They have so many things to deal with that I never once came up against, plus all the same hard stuff I did face as a child, too. Sometimes I feel like I'm somewhat equipped to help them through a situation because I've been there before, but in other situations I'm completely lost. All I can do is pray and listen to the spirit and hope that I'm doing right by my child.
One of the things my husband and I have done for a while (though we need to do it more often than we currently do), is a "whole soul" assessment of each child. We sit down together and we discuss how our children are doing in five areas:
It's a really wonderful thing to do as parents because sometimes he notices things the girls are doing that I don't, and vice versa. Then we discuss possible ways we can help them in the areas they are struggling.
And that's always been the hard part! Because we don't always know how to help them through those struggles—especially when we've never faced them before.
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That's why I was so thrilled to be given a copy of 30 Days to a Stronger Child to review and use with my children. This book is divided into those same five categories, and each category is then divided further. In the Social chapter you will find things like friendship and boundaries, while in the Emotional chapter you will find things like empathy and self-confidence.
Not only does this book give my husband and I more concrete criteria to base our assessments on, it helps us to teach our children to build their strength in each of these categories. Every single day they face things that deplete their "accounts" so to speak. They may be bullied and have a depletion in their social and emotional accounts, or they may have to do a difficult school project that depletes their intellectual account. And spiritual accounts are constantly being depleted, just by virtue of walking out the door in the morning.
If they are not also strengthening themselves in these areas, it makes it very difficult for them to cope when they are faced with stress and other dilemmas. I want my kids to be able to cope in a healthy way when they face these things!
We started using this book together last week. There are many ways you could choose to use it, but since my kids are a bit older (two teenagers and a 9-year-old), I chose to just read it with them and talk about the discussion questions together.
It has also allowed us to talk about their natural gifts and strengths as we come up on things that some of them are naturally better at doing already or the things that they struggle with. It has opened up a lovely dialogue in our home and I am so thankful I found it! It came at the perfect time for our family.
The authors of this book also have a wonderful website: Educate Empower Kids. It has a ton of wonderful resources for helping your children through various things and continuing to make them stronger. They also offer several other books that look to be extremely helpful in educating and empowering our children:
30 Days of Sex Talks: Ages 3-7
30 Days of Sex Talks: Ages 8-11
30 Days of Sex Talks: Ages 12+
How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography
See the linky parties I link up to here.