[3] real world parents: ages 6-8

we’re continuing on in our real world parents blog series, today wednesday is day 3 and our focus is on practical ideas for parenting children ages 6-8. in his book, real world parents mark matlock refers to the home as an embassy. he writes, “our homes are embassies, safe havens, sources of hospitality, places where people can come and learn about our heavenly country. about the king who really saved us and whom we serve and follow” (p.66).

this idea of the home as an embassy really connected with me while i was thinking about the early elementary aged child. at this age, kids are actively involved in school, sports, music, art, and tons of activities with friends. it’s important for children at this age to have a safe place where they can relax, feel refreshed, and know they are unconditionally loved.

i love this practical idea from mark on how to create a safe environment at home.

it’s called a family toast! and the idea is to help families practice verbal communication in a safe and positive environment. here’s how it works:

plan on having a toast at a family meal once a week for as many weeks as you have eligible people in your household. assign each person (including the adults) to give a toast in honor of another person in the family—making sure nobody gets left out. the toast should be prepared ahead of time, be five to ten minutes long, and include the following elements:

  • a brief description of the family member’s history and current activities
  • a few words about some of that person’s best qualities or achievements
  • at least one personal story that shows that person in a positive light
  • optional: a verse, a prayer, or a blessing offered on behalf of that person

also, be sure to enforce the idea that this is not a “roast.” nothing should be presented that is unkind or potentially hurtful to the “toastee.” this is about honoring another person out loud and on purpose.

beyond that, encourage creativity. jokes and humor are important parts of giving speeches. quotes from famous people or the bible are often helpful. and it’s essential to keep this little toast to a maximum time; it’s never welcome to talk much longer than your audience is expecting.

a family toast as a practical way to verbally affirm children! i love it! have you tried this in your home? would love to hear how it went, or any additional ideas you have for considering the home as an embassy.

this activity and many others can be found at real world parents activities.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wayne Stocks on June 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. I’m definitely going to use this with my family this summer.


  2. Fantastic idea!


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