This week was a big week for the Berry Boys.
Sunday, I introduced Eli to The Amazing Spiderman movie and in our 5–7am man times this week, we watched Captain America.
There are several loaded facts in the above statement.
- Is Eli old enough?
- Did Mike share in the this joy more than Eli?
- Isn’t Eli 8.5…. what took so long?
Yes, Eli gets up between 5–5:30am most mornings. He’s been an early riser for quite some time. We used to fight it, and work systems of punishment for waking up his parents that early. Now, I just get up with him:) I am more interested and overjoyed with the prospect of many quiet mornings with Eli, sharing thoughts, bible study, books, and 80’s tv shows like MacGyver.
Eli has a very tender heart, which leads to some pretty terrifying dreams at night…. often from things he’s watched or more often from the thoughts in his ever active head. There have been countless nights over the years with him sprinting to our room at night, as if he were being chased out of his skin. We think his visual aptitude leads to some of this fear, along with some random occurrences of sleep walking like behavior.
As we try to guard his heart and his head, we don’t allow him to watch much of what his friends are exposed to at his age. Right or wrong, we know what’s best for our boy and pray the Holy Spirit leads us more than our own efforts.
So, with some trepidation, we sat down to watch The Amazing Spiderman Sunday afternoon. I was prepared to skip past the parts that showed The Lizard or just shut the whole thing down, but he did fine. Then, we picked up Captain America later in the week for his viewing of awesomeness!!
No nightmare images from either movie……. at least I don’t think so. He was woken one night, but with no recollection of why.
I share this, not as a cheap plug at my parenting prowess or awesome super hero knowledge, but as a cautionary tale for anyone who is raising/leading children. They are sponges who absorb everything we throw at them. They hear conversations mom and dad are having, they listen intently to every word a teacher says, they take to heart the barbs thrown at them on the playground, they remember visually every burnt image in their memories, and most importantly, each child is different.
There is no cookie cutter technique or singular book/method to follow. Chasing that perfect method will only make you as frustrated as the Yeti society.
Engage with your kids
Chase their hearts
Listen to their words
Hold them tight, but not too tight
Train them in truth
Show them how much Jesus means to you
Make sure they see you read your bible
Make sure they hear you pray
Teach them that God is for them
Show them that Jesus is better than everything else
Set them free to go into the world with wonder