One of my favorite moves of all time is UP by Pixar. Up always reminds me that kids can handle hard things. In the course of the two hours this “kids” movie addresses, death, miscarriage, and divorce. How does Pixar tackle those topics? With story. The story of UP is simple but powerful. Up is really fun and most of all it’s incredibly moving. I think as parents or leaders we tend to protect kids from difficult topics or shelter them from the hard stories of the Bible. To avoid the temptation to skip hard conversation because kids aren’t ready.
How do you handle hard truths for kids?
- Start by not avoiding hard truths because they are hard.
- Tell them the truth in a story – Jesus did this before Pixar did.
- Tell them with humor – Use appropriate humor to disarm and protect the kids you are speaking to.
- Be truthful – Don’t lie to make it easier, don’t skip parts of the Bible. The idea that certain parts of the Bible are not appropriate for kids isn’t true. The question isn’t appropriateness but rather “How can I teach this truth in an age-appropriate way.”
- Show kids Jesus – teach kids that when we don’t fully understand everything which we won’t because we are finite. What we do know about Jesus allows us to trust what we can never know to Jesus.
- Lastly, tell them – tell them of the hard stuff you have been through and how Jesus has been faithful in the middle of it all.