A Precious Conversation with Your Child
by Dan Zeidler
I'd like to share something beautiful with you.
My wife and I read a wonderful book to our children when they were young, and now they read it to their children.
The book is entitled, "Before You Were Born".*
In a positive, appealing way it presents the biological development of the child in utero - scientifically correct but appropriately adapted for a child.
There are similar books for children, but this book has a unique approach, especially in the way it begins. We've adopted this approach and made it our own, and offer you a few suggestions for starting a wonderful conversation with your child.
When it seems to you that the subject might interest your young son or daughter, sit down on the sofa with your child at your side ready to tell him or her a story.
You say, "Sammy" or "Jenny, I'm going to tell you a story - the story of your life!"
(What follows here is how I began to speak to my child, basing myself on the ideas in the first pages of the book. These ideas can be used as a guide regardless of whether you use the "Before You Were Born" book)
"Sammy, Who created the world with all the mountains, the oceans, the sun and the stars?"
Sammy responds, "Well, Daddy, God created the world."
"Very good, Sammy. You are right. And before He created the world and those gigantic mountains, God was thinking of you! He wanted you to come into existence!
"And before putting the sun high in the sky, He was thinking of you, He loved you. He wanted to share His Life with you - to love you and receive your love, too.
"And much, much later, just at the right time, He created you - your life began!
"You were so small at the beginning that neither Mommy nor I knew that you were there, beginning to grow in a special place inside Mommy's body. Then, no one could see you, except God.
"You were so small, just like a tiny fish in the deepest part of the sea. No one sees him, but he is there. Or like a little star far, far away in the sky. It is so far away that no one sees it, but it is there.
"You were growing and growing and one day Mommy found out that you were in that special place inside of her, She was so happy and when she told me, both of us became very happy. We were full of love for you, and very grateful to God for giving us the precious gift which you are!
"Your little body was getting bigger, and your tiny heart began to beat. Your little legs and arms were growing, and your tiny fingers were forming! ... How fantastic, right?"
And in this way, the book continues with more simple explanations (all the way to the day of birth) - all within a context of Love.
It seems to me that the main value of this book is how it explains how much God loved loved your child since before the creation of the world, and He continues loving him.
It explains the child's life in the context of a loving God.
When a mother or father talk to their child with such affection and with this kind of focus, a parent-child connection with God is created that gives real meaning to Life, and is a great influence and reference for the child's whole life.
This method gives parents a practical vocabulary to communicate valuable things to their children, establishing a basis for all of life. - That they are created by and for God who loves them infinitely. Parents can use this vocabulary and this approach as a way to build on many aspects and moments of the child's journey through life.
A child who experiences this will have a powerful spiritual perspective for his or her entire life, and will grow up knowing that he or she is loved not only by their parents but also by God, their Creator, the One who gave them life.
* "Before You Were Born" by Joan Lowery Nixon, originally published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing (Huntington, Indiana), is out of print, but you may be able to find a copy through the Internet, or contact the author of this article: email@example.com
Other similar books or booklets for children can, however, be used in conjunction with the approach outlined in the article above to convey God's Creative Love and Care for your child since even before his or her conception. A pamphlet with beautiful illustrations of the unborn and brief text is “Watch Me Grow”: http://www.littleonepublishing.com/insidebrochure.html
A digital copy of the above article can be found at: http://www.4life4family.org/a-precious-conversation-with-your-child/ A Spanish-language version of the article can be found at: www.4life4family.org/conversa
Family Life Council, Inc.