Raising A Modern Day Knight (and Warrior Maiden)
A great Book I read on raising boys into Men (and girls into Women) is: Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis. This a book for Fathers about raising their sons, but my husband and I both read it and have applied a lot of the ideas and principles to raising our daughter as well. The idea goes back to Part 1 of this post; being purposeful parents (making every moment count), giving our children and young adults purpose as they grow, and giving them landmarks or ceremonies so that they realize that they are becoming more responsible and have reached a new stage in their development and life.
In Part 1 I explained why our children need landmarks. In a world increasingly more undefined, young adults are feeling lost and purposeless. As a house church, we have discussed this and what we could possibly do to help them understand their roles and understand their purpose as adults in the Kingdom of God on this earth.
One on One time – The first thing we decided to do is have regular one on one times with our children. I take my daughter on a “girl’s night out” and my husband takes one boy at a time on their night (or afternoon) out. We have been doing this once a month with each child and so far it has been easy to keep up. For starters, the children don’t let us forget. They are very excited about these outings. These outings are (yes, you hear it a lot) purposeful.
- Overall, our goal is to open communication. We encourage them to talk to us about what makes them happy, upset, scared, etc. With some kids this is easy, with others it is like pulling teeth. That is why you must start young. I’ve mentioned before, our nightly ritual of sitting around the dinner table and going around where each person says something great about their day and something not so great. When started young, this doesn’t seem weird to them. Now, they usually start in before we even ask. It’s the same idea; keep communication open. These one on one times give them the opportunity to talk about things they wouldn’t around mom or their siblings. From outing one we brought up things that may seem awkward at other times, so they know that those outings are times for those kinds of discussions.
- They are times to teach lessons. You can talk about sex, their changing bodies, how they feel about their friends. Think about it before hand. Don’t drill them, but bring it up and encourage them with questions. This past time my husband had to talk to my 11 year old about how to treat girls. His testosterone is starting to climb and he is enjoying his new found strength over his sister – and yes, his mother. He likes to try to wrestle me just so he can throw me around. He has also started pushing his limits with what he can get away with. An outing was a great opportunity for his dad to talk to him one on one about his changing body and the responsibility that comes along with it.
- They create bonds. One of my sons has been closer to me than my husband. As he is growing older, I would really like to see his connection with his dad grow. Since they have started their nights out, I am beginning to see this happen.
- Where? Go out to eat at a cheap sit down restaurant where you can talk. Take a hike. Or your talking can take place on a drive, where maybe you are going to help someone out or buy manly things to build manly stuff ;-). The skies the limit, just make sure you can have that purposeful time.
Part 3 – “Ceremonies” coming soon
Sorry about the delay between posts. Sometimes being a purposeful parent takes up a lot of time.