Friday, June 13, 2008

“We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

Yesterday, Sandra and I attended a 6th grade graduation ceremony for our daughter and foster daughter, and next Tuesday will be their last day as elementary school students. They are now being launched into the wonderful world of Junior High. Jean Piaget became famous in the realm of child psychology for his theories of developmental stages in children. He would say that right now, they are going through a transition from the “concrete-operational” stage to “formal-operational” stage. They will begin thinking more and more in abstract concepts and less in concrete terms, they will begin showing more logical reasoning skills, and drawing their own conclusions from information they receive. Whether you agree with him or not, any parent will tell you that the transition from pre-teen to teen and from elementary school to Junior High is a time of incredible and profound change!

This is a point where we begin to teach them more “principles to live” by instead of just “rules” alone. So, Sandra is putting together a series of devotionals to teach to the kids, which cover the following principles.

1. The principle of Respect. Respect for each other (the way we speak and act toward one another), respect for each other’s time, respect for each other’s property and privacy, respect for authority (use the “appeals process” if there is a question about what is being asked … look for a description of the “appeals process” in an upcoming post).

2. The principle of Truth. Being completely honest in words and having integrity in actions, being honest in who we are: not changing the way we act and talk based on who we are with.

3. The principle of Responsibility. We all take responsibility for ourselves, our part in the household. Taking care of your room, helping with dishes and other things as requested. Keeping our own things in our own rooms, cleaning up after ourselves, if you take something out - put it away. This also includes acting responsibly in all choices and actions (no excuses), being on time, communicating where we are going to be, being where we say we are going to be.

4. Principle of Purity. Some people ask, “how much can I get away with and still be a Christian?” we want to ask, “How much can I honor God and love Him?” The principle of purity should be applied to the way we relate to the opposite sex, the way we dress, the way we talk, the things we look, the things we read, the things we watch and the things we listen to.

We keep this list of principles to live by posted in our house, along with how living by these principles will help them gain trust which leads to freedom. Tune in next week for a tip on giving your teens and pre-teens the tools to earn your trust and experience the freedom that they so desperately want.

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