Our virtue this month at PDS is the True Friend. Stephanie Taylor’s 2nd grade class came up with the following definitions for true friendship. I thought they were worth sharing. I am so thankful for the opportunity to lead our Building Boys, Making Men Program where we strive to teach our boys what it means to be a godly man and how that fleshes out using our 7 Virtues of Manhood.
Friendship is having the courage to…
do the right thing when no one is watching.
lay down your life for one another.
follow your dreams.
stand up for someone else.
help others up.
do what you say.
help someone when they are sad.
say your sorry.
have compassion when someone is hurt.
go play with someone who doesn’t have anyone to play with.
help someone even if they say they don’t need any help.
jump off something 14 feet tall before another to show it’s not scary.
be willing to try new things.
help others when they need help.
help someone even when you don’t have.
stop someone from bullying another person.
I recently read a letter from a dad that was looking for a way to connect with his son whose interests didn’t match up the way with his. Instead of complaining about it, he used to his advantage. This is the letter he sent to some of the car dealerships in his city:
“I’m a desperate dad. I’ll do anything to spend time with my son, and right now he is in to sports cars. Would it be possible if I pulled him out of school and brought him up to your showroom so that we could take some test drives? I want to tell you up front, I’m not interested in buying a car.”
To his shock, he got positive responses from every dealership. He called, made appointments, and scheduled a day of test drives with his son. They tried out every car the son wanted to see. After an incredible day of test driving and discussing which cars they liked the best, this dad decided to make it a strategic event. After a lengthy talk about cars, the dad keenly used the art of the intentional conversation and switched the subject to what God calls us to value. A conversation on materialism grew out of a memory making event.
There are so many lessons to be learned from this strategic dad but I want to point out only one. This dad used a chief memory making moment to lead into an intentional and meaningful conversation with his son. Moms and dads, take note. Our children do not need to be treated like people on the FBI’s most wanted list. We can’t sit them across the table with a spotlight on them and begin our interrogation. Use the opportunities you create as a platform to reaching your child’s heart. You can learn so much by talking in an environment that your son or daughter is comfortable being in. Take time this week to plan a memory making experience and use it as a springboard for intentional conversation. I promise you won’t regret it.
Each time that I speak at a conference or parenting event, people continue to ask me about the Life Ready Skills that we teach at PDS. A few years ago, I wanted to make sure that our boys were on the path towards being Life Ready. I came up with a list of 20 life skills that they needed to complete before they left us in 6th grade. While some are academic and apply to our situation, I think the list is beneficial for all parents. I hope this list helps guide you in the process of teaching your children to be ready for that next season of life.
Life Ready List
1) Wash, dry, and fold a load of laundry
2) Washing the dishes (loading and unloading the dishwasher)
3) Ironing your own clothes
4) Pumping gas
5) Cleaning 101 (bedroom, bathroom, sweep, mop, etc)
6) Cooking basics
7) Grilling 101
8) Community Service work
9) Rules of Dress
10) Lawn Care 101
11) How to tie a tie (regular and bow)
12) Start a fire
13) Study skills 101
14) How to drive a nail
15) Write a handwritten thank you note
16) Conversation etiquette
17) Basic first aid
18) Public speaking (giving a 4-5 minute speech)
19) Completing Flight Plan book
20) Memorizing the manhood definition (A real man glorifies God by seeking an adventuresome life of purpose and passion as he protects and serves others)
What would be on your list? I would love to hear your ideas!