Intentional Parenting to Ground our Kids in Faith Rather Than Fear
It struck me at 4 a.m. the morning after a big fat mess of aimless days and a conviction that I needed to sit down and set up a plan for my kids as they transition in this crazy season of a global crisis. All of our kids are moving from a very routined life of school and sports and friends to having all that removed and now being at home all day, every day. For those of you who are very structured, setting up a plan for your children might be a no brainer, but for the free spirited hippie types like me, having a plan needs a plan.
My greatest advice is to set up an intentional plan in place for our children for this season as soon as possible. They cannot be expected to set up a whole new routine on their own. Our job as parents is to help them do it. They cannot be expected to all of a sudden create their own new daily schedule, to do’s, learning plan, goals and new way of going about. How could they possibly know how to do that? Our lack of a plan will find our kids getting sucked into tv, video games, way too much tiktok and aimlessly walking around bugging each other. That’s what happened in our house, anyway.
We as parents need to help our kids be intentional with their routine to give them purpose. When we are aimless our anxiety and depression can tend to increase. When we are purposed and routined, our peace and sense of accomplishment tends to keep us calm and directed. It is our job as parents to help assure our kids feel purposed in this time.
It is also our job as parents to be spiritually intentional with our children right now. Our kids are experiencing loss. They have lost routines, they have lost playdates, they have lost graduation, they have lost prom, they have lost their sports teams, they have lost college visits, they have lost connection with teachers and youth pastors. And yes we are losing things too, that maybe even feel like bigger losses. But for a kid, this whole coronavirus quarantine is a huge transition accompanied with huge loss. It is our job to sit in their grief, to listen to them cry, to ask them good questions, to comfort them and to provide intentionality around their schedule, their emotional and physical health and their spiritual grounding.
It is also our job to model faith rather than fear. Now more than ever we need to ground our children and center our lives and fears around God. Everything is changing, but God never changes. Let’s set down fear and pick up faith.
Out of my own need to be intentional with my family, I created an intentional plan that I’d love to share with you! We are excited to be providing you the tools to be able to center and ground your family for the next 8 weeks. We believe this will be as life changing for your family as it has been for mine!
Here are the resources we’ve created:
- 8 Weeks of Daily Family Devotions – Every week we will share a week’s worth of family reflections, one for every day. You will be able to download these and do them with your own family every day. They are written for ages 12 years old and up, but we’re pretty confident that you could tailor them to kids of any age by using what you know about your child’s development, understanding, and faith place and just change the language to meet them where they are at! These weekly reflections give you a baseline to start a spiritual conversation, but you can cater these resources to your kid’s needs because you know them best! We’re hopeful that these devotions will bless your whole family – including you, parents Whether you print it out to handwrite reflections (our personal favorite way to engage with the content!), or you digitally work right off the pdf, our hope is just that you find these resources grounding, encouraging, and helpful as you navigate a tricky season.
- Daily Do’s – This is a list my family is using to create a routine to keep us intentional throughout our day and we’ve provided you with a template to create your own daily do’s for your family. Print it out, stick it on the fridge, and – voila – you’ve got your new daily rhythms.
- A Creative Free Time List – Part of our Daily-Do’s is spending our free time creatively. It’s important not to “numb out” with scrolling our phones, binging YouTube, or any of the other ways we try to dampen our heightened emotions. Instead, let’s sit down with our kids and make a great list of creative things we can do with our newfound free time. We will give you a sample list of ideas but also a template to make your own list with your kids!
- Chore List – Give your kids purpose while also choice. Right now a lot of choices have been stripped from our kids. You can make a chore list with your kids and even give them the ability to choose on a daily basis what chores they would like to accomplish. This list will help you empower them and create a sense of productivity and accomplishment!
- A List of Ways We Can Love our Neighbor – We’re not letting this time of fear and panic keep us from loving those around us, and we know you don’t want to either. This is a moment to teach our kids to not just get caught up in our own fears and loss but to daily bless our neighbors. This is a great exercise you can do with your kids to come up with daily ways to bless people!
P.S. – We LOVE creating content like this that helps you seek and Collide with Jesus in authentic, tangible ways. We’re currently in need of people who would be willing to partner with us financially during a particularly tough time so that we can continue to minister to women for the long run. If you feel led to donate, you can do so here.