Michael Kelley:

“Fine.”

Sometimes I wonder if that’s the response that Adam got from Cain when he asked him throughout his life, “So how was your day, son?” I can almost see in my mind Abraham, at over 100 years old, walking into the tent, laying down his cane, and saying the same thing to Isaac, “So, my boy, my great hope, my promise from God… How was your day?”

“Fine.”

It’s the tried and true answer that kids give when they don’t really want to talk about how their day was; something to get their parents off their back so they can go back to the Wii, or the coloring, or the whatever. It’s also the answer that simultaneously infuriates and saddens moms and dads who want to have real interaction with their children that they haven’t seen sometimes for several hours.

I don’t like the answer. I’m not okay with the answer. There has to be more to it than that. In the answer, I feel the waning influence over my children; the reality that over time I will become less and less the main influence in their lives is acutely apparent. We’ve got to push passed the mere “fine” and into the details. But how do you do so with patience and love? Here are a couple of hints that seem to be effective (at least 10% of the time) with our kids who are now age 8, 5, and 2.

Read the whole thing, where he offers five suggestions: (1) Show respect; (2) Establish a regular time and place; (3) Get creative; (4) Be specific; (5) Have fun.

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4 thoughts on “How Was Your Day, Kids?”

  1. Jordan says:

    Love the thinking behind this post. I’m a dad that wants to be involved! I’ve found our five year old daughter is more than willing to share about her day, our 7 year old son tends to be the boy the article describes. But drawing him out by asking about what happened at recess (his favorite aspect of school) will eventually open up a wider door to the rest of his day, and a very natural flow to the conversation vs. an interrogation of who, what when and where.

  2. Brad says:

    Or we could show our kids Jesus, and let then let their questions come to us. Brow-beating our kids with a cross-examination isn’t going to help. And I think the response “fine” is just emblematic of the pat, fill in the blank sort of responses that our kids learn from us.

  3. dean says:

    Hey Isaac…you want to take a hike up a mountain ? Fine…I guess it works both ways, we all like our space but who can get by without interaction & communication.

    Hey dad(very old)what are we going to do on the mountain…

    Learning to value the two & apply them in our lives is an ongoing process.

    1. dean says:

      If i might add, we are all unique, I tend to be a quiet person where as my sister seems to have this idea that silence is a terrible thing that can only be dealt with by her vocal chords.

      We all have our ways, the blessing of family & parenting is an incredible challenge & joy, some things come easy others are frustratiting. Through it all we are called to model Christ the Son & God the father with the aid of the Spirit & Scripture.

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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