How to Talk to Your Kids About Everything
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.Deuteronomy 6:4-7
A little girl came home from school and asked her mother, “Mommy, where did I come from?” The mom swallowed hard as she knew this day would come; she composed herself and began to explain the miraculous way that moms and dads who love each other create children. After a long explanation, the mom paused and asked if her daughter had any questions. The daughter hesitated and then said, “No, Julie told me she was from Dallas, and I was just wondering where I came from.”
In the scripture above there is a very important principle for communicating with our children. The principle of “when you walk” is a golden bullet for maintaining healthy, long-lasting communication with your children that lasts through adulthood. The “when you walk” principle reminds us to be sure we understand the question and not to give more information than our child will absorb.
When You Walk…
- you are not an educator but a loved one.
- you are giving out age-appropriate information not gigabytes of data.
- you are going about your daily routine not having special briefings.
- you are intentional and not reactionary.
When-you-walk communication should happen FAR more than “family meetings.”
We need to remember that children are not college students who are in a class on XYZ ready to absorb all the information stored in our minds. Equally, we need to remember that in a crisis our kids don’t need every detail as much as they need your calm assurance. Children sense your emotional responses to circumstances.
“When you are walking” through anything you know that the Lord walks with you to give you assurance and we get to do the same with our kids. (see Psalm 23) So, during this Covid-19 crisis, your child may not need a full CDC report and only needs to know that people are getting sick and we are being careful and trusting the Lord.
Of course, the “when you walk” principle is designed by God for the transmission of our faith which is a far weightier subject than Covid-19 or other natural disasters. So, let’s answer our kid’s questions in ways that they can absorb as we are continuing to walk through these times together!