Answer your kids direct questions with direct answers

questions
When kids ask you a question give them an answer. If they understand enough to ask tough questions than chances are that they are old enough to hear tough answers.

I love technology. The leaps we have made in the past 30 years are astounding. I remember as a ten-year old being my families first remote control. As my family was sitting on the couch the kids would take turns either turning the sound up or changing the channel. We didn’t have remote controllers for our TV’s but we also didn’t have the internet. As a result there was many things we just didn’t know. In some ways looking back ignorance really was bliss. As an adult I can remember back to being a child and my mom just making up answers to questions I asked that she either didn’t know the answer to or felt the answer was beyond what I should know at the time. Today we don’t have that luxury. Technology has changed everything.

If we tell our kids half-truths they will find out once they discover our half-truths we have used to deflect or delay from tough conversations our kids will begin to wonder which half of everything we say is untrue. When you answer a question with age appropriate directness you remove the power of curiosity. Kids have always been curious the only things that has changed is the internet allows our kids to not only satisfy any curiosity but it feeds their curiosity.

Every parent needs to invest in filtering and using parent safety procedures most technology provides. The first line of defense is not those things it’s honest answers to though questions. Kids have no lack of resources to satisfy their curiosity without you. It is our job as parents to know our kids enough to know what their questions are and be prepared so that when they ask we are ready to give them the answer that is based on a biblical worldview. This is huge because every answer kid get from the questions they ask help to form their worldview. What our kids need more than their curiosity satiated they need to understand how to see the world through the lens of the gospel. Our worldview informs every question we ask and every answer we give. You might be saying right now I don’t have a world view, I would say you do and If you don’t think you do you are in trouble, because the lens in which we view the world both defines and informs our loves.

Looking for a parenting resource for Advent?

the advent book

My friend Matt Guevara just launched a kickstarter campaign to provide families with a wonderful resource for advent. When it comes to partnering with parents one of the ways we can do that is by linking them to great resources that make them the hero not us. The beauty of putting a resource in the hands of our parents is that it transforms that parent into the communicator of truth their kids need them to be but they are often intimidated to be. When you provide a resource for parents to deepen a child’s understanding and love for Christ that parent grows as much as their child.

I hope you consider joining me in  funding the “The Advent Book”

 

Apps that limit my child’s time on the iPad.

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Yesterday I talked about the need to limit time on devices for kids. While these devices are life-giving for kids and a game changer for kids with autism, most kids are on them too much. Limit time on these devices is difficult. So I thought some practical advice would help.  Below is a free suggestion via The iTeach hub

So how do you limit the length of a user’s session on an iPad?
clock app icon 1

One easy way that this can be achieved is with the Clock app. It is an Apple app that should be already on your iDevice. Follow these simple steps below to use the Clock app to set the duration of a user’s session:

  • Launch the Clock app and select Timer.
  • Set the timer to the amount of time that you would like your child to have access to the device for (in hours and minutes). Also check that in Sounds (iPad) that Stop Playing is selected. If it is not select that option.

If you are using an iPhone or iPod the When Timer Ends display shows this information. Make sure it displays Stop Playing.

  • Press Start and give the device to the user. After the timer runs out the device will bring up the Lock screen.
  • If a Passcode Lock is set then the user will not be able to get access to the device without entering it.

Clock timer set picture
The Clock app could also be used to transition students with special needs. When in the clock app this can be done by selecting Sounds at the top-left of the screen (When Timer Ends in iPhone/iPod). Select an option for a sound you want your child/students to hear as the timer finishes. This sound will be played every time the timer is activated but the device will not lock when a sound option is selected. If you use this feature as a sharing timer. You will need to activate the timer again for the next session. Simple.

Why reading blogs, books and tweets may be bad for you.

When it comes to blogging or anything else in life for that matter there is a delicate balance that must be maintained in order for you to be effective. I call it the production vs. consumption dilemma. Catchy I know. Here is the problem. We live in a time where more content is being generated than ever before in our history. Check out this info graphic on how much content is created in one minute on the web. The numbers are staggering.

web content infographic

What has happened has been a seismic shift in content creation. The internet has removed all the previous gateways that filtered content. For example you want to write a book you can anyone can. There are literally hundreds of sites that will help you get your content out there. Years ago the publishing companies where the gatekeepers of books. If your book wasn’t good or what the publishing companies thought people wanted your content didn’t see the light of day. This was a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because it acted as a filter and mostly worked. It was bad because it kept us from finding new voices and hearing new ideas. This is just publishing the internet has broken down so many walls when it comes to content creation it’s almost overwhelming.

My Children’s Pastor is Irrelevant

My-Name-Is-Irrelevant

One of the things I have noticed over the past few years in the kids ministry community, is kids and youth pastors seem to move around a lot. I always found this to be quite curious. I moved around many times as a kid. So I always chalked up my awareness of how often kids and youth pastors move because of my personal experience growing up. Last year I went to Australia and I found that they don’t have the same ministry culture there. To be fair there are some pioneers in kids ministry in Australia but the whole of kids ministry in Australia is largely done by volunteers and part-time kids and youth pastors who were raised in the church they are serving.

I think the problem in the American church is not a problem of relevance at all. I think many kids and youth pastors leave their churches prematurely. The reason is they misinterpret their feelings of frustration. I remember feeling antsy around 4 years in and I also remember God say you haven’t finished what I have for you to do. So I stayed. 10 years in I had accomplished all I knew that I was to do. I started to ask God if I was done or just in the wrong place. I felt that he was saying neither. I was confused. I then felt in my heart that God was calling me to spend the rest of my time releasing and training others to do what I do.

I think Lead Pastors and Kids pastors get it wrong at exactly the same time.