this is the last “installment” of the breathe book i read. it should be noted that the book is under the imprint of MOPS: Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (which I kind of find to be really funny). anyway, i didn’t know that when i bought it, but even though i don’t have any kids, it’s still a really good book and is full of ideas to keep in mind for the day when i actually do have kids.

she really stressed simplifying for our kids’ sakes so that we have time to invest in them and their development and help grow them into strong, intelligent adults rather than letting them too get hooked in society’s cycle of work-work-overwork. here are some of her ideas for raising kids with an eye to deliberateness:

  • the Bible says “Train up a child in the way he should go.” basically, children are like vines, we have to prune and direct them, but ultimately GOD has a purpose for them–not us–and we have to listen to THAT purpose: how he created them and lovingly direct their growth according to the gifts and abilities GOD placed in them.
  • create space in your calendar for days/times with no obligations, so they have time to play–unstructured activities where no adult is directing them. it’s important for them developmentally because it teaches them to direct themselves. that’s why so many kids say, “i’m bored!” they’re not used to entertaining themselves any more! instead, encourage them to solve their boredom for themselves. kids also gain more from spontaneous, imaginative play than from organized sports.
  • limit television, especially commercial television because ads create discontent.
  • limit the number of toys you buy because what they really want and need are our attention and affection. be generous with your time but be careful with how much stuff you throw at them
  • don’t operate out of fear about your children (comparing them with others’) and how denying them things will hurt them in the long run (that they won’t fit in, etc). so long as you’re providing them good things (time with God, time with the family, time to play and imagine and read and explore and learn), then how can you go wrong?
  • family meals are important because it’s there that you can have real-life (and lasting) conversations with them about things that matter: love, respect, family, the future, etc. it’s also where they learn how to carry on a conversation–something that’s losing practice today.