No part of parenting is easy.
Whether we’re responding to our fifteen-month-old’s cries from the crib or our fifteen-year-old’s texts from the mall, we’re constantly improvising.
Hoping that what we’re doing comes close to what’s best for our kids.
Part of that is inevitable. Parenting will always be a messy dance of art and science.
But what if there was research that removed at least some of the guesswork about what is best for our kids — both now and long-term? What if we could learn from proven tools and ideas that would help us create a plan for our families?
There is a much greater chance kids will stay connected to God if faith is modeled and talked about in the home.
We know that preaching, lecturing, or ignoring faith issues in our families doesn’t work.
But developing faith-building rituals and conversations do work.
At North Pointe we have a commitment to resource families to help them grow their faith at home. As part of our support to families we recommend the following book:
“The Sticky Faith Guide For Your Family: Over 100 Practical and Tested Ideas To Build Lasting Faith in Kids”
Every parent serious about helping their children grow a sustainable faith, needs this resource in their home.
Here is one practical idea I picked out of the one hundred. The idea comes from the chapter on “Community.”
The 5:1 Ration For Hope
One study shows that 18 percent of youth group graduates who remain connected to the church had five or more adults invest in them spiritually and personally between ages fifteen and eighteen.
We’re talking about five adults who know your kids’ names. Who pray for them. Who show up occasionally at your kids’ gymnastics meets or volleyball tournaments. Five adults whom you have vetted as safe and caring people who can form a web of support to catch your kids when they stumble and fall.
The importance of surrounding young people with a team of caring adults is well captured in the term “social capital.” The core idea of social capital is that social networks have value, increasing the productivity and well-being of individuals and groups.
The value of social capital in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health of children and teenagers has been well documented. In his widely acclaimed book, “Bowling Alone,” Harvard University faculty member Robert D. Putnam summarizes,
“Statistically, the correlation between high social capital and positive youth development is as close to perfect as social scientists ever find in data analyses of this sort.”
• If you were to ask your kids, “Which adults do you like?” who would you guess they would mention?
• Instead of guessing, when can you actually ask your kids that question?
• How can you involve those adults more in the life of your family?
The 5:1 Wallet Card
Barbara’s nine-year-old daughter, Emma, was asked to write a list of the five adults who were most important to her, outside of her parents. Pleased by this exercise, Barbara wanted this list to leave an indelible 5:1 mark on Emma.
First, Barbara asked Emma to place the names and phone numbers of those five people in Emma’s wallet and in her school notebook so she’d always have them with her.
Second, Barbara encouraged Emma to call each of the five, letting them know that she had listed them for school and now carries around with her their names and phone numbers.
Imagine how it would feel to get that call from Emma, informing you that she had selected you as one of the five adults most important to her. The beauty of 5:1 is that it’s powerful not only for the kids but also for the adults.
Order the Kindle version or paperback version here.
Eleven Themes in the Sticky Faith Guide
1. You Get What You Are: Modeling Sticky Faith
2. Handling Mistakes: Showing Sticky Forgiveness
3. Warm Family Relationships
4. Connecting: Finding Ways to Relate to Your Teenager
5. Community: The Power of Five Faith-Building Adults
6. Grandparents and Seniors: The Magic of Intergenerational Interaction
7. Communication: Talking Faith With Your Kids
8. Vacation: Downtime Ways To Build Sticky Faith
9. Home Sticky Home: Making Your Home a Hub of Faith
10. Service That Sticks: Putting Family Faith to Work
11. Sticky Transitions: Helping Kids Leave Home With a Faith of Their Own
I was provided with a free eBook version by Book Look Bloggers to review.
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