Seeking advice!

After attending the wonderful preschool at our church for three years, E started (and is loving) our wonderful local, public Kindergarten.

We chose this school for many reasons, but knew that our personal values meant that a decision to place her in a public school (instead of one with religious affiliations) meant we were making a commitment to creating some kind of “spiritual curriculum” at home.

So far, this has meant (1) enrollment in the kids’ choir at church (2) more praise music in the car, (3) a commitment to a daily family devotional and (4) our best effort at more focus during prayers at home.

So far, I am pretty happy with the results.  The music in the car has made the biggest difference, as it has sparked conversation about who Jesus is, what He did for us, etc.

As far as the devotionals and prayers go, I have realized that my distractedness (at bedtime, during dinner prep, etc.) is the biggest obstacle to both, and I am working on that.  But when we do succeed, those have sparked interesting conversations too, some of which I don’t know how to handle.

Last night was one of those conversations.

We had just set out dinner and said our blessing.  Right after we were done, E announced that her Kindergarten teacher always forgets to say the blessing before snack.

First, I told E how wonderful it was that she was remembering to thank God for her food.

Then I told her that the teacher didn’t forget, and explained that in her school there were so many kids with so many different blessings that instead of one big group blessing, everyone could just say their own.

E responded that this was great, and told us that at the last snack, she had led her little table of 4 kids in our family blessing.

So far, I have basically avoided giving a response.

I will leave the post there and ask for thoughts…I am open to any thoughts at all.

I am particularly interested in two things:

(1) making sure E (a very sensitive child who is a people pleaser and is very proud of doing the right thing in every situation, and has now been told how great it is she is remembering to thank God for her food) is not getting set up for something that will confuse or hurt her (when a wonderful teacher trying to do right by everyone questions or intervenes? by the way, the teacher was absent yesterday.)

and

(2) making sure I handle it in a way I would want another parent to handle it if their child were trying to lead E in something.  I don’t know the families of these other kids, but I respect whatever their beliefs are and want E to do the same.  Keep in mind that our prayer has big hand gestures, so suggesting a silent prayer would need both an explanation of why (she’s 5…everything needs an explanation of why) and possibly a new prayer without gestures?

Advice please!  (via comments or in a phone call or in person!)  I am really a little at a loss on this one…

Anyone want to channel Dr. Phil and give me the script of the week for a talk with E?!

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3 responses to “Seeking advice!

  1. I have no advice, just love when I picture E leading other tiny people in prayer before snack. I have no idea how to handle this, but appreciate that you’re trying to be mindful of both her feelings and the experience/beliefs of those around her. I’ll be curious on hearing more from you about daily devos, etc. Kudos to the spiritual “classwork”!

  2. I think it is fantastic and I think you should be proud. E should know that God’s place is everywhere and she shouldn’t be ashamed to pray where she wants. I think it is good to be sensitive both to others with different beliefs and to E who could potentially be confused/hurt, but the truth is, being a vocal Christian will be uncomfortable at some point in her life and why not celebrate the moment now, when it seems to not be. Cross the next bridge when you come upon it…I have a feeling E will be very accepting when she learns not everyone says the same prayers 🙂

  3. I appreciate the comments here and those that have been delivered in person and on the phone! It has given me a lot to think about. The main thing it has helped me realize is that how much I appreciate the love for E. Ultimately, being surrounded by that love is what is teaching her to love and respect all those she encounters. Thank you for being part of the village! : )

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