The stories I hear from my girls about the stuff that happens on the playground angers me sometimes. I hate that they are faced with nasty speaking kids, ridiculous drama, friend battles, the pull of people trying to convince them they aren’t enough and a list of challenges they aren’t sure how to overcome. Seriously, the fact that my 9-year-old knows that pickle can also be considered a boy’s private part…ugh!
Lucky enough my girls share their playground struggles with me, I hope this always continues, but know that as they age, they will tell me less and less. That’s why our conversations now will hopefully impact the way they continue to handle the playground drama of life. Our conversations on how to overcome things now are teaching them about their value, their uniqueness, the importance of standing for what they believe in, the importance of being kind and speaking truth (even when it’s hard), to stand up for themselves and the impact that choosing friends can have on the rest of their lives – “we become who we spend time with” or “people change people” are two popular phrases in our home.
Wisdom is the source of all character traits, it’s where spiritual growth springs. But is this something we can teach, or does it come with age? Wisdom is something we learn through experience, but we can cultivate it within our homes and in our children’s hearts. I recently read that teaching our children wisdom will give them the ability to live life skillfully in a way that attracts others to them. That by having wisdom they will be confident, courageous and empowered to change the world – um…Yes Please!
Our Prep – Our Study – Our Requirement
The more I dive into the Word, the more I realize that every single question or decision I need to answer is within the text. I wish I would have known this sooner in my life, much of my self-impacted pain may have been avoided. This is what fuels me as a parent though – God uses all things for his Glory – I want to be sure my children have wisdom, the ability to discern and judge which aspects in life are true, right, lasting and applicable, and avoid as many attacks from the devil as they can by putting on the full armor of God.
To help encourage my children to live on wisdom and not emotion it’s a requirement to study God’s word, and teach my children to do the same. Here are some ways:
- We need to be good Role Models – If I rush ahead without considering consequences, If I’m irrational or flighty, I’m not teaching my children the importance of mature and thoughtful actions. Being a good role model to them (not easy) I have the ability to teach them a great deal. I can teach them to be wise about money, the importance of wisdom in relationships and the pros and cons of choices and the consequences that come with them.
- We need to teach our children to stop and think – Our emotions take hold of us quickly and deceive us often leading to poor choices. It’s important that we teach them to think before they act and do it for more than a millisecond. I told my stepdaughter the other day that the reason she got in trouble and not her sister was because her mean reaction was worse than what her sister did. So we talked about what we could do next time we feel anger swell up in us and how to avoid bad actions and increase the mature and good ones – conquering our emotions is something we all need to work on.
- Teach them the Words to live by – Having scripture in our minds and hearts will help us have a standard to live by. By exploring Proverbs we can set a frame in which our kids can live by – they won’t have to wonder what’s right and wrong because it will be second nature for them to lean on God’s word and act appropriately. Takes out the guess-work and instills confidence.
- Teach them to be humble – Humble people are the ones that seek wisdom. I hope my kids always seek wisdom and don’t live within their own understanding. Teaching them to have a growth mindset will help them seek answers and ask God for it always.
- Teach them to Listen – Listening is where true wisdom comes. As they listen to others they’ll learn about struggles, become wise to the needs of others, and are able to have strong and healthy relationships with everyone they meet. Listening to God’s word gives them the ability to learn and grow…
I’m no expert at the above list, I have my own work to do at having better playground wisdom, so I’ve started to do some family devotionals. I bought two books on Amazon – The Purpose Driven Live Devotional for Kids and The one yearbook of Josh McDowel’s Family Devotionals. The reason I did two is that we are a blended family and aren’t all always together, so this gives me a book to do when it’s all of us and a book to do when we only have part of our family together. That way, we don’t have a single day without a quick teaching opportunity. We just started these, but it’s provided some great conversation starters, opened up conversations about their struggles at school and with friends and opened them to be curious about the challenges they could be faced with and how to overcome them.