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Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics Paperback – July 15, 2014
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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 known speaker and author, speaking regularly at such conferences as The Gospel Coalition and Revive. She holds a certificate in biblical counseling from CCEF (San Diego) and an MA in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She has authored 17 books on daily living and the Christian life and lives with her husband in Escondido, California. Learn more at www.elysefitzpatrick.com.
Jessica Thompson (www.givethemgrace.com) speaks at women's conferences and homeschooling conferences. She has a bachelor's degree in theology and coauthored Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus with her mom, Elyse. She is married with three children and lives in Poway, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
But, I did accept Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. Being unfamiliar with either of the authors, I did not know what to expect. And, it took me quite some time to get around to reading the book, unfortunately.
Looking back, though, I can definitely say Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions fits into the “worth my time” category. In fact, I was already promising to loan it out after the first chapter! Anyone who quotes Tim Hawkins right off the bat has my attention. But, this quote from page 13 (in the introduction) didn’t hurt either:
My theology will come out in every question I address, but it is not my purpose to be provocative or pushy. So as you work through the different answers, I encourage you to ask yourself what you believe and, as always, go to the Bible for further understanding and growth.
Typically, an author or teacher who tells you to take their words and verify them via Scripture truly wants to help and is usually worth listening to.
And yes, the authors* of Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions are worth listening to. Will you agree with every perspective? Probably not. Will you always want to use their suggestions as you explain these tough truths to your children? I doubt it. I won’t. But, their discussions stirred my thoughts.
So, what are the questions raised in Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions?
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 disaster happen?
Why do people fight and kill?
Each chapter begins with a discussion of the question, evaluating from Scripture why we have to deal with these questions in the first place. The chapter ends with a sample explanation for children in each of three age groups: preschool, ages 5 to 10, and ages 11 and up. In every chapter, readers are reminded to not automatically lump their children into an age category. They are also encouraged to not just recite the authors’ suggested answer. Instead, the authors remind parents continually to know their children. Any answer given must be based on an understanding of where our children are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The chapters definitely made me think. A couple of times, I felt that the authors were too extreme in their view. But, as I hashed out the concepts in my own mind and compared them to Scripture, I usually came to agree with the authors.
Will I use their suggested discussions with my children? Actually, probably not. Why? Because in many situations I felt that the answer was better explained within the chapter itself than in the discussion example. I’ve already used several of the illustrations with my children.
Bottom Line: I like this book. I will recommend this book. I will loan it out. And if it doesn’t come back to me, I’ll buy another copy to have on my shelf so I can “loan” it out again. It is that useful.
Bethany House sent this book to me in exchange for my honest review. A positive review was not required.
*The book was primarily written by Jessica Thompson. But, because Elyse Fitzpatrick is listed as co-author, I refer to the plural authorship throughout this review.
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. Your 6 year old may be better able to understand the preschool type explanation and your 5 year old may be a bit more mature, etc.
This book is an excellent resource for parents, grandparents, etc to talk to their children about tough situations.
**I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for this review.**
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"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?Read more