I just spent a week at Camp Kletos with sixty-five campers, aged nine to fourteen. They were divided into six groups, each group led by two high school students, one boy and one girl. Six other high school students provided support in activities, and eight adults rounded out our staff. We played games, competed for points, memorized scripture, swam, attended workshops, presented skits, listened to morning teaching and worshiped. Yes, we worshiped.
This was my twenty-fifth year at this camp and I have always been amazed when the children step forward to worship. This year the boys led the way, stepping out of their seats and moving forward toward the band to lift their hands. They wanted to be in God’s presence.
At the beginning, their hearts were open in varying degrees. Some watched curiously; they were not too sure about this. Others entered in wholeheartedly. Many were in between.
Now, watching boys worship is always interesting. (more…)
Recently, we were able to spend a little time with some young friends of ours, Thomas and Beth. They are parents of three young children ages seven, three, and one. You can tell that they are doing a good job as parents. We met in a public restaurant and even though the kids tagged along, we were able to have a substantive conversation. It was fun to be with the whole family.
Beth is a wise little mom who has been home-schooling Caleb, the oldest. As they look at the fall, they are thinking of enrolling him in a day school program. In talking about the change in venue for his education, she made this very true statement: “but I will always be teaching.”
And she is right. Parents are always teaching their children.
Since that conversation, I have given some thought to the three main things that we teach our children. (more…)