I've been sharing my thoughts about the book No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch. You can read my full review of the book here. And you can preorder the book from Amazon here No More Perfect Kids: Love the Kids You Have, Not the Ones You Want . But if you wait until the book's official launch in March, you can also get lots of bonus goodies when you purchase. So keep your eye out, and I'll be posting more about that later.
I think often about what I want my kids to be. What does God have for them to do? What is His purpose for them. The first question in the shorter catechism is one I've taught my children from the time they could talk- "What is the chief end of man?" To glorify Him and enjoy Him forever." That really sums it up. The big purpose of our loves is to glorify God. It's important to help our kids think about how they can do that.
In this chapter Jill suggests ways to help kids find their passion for serving God by serving others. It's important to involve children in ministry from the time they are young. When we are involved in ministry, we can take our kids along. This provides ways for them to minister and also gives opportunities for discussion about helping others and serving God.
Jill emphasizes that it's important to have confidence in our kids' ability to accomplish things. When we indicate that we feel like they can do it, they are more likely to be able to. I love the example she gives of her son deciding to hold a sword throwing demonstration to raise money for his older siblings' mission trip. He practiced and practiced while she doubted any money would be raised. She chose to believe in him, though, and to support him. And in the end, people did come and he raised $100 for the missions project. When we communicate faith in our kids' abilities, they feel more competent.
The last thing Jill discusses in this chapter is something we still struggle with- the use of technology. Technology can impact kids' view of their purpose. Too much technology can leave kids feeling as if they have a right to be entertained and to be happy all the time. It can also affect their real life relationships. The constant balance of using technology for fun and too much technology is a hard one to maintain. We set limits on our kids' media time. We also try to guard against technology preventing us from interacting with each other. I try to suggest something interactive like a board game for nights when we are all home so that we don't fall into the habit of all diving up and heading off to our own device.
We need to guide our children to find their purpose in our family and in the world.
In the next chapter, we'll look at how to help a child who is ready to make changes in his life.