A friend used the book with her eleven and thirteen year old, by reading it during their devotions. Each day they would read one example from the book and discuss it. If an example didn’t apply to them, they would talk through how it is good for young children to know that and why. The examples were helping them to think through their future parenting views.
As we cover a character trait each week in our home, we start by reviewing our definition and discuss applications. The rest of the week our time starts by asking how everyone is doing with that trait. Each person answers for themselves. Next I ask if anyone has a compliment for someone else. Lastly, I ask if there is anything from the past day that anyone needs to bring up or discuss.
When a conflict is brought up, we talk it through. How could the situation have been handled better? Using the ideas we have covered over the years we come up with a better way for next time. Sometimes the children come up with the conflict resolution and sometimes mom has to point the way. Most often with a little information everyone is fine, but once in awhile a child will hit a wall and only see things from their perspective.
When no progress seems to be happening, I will end the discussion by addressing the child that is stuck by reminding them that we all love them. They can be assured we are not purposefully trying to hurt them and any negative thoughts are not the truth. When it comes to our family we only want good for each other; mistakes are made, but we forgive and move on.
Don’t let fear of not knowing what to say keep you from talking through life with your child. Listening and relating are very powerful parenting tools. Speak from your heart and it is ok to even say “I don’t know how to handle that” then pray together. Beg God for wisdom too, He is amazingly faithful.