As I start my 31 days of heart conversations I have been thinking about having conversations or discussions with my kids; what that looks like and how they have benefited our family life.
When we have discussions with our kids – that is, when we ask them questions or they ask us questions and we toss thoughts back and forth – adding to each others understandings – then our children are learning far more than the truth being discussed (though there is no doubt that would be of value enough).
Discussions help our children to
- express themselves orally
- develop and extend their vocabulary
- think critically – to analyse, compare, contrast, reflect, question
- develop ideas
- establish beliefs
- learn to listen
- learn to ask questions
- learn to respect others opinions or values
- learnt to defend their opinion or value
- be willing to learn from others (humility)
We need to remember that discussions are not monologues, neither are they debates. Discussions are respectful conversations about a topic. We may get passionate, but we never get condescending, arrogant or impatient.
A family culture of discussions opens up topics to the children that may otherwise not be introduced to them. Discussions connect one person’s passion and interests to the other members of the family. By listening to and questioning each other we learn from each other.
Discussions are a huge part of ‘capturing our children’s hearts’. To capture their hearts means that their heart (their beliefs, passions, character, determinations) are along the same lines as our own (or more importantly, Gods!) This only happens when we have relationship with our children – when they get to know us and we get to know them. In the context of relationship I am able to share my beliefs and passions with my children in a way that makes sense to them, in a way they can connect with and in a way that invites them to join me.
My newsletter this week was about conversations and asking our kids questions to help them arrive at a belief. (Check out the archive here.) Asking questions is a part of generating discussions. The key point in my newsletter though is that just because we invite our children into conversation, it does not take away the responsibility we have to teach them the truth.
Have you thought about the truths that you really want your children to understand? Join me for 31 days of heart conversation as I share the truths that have shaped our family.