It was a movie my teenage boys were excited to watch. But as the plot thickened, it wasn’t hard to notice some underlying themes potentially sending unhealthy messages. I felt that we either needed to pick another movie, use this as a springboard for further discussion, or both.
As dads, we’re faced with challenges to the health of our child’s worldview on a regular basis. However, this isn’t always a bad thing. It can often be just the excuse or prodding you need to have necessary and healthy conversations about tough topics that are shaping your kids. Here are 5 easy ways to guide your child’s worldview.
1. Watch movies.
In the situation I mentioned earlier, it ended with my boys and me having a great conversation about the worldview implications at play and how we could learn from them. Watching movies together as a family provides a natural way to discuss many important topics and questions that will shape your child’s worldview. “What emotions did you feel? What would you have done in their shoes? What life choices, motivations, or consequences did you see at play?”
2. Explain tragedies.
It almost seems like a daily occurrence that our attention is diverted to tragedies in the world around us. Yet these events hold so much potential to be used as opportunities for growth and discussion with our kids. When the broken world around us displays just how broken it is, our kids’ eyes and ears turn to us for answers and direction. Whether we see it or not in the moment, these talks are influencing the lens through which our kids see their world.Observations of friends’ and family’s life choices can be impactful life lessons for your kids.
3. Talk about politics.
Politics reveal where the culture is and where it’s often headed. For good or bad, it gives us a glimpse into the overall views and values of a society and its leaders. Depending on their age and interest, your child’s moral and spiritual compass easily can be steered through discussions about politics and politicians. Their power, policies, and problems can provide many healthy conversation starters. They have for our family.
4. Learn from other people’s choices.
I’ve always told my kids, “Learn from the mistakes of others, so you don’t have to repeat them yourself.” Observations of friends’ and family’s life choices, and the good or bad that has come from them, can be impactful life lessons for your kids. A child’s worldview is often influenced by efforts to mirror the lives of others they are close to. Discussing these real-life examples can be life-giving to your child because they hit so close to home.
5. Tap into the realities of life.
When our $2k well water pump went out recently, it provided a great opportunity to discuss financial lessons with our boys and the importance of things like an emergency fund. Mistakes, hardships, and life lessons in real-time are worth pointing out and discussing with our kids. These are almost effortless opportunities to invest “life-in-the-real-world” nuggets of wisdom into our kids if we’re paying attention.
Sound off: Which of these five ways resonates with you most?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What’s a recent life lesson you learned from someone or something?”