These are the best years of a person’s life-childhood! The potty-training phase has been conquered and puberty hasn’t started yet. Can life get any better? Food is free. Friends are easy to make. School revolves around recess. Everyone just wants to have fun!

Don’t you wish you could go back to those elementary years…back when you pretended your bicycle was a race car and playing house didn’t include arguing over which bills to pay this month? During these elementary years parents need to engage the interests of their child to help them discover and apply with confidence the truths of God’s word in their lives.

Elementary-age kids look at the world through a lens different from any other age group. They think like scientists, seeking to discover how things work. They desire to apply the elements they learn to everyday life. There is an innate sense of confidence within them that can’t wait to show you just how smart and fast and strong they really are. And everything sounds like fun!

So how do I engage my child during this phase?

DISCOVER. Elementary students are more likely to try new things than at any other phase in their life, simply because they have more confidence that they can accomplish the task. These are the years they attempt art, music, sports, and crafts. They talk about growing up in a fanciful way where every job is a dream job. The sad fact is if they don’t try it out now, they probably won’t when they go through adolescence. Help your child discover new things. Explore, investigate, and experience as much as you can during these years. Just make sure it remains fun and doesn’t turn into busyness.

APPLICATION. As your child is learning how to run bases, or the names of the planets, or who discovered America, apply moral lessons to every experience. Just in these three examples you can teach your child the value in team sportsmanship, the vastness of creation, and the courage of exploration. Make every opportunity an opportunity to apply a value to your child’s life.

CONFIDENCE. Humans are made in the image of God. God has a plan for your child using the specific talents and abilities placed within them. Let them explore what those gifts are while they are confident, and refuse to let their spirits be broken. Encourage them and cheer them on. Participate in their lives don’t miss it!

Here at Visalia First we make it a point to ENGAGE our kids every week. It’s not just about teaching them the Bible; it’s about helping them discover some basic truths that will change their lives forever. We want them to learn to make the wise choice, to know they can trust God no matter what, and that they should treat others the way they want to be treated. In every element of their “fun,” we are instilling moral values into their lives that will direct their future decisions.

Let your child enjoy this phase of life. Let them be kids. In fact, join them and allow some of your own child-like inhibitions to come out. Discover together the simple things of life and learn something new each week. Apply values and life lessons to every experience. And remember the confidence they have needs to be engaged at every opportunity. Let’s have fun together!