Of course the biggest question is How do I do this? What tools are available for me, as a parent, to assist me in teaching my kids about God? In a recent conversation with a friend who has two kids under 6, she said "I've seen a lot of devotionals and stuff for families, but it seems to be geared mostly towards older kids." We have had that same experience. I bought a really cool family devotional book that had a Bible reading, a story, questions to discuss, and even some activities to do. However, the stories are more about older kids. Our 6 year old mostly listens. Our 3 year old is usually off in her own world.
There may be an answer, however. One of the great things about blogging is that you start to get info from people who aren't in your area. I've got to admit that I didn't think anyone would be reading my blog really. However I do have the good fortune to be linked from several "famous" bloggers: Pete Bishop and Brian Glass (my husband). So, at least one other person is reading my blog! She sent me this info in an email:
I would like to pass along something that has really helped my husband and I feel equipped in spiritually nurturing our 10-year-old son. It's a tool called the Family Times Virtue Pack, produced by FamilyWise Inc. It is patterned after the verse in Deuteronomy 6 that talks about teaching and speaking with your children about spiritual things while doing the days' activities. It focuses on one virture per month's packet and all the facets of the packet highlight that virtue.
We have really found it helpful because it makes the work of nurturing our child spiritually possible and practical. Although our son is 10 and I worked in the children's department at our church, my husband and I did not feel we could equip him with the tools to make his faith real, and so we were doing what our parents had done: passing our son off to the church and hoping he'd get what he needed there. All the while though, we were feeling that time was slipping away and that we were not seeing what we wanted to see in his growth. But we felt helpless to do anything different than had been done with us: give him to the "professionals".
When we discovered the FamilyTimes, we felt empowered immediately. It is so simple to use! It gives us something to talk about over dinner (a short 5-10 min. discussion starter), something to read at bedti (i.e. a Scripture story), a cd that has a radio drama for our son, encouraging tips for us as parents and a song about the virtue of the month for us all to worship God with, as well as encouragement cards to write on to affirm when we see our son is grasping and integrating what he's learning into his everyday life.
Although we've only been using these for 2 months, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of spiritual discussions this material is sparking in our home, even when we're not using the specific material. We now engaging our son in discussions about thethings that really matter in life. It's not overwhelming, so he doesn't feel he's getting "preached at" and it hits him where he lives. Amazingly, it also hits us where we live too, providing us with opportunities to practice what we're teaching our son in our own livesIf you go to familywise.org, you can go to their online store to purchase them. We get ours delivered directly to our house each month!"
If you're interested in a great resource for your family, check out the family packs at the FamilyWise Store!