Have you ever heard those words before? I just did. So what to do? When we first moved here to Costa Rica, we imagesheard those words frequently from our kids, but in the last year, less regularly. When I first asked him, why? He said, “because I want to play with my toys.” In thinking through the scenario a little, I wondered if that was really the reason. So we sat down this morning for some one on one time before mom and Kira were up. Well as I imagined, there was a bigger reason behind the lack of interest in going to Sunday School. Life in a new country is not always so easy for little ones. Most think that kids adapt easier to new countries than adults do. Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. The issue of allowing our children to make decisions, especially if faith is part of the question is a big one. How much do we encourage our children to go to church even when they don’t want to go? Do we force them? I tend to think that forcing a child to go to a church service when he or she doesn’t want to go creates bigger problems in the end. Children’s worldviews affect how they perceive themselves and others around them. This includes how they perceive their locus of control and assumptions about God. So how do we encourage our children to develop healthy worldviews and their faith in a positive way? One of the ways to encourage their self-dignity and own faith development, is to allow for some participation in choosing when and where to develop their faith. If a child consistently does not want to participate in a church community, then perhaps it’s time for a serious family discussion. One thing I think we need to avoid as parents is manipulating or over-powering the decisions of our children. Typically there is a reason behind the child’s lack of motivation for not attending a church service and that normally does not have to do with a lack of interest in God. There are usually external factors taking place and that was certainly my son’s reason for why he has chosen not to go this morning. Just something to think about from a dad on a spiritual journey with his children.

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