Book Review: Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions

Answering Kid's Toughest QuestionsFrom Book Description

“Mother/daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson will carefully walk you through difficult conversations, one topic at time. Speaking from personal experience, informed by child development research, these two moms offer practical insights and age-appropriate guidance. Talking about tough topics may not be as hard as you think, and, more important, you’ll see how these conversations can lead to meaningful discussions of God’s unchanging goodness.”

My comments

Answering Your Kid’s Toughest Questions is an important book, and does just what it says – giving parents suggestions and guidance in discussing difficult topics with their children. The book tackles death, sexuality, violence, and even challenging bible stories, and does so from a solid Christian basis.

I particularly like how the authors break down each topic into three different age groups (preschool, 5-10, 11 and up), giving the parents ideas on how to talk to each group of children on their level. And, it does so in a way that is respectful to  child asking the questions, and respectful of the person “committing” the sin. At the beginning of the book, and throughout the suggested dialogue, the authors remind the child (and the parents reading the book!) that sin is about loving someone/something above God as a prelude to the discussion. For example, in the part of the book where sexual sin is discussed, one of the answers begins as:

“Everybody does things they think will make them happy. Sometimes you take toys that are not yours because you want to play with them and you think they will make you happy. You know that taking toys is wrong and that God tells you not to do it…” (page 108)

Also, although I read the book from cover to cover for this review, it is not required. You can easily skip around the book reading the topics most interesting or applicable to your situation and your child’s questions. Think of the book as a handbook and have it near when you need help answering your child’s questions!

Overall, the book is well-written and very helpful. I do have to admit, coming from a Catholic Christian perspective, I missed the inclusion of Church teaching (particularly from the Catechism) and wisdom from the saints. Not that I was expecting them, mind you, knowing the book is written from a different Christian perspective; and really, the book does a wonderful job dealing with formidable topics that are hard to discuss with children without them.

I absolutely recommend the book and give it four (4) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House <http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers> book review  program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

What is the Cost of a Child? Priceless!

Right before the New Year, someone posted the following statistic on Facebook:

 “If you have a child in 2012, from then till 18 it will cost $256,000.00 for basic care.”

Basic care includes health care, clothes, etc. Not the extras, such as sports or music lessons and such.

What I found the most interesting and sad wasn’t this statistic as much as the comments to it.

People made comments similar to “I am so glad I don’t have a kid.” “No wonder our economics are the way they are! and others. The gist of the comments were that children are a burden and too expensive.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that raising a child isn’t expensive. I have a son. I know how expensive it is. But so often we focus on the negatives of having children. (Even people who are decidedly pro-life can fall into this trap!) It is the sense of entitlements and “me, me, me” in society is one of the things that make people see children as a bad thing, rather than a good thing. Here in America, and I daresay in other countries, too, money has become more important than people.

This belief contributes (but in no way is the only reason) to the acceptance of abortion, the prevalence of abuse of children (in all of its forms) and the respect of life in all its stages.

I would like to propose an alternative. Children are a blessing. PEOPLE are a blessing, whether they are old, disabled, or mentally impaired. Every single person is made in the image of God. Without being reckless or foolish, let’s not let money be the only criteria in our response to the life of another human being. Raising a child may be expensive, but it doesn’t really matter how much a child costs. If God gives a child He will help the couple (or the single parent) raise that child, IF that couple (or parent) trusts in Him. The money will be there.

Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t believe in God or have the faith that He will be there for them in any circumstances, including the raising of a child. Let us pray for them. Let us pray for a renewed respect for life and the courage for all people to accept the gift of a child (or children).

 Heavenly Father,

You are an awesome God! Thank you for the gift of life. Thank You for the gift of children. All children are a blessing. Each child, each person, is unique, special and made in Your image. Help us to have a renewed respect for all life, in all of its stages. Help those who see children as a burden or too expensive. Help those who had the courage to raise a child and are now struggling financially, emotionally or spiritually. Raising a child can be difficult and a challenge but it can also be a joy and rewarding. Fill all parents and all soon-to-be parents with Your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Top 10 Scripture Verses to Memorize with Your Children

Memorize scripture with children

(This post, first published in 2010, continues to be very popular. I’ve added a pdf version so that you can print out the verses to use with your family. The link is at the end.)

One of the things we are doing is trying to memorize scripture with Andrew.  We want him to develop a love of scripture, encourage character development and promote growth of virtue. Normally, we make it part of our home-schooling day, but I’ve slacked off a bit over the summer. 🙂

It is a lot of fun learning scripture with Andrew! We make a game of it and we take turns testing each other. He gets a real kick out of “being the “teacher”. lol!

With our home-school starting up again, we are getting back on track. Here some of the scripture verses that we will be working on memorizing over this school year:

1. Colossians 3:20 “Children obey your parents in everything for this is pleasing to the Lord.”

2. Exodus 24:7 “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

3. Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

4. 1 John 4:8 “God is love.”

5. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

6. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

7. Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, as it is the wellspring of life.”

8. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave us His only begotten Son; so that anyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life.”

9. Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

10. Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His mercy endures forever.”

What about you? What are your favorite scripture verses? What favorite scripture verses are you memorizing with your family? Do share in the comments!

(This is linked to Top 10 Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

UPDATE: I made a PDF out of these scripture verses in case you wanted to memorize some (or all) of them with your family. Rather than writing each one out, feel free to print out the PDF here: Scripture Verses to Memorize with Children No opt-in required.