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Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics Paperback – July 15, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Honest, Loving Answers Children Need to Hear

What should you say when your five-year-old asks about his dying grandma? Or when your seven-year-old wonders if the devil is real? Or when the sixth graders in your Sunday school class are talking about a tragedy they heard about on the news? When it comes to the dark and tragic aspects of our world, it can be hard to know what to say and how much.

Mother/daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson will carefully walk you through difficult conversations, one topic at a time. Speaking from personal experience, informed by child development research, these two moms offer practical insights and age-appropriate guidance.

Talking about tough topics may not be as hard as you think, and, more important, you'll see how these conversations can lead to meaningful discussions of God's unchanging goodness.

"I love this book! I will recommend it again and again. It is street-level theology for children that drips with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Parents, read it, live with it, share it daily with your children, and not only will they learn and grow, you will, too."--Paul David Tripp, president, Paul Tripp Ministries

"This is a scripturally rooted and profoundly wise guide for parents who desire to weave gospel truths into the answers to their kids' toughest questions. I highly recommend this book. It takes the pressure off of parents to have all the perfect answers, reveals the radical nature of God's grace, and weaves the 'scarlet thread of redemption' through every answer."--Jeannie Cunnion, MSW, author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child

"These hard questions aren't random--children wonder about these issues, and they impact our everyday lives. Now talking about these questions doesn't have to be overwhelming for lack of resources. I'm so thankful for Elyse and Jessica's hard work, precision, and focus on Christ in this book."--Gloria Furman, author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

"Martin Luther once said he measured his ability as a preacher by his ability to communicate the gospel to the young. This book is filled with such gospel truth, so simply articulated. No one has helped me connect the gospel to parenting more than Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson."--J. D. Greear, PhD, author of Ready to Launch: Jesus-Centered Parenting in a Child-Centered World and Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

"As a mother of seven, I'm always interested in grace-filled, Bible-based answers to the tough questions of this life. Elyse and Jessica do a beautiful job of balancing truth with grace, while offering parents practical, solid answers to topics that many parents cringe over. I'll be looking at this great guide again and again, not because it contains all the answers, but because the authors humbly point parents back to the only source of truth that's ever existed: the Bible."--Heidi St. John, author and speaker

"This is a great book to help answer the big theological questions of little children."--Pastor Mark Driscoll

"Elyse and Jessica have written a must-have book for parents and those involved with ministry to children. It provides helpful, gracious, wise, and faithful answers to some of the most difficult questions children can ask about the Christian faith.."--Justin S. Holcomb, Episcopal priest and seminary professor

About the Author

Elyse Fitzpatrick is a nationally sought after speaker and author, speaking at such events as The Gospel Coalition and Nancy Leigh DeMoss's Revive Conference. Along with her husband, Phil, Elyse is a member of Valley Center Community Church, a reformed co
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764211870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211874
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I am a Christian.

I am GREATLY blessed with children and grandchildren.

I have served as a PK-12 educator for the past 34 years.

Kids can ask some pretty tough questions.

Kids in strong Bible-believing churches and homes want to make sense of their faith when difficult situations come there way.

As adults, we MUST allow them to sometimes doubt their faith and question the seemingly irreconcilable difficulties in our world. On certain indisputable matters of faith, we adults must be rock-solid in our certainty about the truth of God's Word. But there are certainly mysteries of Christianity which we do not fully understand, nor are able to completely explain to children. And we must allow them to see us wrestling with these issues right alongside them. If we are too certain, dogmatic, or Pharisaical with our answers, our children may not embrace the faith we know should be central to their way of living.

How, then -- as a parent, grandparent, and school administrator -- should I answer their questions about sin, death, Satan, judgment, hell, divorce, adultery, marriage to an unbeliever, doubt, homosexuality, sexual abuse, pornography, natural disasters, violence in the home, war, terrorism, and the Gospel?

I am pleased to report that two authors -- Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson -- have GREAT responses to ALL of these matters in their new book -- Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics (Bethany House, 2014).

I was inspired by the wisdom of this mother-daughter writing team!
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Format: Paperback
Prior to reading Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, I had heard about another book previously written by them, Give Them Grace. As most of you know, I am not at the point in my life to be answering Mason's tough questions since he is only 8.5 months old. However, from seeing friends raise children, I have seen and learned that the time passes quickly and it will not be long before our little fella will be asking tough questions and Matt and I will need to try to answer them.

I really love Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions and think that it is well written. The first thing that I discovered and loved about the book is that Jessica, the main author, tells upfront that she does not have all of the answers. She is honest about how hard it can be to answer your kids' tough questions about life, death an all in between.

In each section of Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions, a difficult question is presented such as: What is Sin? Who is Satan? What is Hell? Why do People get Divorced? and many more questions. The authors give scripture to support answers to the questions. There is a section of each chapter where answers are provided for Preschool age children, age 5-10 and 11 and beyond. I LOVE that component of the book because it will help me as a parent to be aware of what my child may be able to understand.

Lastly, I love that the book points to the parent and explains the importance of being aware of these situations before the questions may be asked especially related to death. Don't wait until a death occurs in the family to talk about it with your children. Talk about it when you are able. Also, don't take the book word for word.
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Format: Paperback
Recently I finished the book, Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and daughter Jessica Thompson.

I chose this book because of the authors. I have read two other books by Elyse Fitzpatrick (Because He Loves Me and Give Them Grace) and one of the same by Jessica Thompson (Give Them Grace), and I appreciate the gospel/grace message they use throughout their writing.

This particular book addresses 8 tough questions/topics parents most likely will face with their children:

"What is Sin?,"
"Why Do People Die?,"
"Who is Satan? What is Hell?,"
"Why Do People Get Divorced?,"
"Why Does the Bible Say That? Difficult Bible Stories,"
"Why and How Do Some People Sin Sexually?,"
"Why Does God Let Natural Disasters Happen?," and
"Why Do People Fight and Kill?"

After an explanation of each topic, the authors give three different answer summaries, based on age, to help the parent explain on the right level. The first summary is for the preschool age, the second is for ages 5-10, and the last is for ages 11 and up.

After finishing the book, I found it a quick read, easy to understand, and a good refresher on each topic. For me, I'd already thought through the majority of these questions and found answers myself, however, this is a helpful book for many parents who may still have questions regarding the above-mentioned topics, or for those parents who are not sure how to explain deep thoughts to different ages.
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