What Kids Need: Participation in a Faith-Based Community
We have been talking about resilience and how it adds a Teflon® coating to young people making them less vulnerable to the distractions of life and more able to bounce back during the tough times. Participation in a Faith-Based Community one or more times a week also adds this value to kids. Once again, those “good kids” are part of these programs, so by participating in a religious community, they are with some good kids. We know that the people your kids are with will rub off on them eventually, good or bad, so why not select the good. As a young person, I participated in our local church by going to church services and attending Sunday school regularly. It was a family event where we all went and had various groups of which we were apart.
If possible, allow your kids to share in the decision about where to attend religious services. Their selection will help them to stay with regular participation and add to their decision making an influence. It is also essential that the parents also participate along with the child. Dropping off your kids does not send the right message. If they are in Sunday school, join an adult Sunday school class that interests you. Churches have a wide variety of Sunday school classes for adults that focus on various topics. Pick one that works for you and attend that while your child attends their age level class. My father volunteered at the church as well, which enhanced our staying power of attending regularly. He had duties upon which the church depended each week. Therefore we went to church regardless of a late-night before or not. Being there, and being there regularly was essential to our family.
Be sure to schedule other events for the family around church and youth groups commitments. I feel very strongly that once a commitment is made, a young person needs to be taught to stick with it. Of all the things I learned from my parents, sticking to things until you were finished and doing a good job was the most powerful lessons I learned. These have served me very well throughout my life, and I have used them in every area as I live on the planet. Get your kids to make a commitment to a religious community and fully participate yourself. I think you will see a big difference in the whole family.
Yours for Better Parenting,