[4] real world parents: ages 9-10

day 4 of the real world parents blog series,and it has been a great week! if you’ve missed any posts, you can catch up here & here!

today, doug olson discusses ideas for parents with children ages 9-10. may it spark fresh thoughts for you today!

i recently read real world parents by mark matlock. as a parent i was impressed with how at ease mark made me feel. as a parent of 3 boys, ages 13, 11 and 10 and a girl, age 8, i often find myself questioning everything. knowing that i am held accountable for the spiritual development of my kids, everything from school choice to what they watch on tv to what they hear and repeat is constantly being evaluated and reviewed for it’s appropriateness. matlock put me at ease when he showed that each family’s dna is different. how encouraging!

matlock shows us that we all need to make a decision: do we follow the world’s story or god’s story?  as a parent i know this, the problem is how do we move to make the decision to follow god’s story for our kids. this is especially important for children ages 9-10 as these kids are learning how to make good decisions and use wise discernment. matlock suggests a series of questions that can be applied when kids are trying to make good media decisions. start by encouraging the child to consider, “should i watch this?” knowing that they should or should not watch a certain show is something a 9 and 10-year-old kid knows. but matlock suggests pushing the conversation further by encouraging children to make good decisions based on these questions:

  • have I had enough already?
  • have my parents said no?
  • will consuming (watching, listening or playing) this media make it easier to sin or do good?
  • will it make me struggle with fear?
  • will it cause me to struggle with sexually (yes even at 9-10 years old!) inappropriate, confusing or immoral thoughts?
  • will it cause me to struggle with anger? (maybe the biggest question for gaming and this age group)

these are presented as a way to help our 9-10 year olds think about their media saturation whether parents are present to help them or not. these steps are very practical and useful as a parent of these almost pre-teens who are enthralled with the world’s story. the hope is for them to be enthralled and live out god’s story.

i like the way matlock was straightforward and descriptive in his presentation of tools for parents to make sure the whole family is following and living god’s story. matlock was very particular in not making us feel like failures because we are messed up in our parenting. our kids were not born with instruction booklets. god did not spell out how to raise our kids. i was impressed with the practicality, specificity and ease of implementing some serious spiritual direction in our kid’s lives.

thank you, doug! a fantastic tool for helping our children make wise media decisions! lemon lime kids’ readers, i would love to hear from you – what are some resources you offer parents with children ages 9-10?

doug olson: doug is the father of 4 awesome kids(3 boys and a girl), married to his beautiful bride for almost 19 years and a teacher of the mentally impaired. after serving his current church as part time cm director for 4 years, doug is currently seeking god’s direction into a full time children’s ministry position with emphasis on families and parents.


3 responses to this post.

  1. My favorite resource to offer parents of children aged 9-10 = prayer. Just kidding – sort of. 🙂 I don’t have a particular resource, but I do have a word of advice based on my own experience. As the parent of a nine year old and a teenager, I’ve found that you should have a sense of urgency with your 9-10 year old. The list of questions in this article is great. Don’t wait until kids are 14, 15, 16 to teach them to process things this way. By then, your job will be much harder.

    Thanks for this great series!


  2. Wayne makes a great point-urgency. We must be very deliberate with our children, including what and when to teach them something. Waiting until there’s an issue to teach them is defensive parenting. We should be offensive in our parenting if we expect them to learn habits that will keep their choices wise.


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