Today I finished reading "The Love Dare for Parents" by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. I have an advanced reader copy, which was given out at the Gospel Coalition Conference I attended in April. The book includes 40 days of devotional material followed by a dare for a parent to complete in regards to loving his or her child. It's a good book with helpful, practical advice. It's not my favorite parenting book ever, but it's been a useful tool in reminding me what matters and staying the course in Biblical parenting in everyday ways.
One thing I especially appreciate in this book is an appendix offering up a list of questions parents can ask their kids. I am admittedly poor at drawing my kids out. I am too often focused on a task at hand and usually give a mere "Uh-huh" in reply to my kids. I often miss the beautiful opportunities right before my eyes to engage them and love them and spur them on. The list found in this book will be a helpful tool for me for years to come. I plan to print it out and leave it near the dinner table so I can use it frequently.
How are you doing? What have you been up to lately?
What are you really looking forward to in the next few weeks?
What do you like most about your life right now?
What do you like least about your life right now?
Is there anything you are really stressed or worried about?
Hope and Dreams
What are some things you've always wanted to do one day?
What do you wish your life could look like five years from now?
If you could do anything at all and get paid for it, what would your dream job be?
If you could spend a day with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
What is something you would really love to be given as a gift?
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
What have I done for you in the past that made you feel really loved?
What could I do for you in the future that would help you feel loved?
Of the following things which would you enjoy most: 1) being held or having your back rubbed for awhile, 2) sitting and talking for an hour about anything you would want to talk about, 3) having someone serve you and help you work on a project you really want to do, 4) hearing someone encourage you and share with you things they like about you, or 5) being given a nice gift.
What are three things I do as a parent that you really like?
What do you think would make me a better parent if I could change some things about myself?
What are some things you would do differently when you parent your child one day?
What words would you like to hear from me more often?
Have I hurt you or wronged you in any way? Are you angry with me right now?
Do you have any questions for me? Is there anything bothering you right now?
How can I pray for you?
Heart to Heart
Are you happy with your life right now?
Do you like being in our family? Do you like being you?
What have you been thinking about a lot lately?
Who do you feel the most safe talking to and being around? Why?
Has anyone ever hurt you, and you have not been able to forgive them?
If you could go back in time, what are some things you would do differently?
Is there anything you are afriad to tell me because of how you think I might respond?
How are you doing in your relationship to God right now?
What is the next decision that you think God would want you to make for Him?