Families and Parents Faith Formation
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Helping Kids Keep the Faith: Four Research Insights Every Parent Needs to Know - Curtis Miller
A new addition to the research on families comes from University of Southern California sociologist Vern L. Bengtson in his book Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations. The book arises out of a 35-year study of families begun in 1970, and focuses on the question of how religion is passed across generations This multigenerational study dispels certain widely-held myths and brings to light some very useful findings. This article reports on four key findings most relevant to families and congregations.
Boys, Girls, and Media Messages in a Digital World - Common Sense Media
Media messages play a powerful role in shaping gender norms, and the shift toward social media means that kids can easily access, create, interact with, and share media messages about boys’ and girls’ roles. These developments present both pitfalls and opportunities, allowing kids to reflect back to the world the gender stereotypes to which they have been exposed; encounter more extreme, unfettered attitudes about gender roles; but also, create positive community norms that encourage gender equity and respect. The deeper that media messages about boys and girls are embedded in young people’s social media lives, the more important it becomes to teach them how to recognize and curb gender biases. Adult mentors are uniquely positioned to have meaningful conversations with kids about media messages, as well as empower them to challenge harmful stereotypes.
Faith-Nurturing Family Activities - Keith Johnson
A spiritual home will produce a spiritual child who matures into a spiritual adult. Here are specific activities to help parents build their children's faith at home
4 Tips for Talking with Your Kids...
1. MOST PARENTS DON’T TALK ABOUT FAITH WITH THEIR KIDS.While most of us would name faith as central to our lives, too often this fails to translate into daily family conversation. Family life tends to focus around the logistics of day-to-day needs (homework, carpool, sports, and activities) to the exclusion of deeper conversations. The good news is that you’ve signed up for a shared experience that can spark all kinds of conversations about faith! In the meantime, look for ways faith can be part of more of your regular dialogue. A great way to do this is simply to share highs and lows around the table at the end of each day. As you do, you might also add questions like “Where did you notice God today?”
2. AVOID INTERROGATION. One common mistake we make as parents is asking our kids all the questions without sharing ourselves. We learned in our Sticky Faith research that teenagers’ faith grows not only when parents talk with them about the kids’ faith, but also about their own faith. Consider starting some of your conversations about faith by sharing some of your own journey with God. That might mean a story from your past or a prayer you’ve been praying this week.
3. NEVER EXPLAIN SOMETHING TO YOUR KID IF YOU CAN ASK A QUESTION INSTEAD.Sometimes we encounter topics, situations, or questions from our kids that are best explored with a question in return. It’s often the best way to get a good conversation rolling, and you may discover that there’s a deeper question or concern below the surface.
4. LOOK FOR OPEN DOORS.As we’ve asked parents when they tend to have the best conversations about faith with their kids, they often tell us that these conversations happen in the midst of life. One parent shared, “We carefully listen and look for doors that might be open. We push very gently and if they open, we walk in.” For each child and teenager in your family, the doors and the times to knock might look different.
This content is from the YouthWorks Family Trip Parent Guide Book, a resource YouthWorks creates in partnership with Sticky Faith.