In Matthew 16, Jesus presents his disciples with a two-part question. It is a masterful question and one that parents can use with great benefit.
Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” When the disciples finish giving their answers, Jesus makes the question personal. He asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter quickly proclaims that Jesus “is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
This question revealed the content of Peter’s heart. You can use this two-part question effectively to help you understand your children’s thoughts. For example:
“Hey kids, what do you friends say is causing all of the damaging weather the country has been having?”
“What do you think has been causing this weather?”
“What do your teammates say about major league stars using performance enhancing drugs?”
“What do you think about PED’s?”
There are many, many possible situations that this two-part question can help you better understand your children. For this to be effective, your concern and questions must genuine. They should flow out of normal conversations. This is a tool to help you gather data. If you want to use this more than once, then don’t immediately correct an answer that you think is wrong. You are asking for their opinion, don’t penalize children for doing what you asked. Rather, use the answers you receive to help plan positive ways address your children’s thoughts and correct them if needed.
It is always a good idea to follow Christ’s example in interacting with people.
Jay Younts is the author of “Everyday Talk: Talking freely and Naturally about God with Your Children” and he blogs at ShepherdPress.com, where this article first appeared. It is reprinted with permission.