Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Getting Toddlers And Preschoolers To Sit Still To Be Read To

Ready for a real challenge? How do you get a squirmy, often temperamental and easily distracted 2-year old tot to sit still long enough to read the Bible to him or otherwise engage in a time of devotion? If there were a magic pill for this the inventor would make millions. Alas, we’re talking about a process here, one requiring diligence, consistency and lots and lots of patience. That’s what being a parent is all about, isn’t it?

Why bother starting so early in a child’s life? Wouldn’t it be easier just to wait when he’s at a reading age, after he’s started school and books become a part of his everyday life out of default? He’ll be able to understand more then, won’t he? Wouldn’t it be easier just to wait?

The short answer is, no. Postponing something always seems easer in the short run, and there’s always a way of rationalizing why it’s better to put something off. However, hundreds of research studies have shown the benefits of reading to a child early, and many, many research studies have shown that children who are not read to from an early age demonstrate a distinct disadvantage in their success in both school and later in life.

Of course, we’re specifically looking at the Bible here. Back before schools became a forum for social reform and neutral value indoctrination (sorry, stepped up on my soap box there for a second), children were taught to read so that they could read the family Bible. Always remember our goal: we want to reach our children for the cause of Christ and disciple them in His truths. We want to teach our children, from the earliest age, that we get to know the Lord by spending time in prayer and reading His Word.

As far as whether our toddler will understand what we’re teaching him, I have three responses: 1) there are resources available that we can use (here’s one) that speak to a child that age; 2) we’re planting seeds that with consistent nurturing will grow into understanding; 3) never underestimate the ability of a young child to “get it”, especially with God at the helm.

So let’s find out how to work with our youngsters, getting them to a point of being able to sit still long enough to be read to, especially from the Bible. Check in tomorrow.

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