You’re finishing up the school year. You don’t want to teach anymore. You really just want to send the kids out into the yard to play and enjoy their childhood. They don’t need to know that the city up the road is burning, do they?
I promise, you’re not alone if this has crossed your mind. My friend just said last week, “I don’t even know what I think or how I feel. I haven’t had time to process it. How can I start talking to my kids?”
I believe we are living in a historical moment. And I believe–depending on where we live and the make-up of our family and our church and our community–that it is possible to entirely miss it. I live less than 20 minutes from a spot of street where protestors were tear-gassed last week, and if you walked down my street, you’d never know it happened.
We are praying for you. We are your allies in imagination, and together, we want to imagine a better world. And even for those of us who can’t do a whole lot, well, there are kids in our lives. And we can tell them stories–stories of what has happened and what is happening and what could be. And stories of the way it ought to be.
For the mending.
Around the Web
How Acknowledgment and Lament Lead to Healing
We continue in a difficult season, having painful conversations about race, power, justice, and how our societies handle these things. Latasha Morrison is a teacher, leader, and author whose voice has spoken out for biblical justice and and the church. As you are walking through how to process everything going on in our world and how to talk with your children about them, Latasha’s voice may be helpful to you.
- Growing up, I felt a great divide between my mom and me.
We were emotionally detached and distant.
Things came to a head in college as I sat on my bed and tried to remember whether my mom had ever told me she loved me.
I knew she loved me, of course, but had she ever verbalized it? Looking back over my childhood, though I had everything I needed, I felt something was missing.
And because my dad was more verbally expressive, because he told me all the time how much he loved me, the lack of verbalization from my mom stood out even more.
Was something wrong with her? Was something wrong with me?
Why could she barely bring herself to hug me?
And why did her siblings find it difficult to express love too?
In college, as a new follower of Christ, I began to process my childhood. I acknowledged the things that were holding me back in my relationships with others, this issue with my mother being primary among them.
Three tips on teaching your children about racism
There are a ton of great resources out there for this conversation. This is just one. I’d also encourage you to let your kids lead you to the questions you need to ask and dig into together.
- Parenting is hard, but learning how to parent as a white mom to black, white, and biracial children and discuss racial issues with them has been quite the journey. They are not naïve to the realities of living in a broken society. I’m burdened that talking about racism and racial reconciliation is a conversation that we need to have because we bear the responsibility of training them up in the Lord in our family and faith community. Raising children who not only see the brokenness in our society, but know that the gospel speaks a better word is powerful. So, here are three tips on speaking to your children about racism.
Why Children Need Legos Now More Than Ever
When my now-brother-in-law was in fourth grade, he and his brother created a massive LEGO airfield with planes and hangars and workers and more in my parents’ family room. When they got up to leave, they turned to my mom, “Will you leave it there until we come back?” they asked. The problem was they were about to return to Africa for another four years, so it was sadly out of the question. But since marrying into the family 25 years ago, he’s regularly re-made LEGO landscapes in my parents’ home and dragged in the grandkids into the process. It’s a little harder to say no to them.
- Parents in their thirties and forties have a curious habit of calling Legos “good toys,” which is generally not the way they describe toy trucks, dolls, tops, jacks, and so forth. Trucks and dolls might be good toys, but children of the 80s and 90s speak of Legos with the same reverential tone and conviction other people use when speaking of “a good man” or “a good woman.” And yet, the same people who commend Legos as “good toys” usually go on to qualify the claim by disparaging many Lego sets of recent years, especially the ones which are based on movie franchises. We are far more opinionated about Legos than other toys.
The Habit Podcast: Michael Ward
If your family are Narnia lovers and you haven’t had a chance to dive into Michael Ward’s fascinating research and thesis about the books in his book Planet Narnia, that’s okay–it’s a little hard to make time for fascinating academic research when you’re raising a family, running a home, working, and generally being an adult. But if you’ve got a few minutes to listen, Jonathan Rogers interviewed Michael Ward on The Habit Podcast and you’ll get an intro to his work.
- In this episode, Jonathan and Michael discuss Michael’s surprising thesis about the Narnia books, the medieval notion of the “music of the spheres,” and the necessity of allusivity in communicating theological reality.
Around the Warren
A Taste for Books
Carolyn Leiloglou helps us think through how we can develop an appetite for books in our kids.
- When my third child was a toddler, I let her have a short amount of “crib time” each day while I homeschooled my oldest daughter. I turned on a calming CD, tossed some soft toys and board books in, and slipped off while she was playing. It was a great way for me to get some quick, focused bursts of school in with my oldest, but it did have a cost. Those beloved board books, which had held up remarkably well through my older two children and which I planned to pass on to my grandchildren (hello, over-planner), were practically destroyed, whole covers gnawed through. I’m not exaggerating.
Review: Where is Wisdom?
Kelly Keller introduces Scott James new picture book.
- If you asked me what book of the Bible on which I might expect to find a children’s book to be based, the book of Job would not be the first to spring to my mind. Job’s first few chapters, lest we forget, are a minefield of sadness. As the book progresses, Job’s wife and friends teach us how not to respond to someone who is suffering.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Even as you begin to spend more time with those outside your immediate family unit, you’re still probably going to have more online interactions than you used to in the coming months. Here’s a great list of board games that work on a virtual call!
Something to Watch
The biblical concept of “peace” is so much more than the absence of conflict. This video from The Bible Project digs into the idea throughout scripture of “Shalom.”
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team