Quarantined with your kids?
Here’s the final lockdown lesson that also sneaks in some valuable life truths.
Phew. That’s five “lessons with layers.” Hopefully, these five brain-engagers met a need this past week. And perhaps they will remain useful for many weeks to come, even after the lockdown is over. Rather than save these last five emails, the best option is probably to go to my blogsite and make it a favorite, allowing you to browse past and future entries any time.
Moving forward, I will resume my regular blogging/emailing just three or four times per month. No pressure. You can opt out at anytime.
Friday March 26, 2020
What if your kid asked you, “At night when there are no stars, where do they go?”
As a brilliant, educated, and thoughtful adult you could instantly respond, “They are hidden by clouds.”
The question is answered. The kids is satisfied. And you can get back to whatever screen you were engaged with. But Mom and Dad, there may be a better option. How about stirring their little minds by answering their question with a question:
“Where do you think they are?”
If they hesitate, prompt them with additional questions.
“Are the stars still there?”
“How can something be there, and you not see it?”
“Are your eyes open?”
“Is there something in the way?”
“What are stars anyway?”
“What if a star was a lot closer? What would it look like?”
“Could the sun be a star?”
You see where this is going, right? Then, of course, you can always insert a silly question.
“What if all the stars just decided to play hide and seek?”
“What if it’s God’s birthday and he blew out all the stars because he thought they were candles?”
As they get older, your questions can help your children dig deeper intellectually and soar higher spiritually.
“Where do the stars go during the day?”
“What’s more important the moon or the stars?”
“If you were lost, could you use the stars to help you get home?”
“How did the stars get there in the first place?”
In the give and take of Q&A, you will discover all kinds of teachable moments. You should even feel free to throw in a little biblical lesson once in a while.
“You know in the Bible it says that if you lead others to know about God, you will shine like the stars forever.” (Daniel 12:3)
“In Revelation, Jesus is called ‘bright morning star,’ what do you think that means?”
Which brings us full circle to the inspiration for this brilliant method of teaching your kids to think for themselves. Quite often, Jesus answered a question with a question.
In Matthew, chapter 22, the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Jesus held up a denarius and replied, “Whose likeness and title is on this coin?”
In Luke 10, an expert in the laws asks, “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
In Mark 8, His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
So next time your kid comes to you with a question, ask yourself:
“What would Jesus ask?”
Almost always, the best parenting strategy is to extend their question into a longer, engaging, mind-expanding dialogue. When they’re older, you may not be around to respond to their questions with questions. But by that time, you will have taught them to silently ask themselves enough questions so that every problem they face is considered thoughtfully and thoroughly.
For now, they still need you to keep asking questions.
What’s up with Jay? I’m hoping that, if you can spare six or eight minutes, you visit my newly reformatted website. Especially checking out The Jesus Dare, What If God Wrote Your Bucket List?, and the ebook Point/Line/Plane/Eternity. Maybe even pre-ordering The Prayer of Agur.
illustration by Geneva’s own Rex Bohn