Imparting Wisdom to Your Kids in the Everyday

What’s up guys, Jeff and Jeremy here, another episode of Five Minute Fatherhood. Today’s how to or fatherhood verse of the week is the key to imparting wisdom to your kids from Deuteronomy six. So Jeremy, what would be the problem here? What do you think people need to take and what is the key to imparting wisdom to your kids?

Yeah, guys, there are probably a million scraps of wisdom that we need to impart to our kids. And so that can be incredibly overwhelming and you could look around for a curriculum for this, and you won’t find one that’s comprehensive enough. And so how do we do this? And the Bible actually has solved this problem. In Deuteronomy six we read that we’re supposed to be training our kids through the normal things in life, right? It says talk about life, talk about the Lord, talk about these things when you’re walking, when you lie down, when you get up. And so there’s a quote from Umberto Eco, famous novelist. He said, “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments. When they aren’t trying to teach us, we are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”

That’s good.

And so if there’s one tool that you guys need to grasp a hold of to completely and comprehensively train your kids, it isn’t necessarily coming up with a list of everything they need to know. It’s developing the skill of talking to them in the margins. It’s about talking about life, it’s about interacting. So you’re in the car, start a conversation, you come home, you’re at the dinner table, start a conversation. Your kids need to hear you constantly talk out loud about how you’re making decisions, about … And this is for me, I’m an internal processor, so this was actually extremely difficult for me to learn. When I’m in the car I want to be like a clam, when I’m at the dinner table. I just want to think about everything. And then I want to talk very little.

So I actually was confronted by a friend of mine about this and they’re like, “You need to talk more. You just need to like … You’re driving and the car and you turn left. Why did you turn left? Like why are you going there?” Just talk, talk and like that’s the scraps of wisdom. Your kids are like … They feed on those little scraps. And that’s how the millions of little elements of wisdom get formed into your children. And so this requires a lot of presence with your kids and this requires you to talk out loud about what you’re doing, and having the kind of relationship your kids enjoy, listening to you sort of process what you’re going through because it’s coming from your heart, and because you guys are connected at the heart. And so that will allow all of these scraps of wisdom to get passed on between the two of you [inaudible 00:02:45].

Yeah, I love that quote and I think it’s so good. And yeah we take that one pretty seriously and that kind of cadence and that principle really seriously in our house. I don’t know if it was because maybe I wasn’t raised with a dad around to kind of impart all that, but I’ve noticed that our one value that we just make sure to do, and of course there’s exceptions if I’m working or doing this, but like our kids are just incessant with the why question, which a lot of us can take as annoying or just like bothersome or too much. When I just … We’ve kind of just changed gears and just leaned into it. I’ll explain everything to you and here’s why. Because to me I’m realizing when we send them out into the world, I want to send them out so well-equipped, and the thing that gets you well-equipped is not your butt in a chair learning at a school.

It just isn’t. Like geometry is probably not going to do much for you unless you’re like an engineer or someone who’s going to specifically use it in this regard or whatever. What is is little wisdom of money and balance sheets and this, and oh, here’s how to use a tool because I’m doing it right now. Let me show you what it does. And it just takes a bunch of little moments all throughout and I was convicted of it and got this principle from Deuteronomy six where it’s not … It’s true in and of itself when it says, “When you rise up and when you lie down.” But I think that’s also a metaphor that just means like everything, like when you do everything, just explain it. When you do everything, when you get up, when you sit down, when you wash the dishes this way when you work on something like this, when you do something in the garden, if your kids are there, just give them like … And this does not mean a treatise, this means like two sentences just every day in over 20 years.

That is a lot of stuff that you have just said to them. So that’s I would say, is if you’re a dad, what would it look like to just take this week? Make it a challenge, make it personal for just this week to only just drop an extra couple sentences every time your kid is around with explaining something that you’re doing or something that they asked about, and see how it goes and see what it feels like. Because it also kind of creates these really special bonds relationally as well. So that’s what we would say is the key to imparting wisdom is like you said with Umberto, is that quote one more time, which is I believe that what we’ve become dependent on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, I love that, when they aren’t trying to teach us, we are formed by little scraps of wisdom. So dads, go give the little scraps this week and see how it goes.

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