How To Equip Your Children for Those Hard Conversations
We have something in common. I’m sure of it. We know exactly what it feels like to be asked a gazillion questions that all begin with something similar to “But mommy, why?”
No matter where you are in your parenting journey, I am going to assume that you know exactly what I am talking about! The “why” phase is inevitable. Sometimes the questions have a simple, quick and easy answer or require no response at all. But other questions can bring even the wisest parent to a complete halt or state of confusion and those are the times we must say, “Because that’s the way God made it.”
Children Crave Knowledge
I can recall long car rides with my 4-year-old as she fired questions like “Mommy why is the sky blue?”, “Mommy why do dogs bark?” and one of my favorites– “Mommy if all of my toes grow, why is the baby one still so small?”
Now, that one stumped me. I simply had no explanation! However, I was in complete awe of her developing cognitive skills. Watching her brain process left me feeling nostalgic and grateful for youthful innocence.
Letting my children interpret and navigate the world around them brings me pure joy. However, as they mature, their craving for knowledge increases. The questions, although fired less frequently, begin to hit harder and become increasingly more difficult to discuss. Since our early car rides together, our conversations have reached new depths and have even led me to ask myself one very important question:
“Am I equipping my girls with the Biblical truth and the courage they need in order to stand strong and bold for Christ?”
Discussing Hard Topics
I have intentionally talked to my children about loving God and the importance of a personal relationship with Him. I’ve guided them with a Christ-focused view on friendships, love, hardships, marriage and even sex. But somehow in the midst of guiding my children in these truths and even answering their toughest questions, I sometimes tuck away a few of the major topics or details that disturb my comfort level.
At times I fear that addressing difficult or uncomfortable topics will expose the tender hearts of my children to the darkness of our world. However, I must realize that avoidance disguised in the uniform of protection, is one of the most harmful things we can do.
As Christian parents, we have to understand that discussing hard topics with our kids will not harm them. In fact, these conversations (and prayers) are actually what will protect them. It will cause them to have to ask more questions and to dig deeper into God’s Word for themselves.
God commands us to be a light.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Matthew 5:15 (ESV)
Exposing the Darkness
Keeping our children in the dark in some areas does not make the world less dark, however, it does limit their ability to shine. At some point in life, our children will inevitably experience the darkness of our world. As heart-breaking as it is to imagine, their faith will be challenged by media, teachers, and even their peers. We must make sure they are rooted in God’s word in every area of life.
Do you struggle with talking about hard topics because of the darkness it exposes?
As much as I don’t like having hard conversations with my girls, even more than that, I don’t like when someone else beats me to it. Just as they did when they were four years old, I want my children to bring their most basic, as well as their most difficult questions and conversations, to an ear that will respond in truth and in love.
God has called our children to be ambassadors for Him. We must prepare them for the job.
There may be an array of topics that simply make you cringe.
Here are a few tips to help you approach the hard and ugly conversations with your children:
- Seek wisdom. Before you decide to have any talk with your children, you should pray these words. “Lord, give me wisdom.” We never want to plant seeds of fear, judgment or confusion into the hearts of our children, and we need God’s wisdom to lead us as we navigate difficult truth.
- Prepare. Know what God has to say about the topic and prepare to show your girls why you believe what you believe based on scriptures.
- Be honest. Let your children ask questions and regardless of your comfort level answer them honestly using God’s truth as the foundation. Additionally, if you don’t know the answer be brave enough to say “I don’t know” and take them on the journey to discovering it.
- Speak with love and seek humility. We must always remember that as believers, we need to live a life of truth and love. We can not have a conversation about hard truth without covering it with God’s love and grace.
My prayer is simple:
“Lord Help me to be the ear they turn to when they need to be heard, the hand they reach for when they need to be taught and the voice that guides them to Your love.”
Wynter Pitts, For Girls Like You
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