Quest :: September Parent Cue Article

When my daughter was ten, I told her that I would write her a story.

I write for a living and I’m constantly reading about other authors who do that. On a whim, they write their kids a story and then voila, Harry Potter!

I wasn’t going to write her the story because I thought it would turn into a book. I was going to write her a story because it’s fun. As soon as I told her that though, she said, “Sure you will. You’ll write two pages and then quit.”

Body blow!

No one hits as hard as your kids can hit.

In that simple statement, my daughter revealed that when it comes to my ability to keep my word on projects, she has her doubts.

I tend to be a starter. I am enthusiastic and excited at the beginning, but I tend to fizzle at the end. Apparently, McRae had watched that happen and was unsure if I would keep my word.

That’s a trust issue and there are three things we parents need to remember:

1. Trust is built when words become actions.

When you do what you say, you build trust. When you don’t, you destroy it. It’s that simple.

2. Trust is small and slow.

Trust is a thousand tiny actions built up over time. One by one. Day by day. It’s not a home run moment, it’s showing up in small ways consistently.

3. Trust can be rebuilt.

McRae knows I won’t forget her at soccer practice. She knows I’ll take her for ice cream when I say. Her comment revealed she didn’t trust me when it came to writing, but even that can be rebuilt. It is not lost.

Trust is like the glue in parenting, it tends to hold your whole relationship with your child together.

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.


Motion :: September Parent Cue Article

Growing up, I had a hard time connecting with my dad.

Different Interests

As a kid, all I could see were the differences between us.
I liked to read comic books.
I loved to draw.
I would play with action figures for hours.
Or make spaceships out of boxes.
I loved TV, and I would anxiously await the arrival of the TV Guide every week in the mailbox.
When I played outside, it always involved some imagined scenario.
I was a detective chasing a criminal on my bicycle.
Or a superhero leaping over our chain-link fence to escape a super villain’s trap.
Or I would bring my hot wheels out and dig roads in the side of a hill, and build houses made of rocks.

My dad was a gifted athlete, who had a history of sports accomplishments. Growing up, he played on the church softball team so our week usually included time at the ballpark. He seemed so foreign to me.

Common Ground

Then something changed. When I was 12, my mother was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She died a year later.

Suddenly, two foreigners had to learn how to relate. We stumbled our way through it, but a trust and respect was built. There’s something about survival that knits people together, and changes their relationship.

I didn’t become more athletic. He didn’t start reading comic books. But we found more firm common ground than our interests. We found a way to enjoy each other without having to be like each other.

And in the process, we found some ways that we were surprisingly alike.

Now I consider my dad one of my closest friends.

Kids With Different Interests

But in a great twist of irony, I am now raising three very athletic boys.

And while I see glimpses of my personality in them, it’s wrapped up in three very different packages. Two of them love basketball. One loves lacrosse.

Although I have a basic understanding of both games, the intricacies of each are beyond my comprehension. My brain refuses to get concerned with stats or fouls or penalties, and simply focuses on games won or lost.

My boys know I’m an athletic idiot, so I don’t try to use words I don’t understand. I say things like, “that was smart how you passed the ball to that other guy,” or “way to score that goal.”

But I try to find ways to get involved in their world. I could never keep stats, or coach, but I can help set up the gym for a game, send out emails about the weekly schedule, update the team website, or serve my allotted time in the concession stand.

What It Takes to Connect

I don’t like to watch sports on TV, but I do love watching my boys play.
I marvel at them. They do things I simply can’t do.
They’re good. But they’re not just good athletes, they are good people on the court or field.
They play well with others.

And while they are not involved in band, or art classes, or drama productions, I’m okay with that.
It’s humbling to be the geek dad in the stands. The one who knows more about comic mythology than lacrosse plays, but I think I am able to discover some of the same things my dad did.

Connection takes humility.
Connection takes work.
And connection takes time, cultivated in many invisible acts.

It took a catastrophic event in our lives to break down the walls between my dad and me, but my hope is that with these small efforts on my part will lead to strong ties with my kids.

Even if they don’t realize it right now.

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.


Safari :: September Parent Cue Article

I was always extremely skinny as a child. Adults would consistently make jokes about my size. They referred to me as a “string bean,” said I was “nothing but skin and bones” and “25 pounds soaking wet.” One windy day, I remember an adult telling me I needed to put rocks in my coat pockets to weigh me down so the wind would not blow me away. I didn’t think the joke was funny and was highly offended. I remember hearing my mother say, “I’d love to have a body like that, wouldn’t you?” That was my mother’s way of protecting me from the criticism of others and affirming the unique way God created me. She consistently did this in the company of others and in the privacy of our home.

As early as I can remember, my mother intentionally planted seeds of confidence with hopes they would one day bloom into an indestructible positive self-image. She did this because she knew that as we grew, we would be exposed to a world of judgment and criticism. And we needed to have the internal tools to face the good and the bad it would bring. For me, the bad that life brought was found in how adults freely made fun of my size.

Now, as a parent, I look at my beautiful children and see the unique way God has created each of them. And like my mother, I want to instill a positive self-image that will become their absolute truth. A positive self-image that potentially withstands bullying, the changes of puberty, and all other things life inevitably brings.

Sometimes as parents, we attempt to teach our children humility, but that can come at the expense of a positive self-image and self-esteem. But when we affirm a child as they’re developing their understanding of self, their internal toolbox is expanded. They not only have an ingrained truth but also language to combat any opposing ideas that oat their way.

No matter your child’s age, tell them just how beautiful or handsome they are. They need to hear how their unique features enhance their beauty and don’t take away from it. While your words might be ignored, the seeds being planted will take root somewhere. And if consistently watered, will produce ripe fruit. This ripe fruit of self-love, self-confidence, and self-esteem will be feasted upon for years to come.

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.


Table Talk I Week of August 31

Family life is busy, so being intentional with the time you do have is more important than ever. Table Talk helps mealtime matter — whether it’s at the soccer field, in the car, or around the table. Let this resource be a tool to connect your family and create faith-based conversations with your Quest and Motion children.

 


QUEST 

3 YEARS – KINDERGARTEN

This weekend, we learned that on days one and two, God made the light, dark, sky, and water. God made the light and the dark so we could have day and night. Then, He separated the beautiful sky from the waters below. Check out this week’s curriculum video here.

Question 1: What did God create on day one of creation? (light and dark)
Question 2: What did God create on day two of creation? (sky and water)
Question 3: What did God call the light? (day)
Question 4: What did God call the dark? (night)

 


MOTION

1ST – 5TH GRADE

This weekend, we learned we can put our love for others in motion by serving them. Serving isn’t always easy, but when we choose to do it anyway, we love others the way Jesus loves them. Check out this week’s curriculum video here.

Question 1: What are some ways Jesus showed love to others?
Question 2: How can you serve proactively? (How can you help someone before they ask for help?)
Question 3: What are some things that might distract you from serving someone?


Safari :: Week of August 31

WE’RE LEARNING… God is good.
MEMORY VERSE: “The Lord is good to everyone.” Psalm 145:9a (NLT)
BIBLE STORY: The Good Shepherd I Psalm 23

This month we’re learning “God is good.” God is good, and He loves us so much. He always takes care of us and gives us so many good things!

We will learn the story, “The Good Shepherd,” in Psalm 23. David wrote a song about how God loves us and cares for us like a shepherd cares for his sheep. We can read David’s song in the Bible to learn that God is good to us. David’s song shows us that just like a shepherd, God will take care of us and give us so many good things. This month, we want our toddlers to learn the foundational truth that God is good and He loves them so much!

We made a Bible Story Meal Time Mat to help us remember that God is good. Place the Bible Story Meal Time Mat at the table where your toddler eats. Before each meal, point to the placemat and review the Bible story with your toddler:

  • Who is in the picture? (a sheep, a shepherd)
  • In the Bible story, we learned that God takes good care of us — just like a shepherd takes care of his sheep. Is God our shepherd? (yes)
  • Is God good to us? (yes) 

Say, “That’s right! God is good, and He loves us so much! Just like a shepherd takes care of his sheep, God takes care of us, and He gives us so many good things. Who is good?” Encourage your toddler to say, “God is good!”