So the journey to Easter Sunday has begun, we’ve bought the book, we’ve fought for time and started enthusiastically – but we’re just not sure we can keep it up!
Here are some low lights from different families…
- “My toddler son punched his big sister in the face, because he wanted to pray (by pray – we mean hold the book and shout)”
- “Today my wife had to take our 3 yr old away during Bible time because he just kept shouting at the top of his voice ‘I’m not listening!’”
- “My daughter took her brother’s job in the temple scene to push the stuff off the table and a plastic bowl broke – this ended in tears when she was told off (for taking his turn, not for breaking the bowl). The tortoise joined in by wee-ing on the floor – a large post hibernation wee, that I stood in.”
- “My 5yr old was dangling upside down from the kitchen bench doing some sort of dance for most of the time.”
So what should we do?
Pray for help
Even if you have to stop mid-way and put your head on the table – possibly nothing could communicate more to your kids what faith in Jesus looks like.
Keep your joy
Spending time together with God needs to be enjoyed not just endured – so keep it light hearted – laugh at the ridiculousness and engage your kids in a way that works for them be it big chats, big action, more props or more snacks.
Know you are not alone
Not only do you have the all sufficient support of the Holy Spirit, but there are others on this journey with you. Listen to the podcasts to be assured it’s not just your family who sometimes find it hard. Your kids will find the Faith in Kids podcasts encouraging; they may be the only ones in their class who do Bible time but they aren’t the only ones in the world! For parents there are tips and encouragement and reality on offer in the Faith in Parents podcasts.
Give Clear jobs
For those managing siblings, this seems to be a thing – whose turn is it to read, act, pray, in their world of constant competition? Perhaps you need to be clear whose turn it is to do what and recognise that this is actually mis-directed enthusiasm! Thank them for their enthusiasm and tell them who is doing what; maybe give them post it note with their job on, or give a younger child something to hold that you need them to give you or to hand out.
Keep it short
Don’t let it drag on – always better to leave wanting more than having had enough!
Keep on going!
Because there’s good stuff too; even the kid who is dangling upside down on the kitchen bench is taking it in – he surprised his Dad by knowing the answer! And on the days when it feels like it’s been pointless they’re still watching us all the time, and if we’re showing that this is a priority even in the middle of a busy morning, then they’ll ‘get’ that Jesus is a priority and that Jesus is worth having.
A quote from Matt – a Dad of 6!
“If we ever do miss it our eldest kids now point that out quickly—and that alone shows it IS worth it.
Keep going team!! Remember Jesus, who after a day rammed full of needy people and tough questions, even when his mates thought He’d reached His limit, said “let the little children come to me”. (Matthew 19:14)
Thanks to Vicky, Matt and Amy for their honesty!!