PLD (Personal Life Development) – Kid Style

New Year’s week, I blogged about taking time for looking back over the past year and looking forward to the new year in terms of intentional parenting.  Our pastors encourage our church family to do a PLD (Personal Life Development) every year.  This entails reflecting upon and answering the following questions specifically.
*What I’ve learned about God this year:
*Ways in which God has grown me this past year:
*Ways I need to grow as His disciple (consider all areas…spiritual growth, marriage, parenting, health, etc):
*My action plan to grow this year :

However, I had never considered involving my children in this process until a friend leading a group of girls from our church, challenged the girls to give it a try.  I knew I would be met with silence if I asked my daughter the questions she suggested (see below).  So I asked if the friend had suggestions of how to overcome that.  She said that the girls could have their moms e-mail her their answers as a way of accountability for the process.  Bingo!  Always helps to have someone else asking your child to stretch.  When we got in the car leaving that meeting, I asked my daughter the questions.  Yep…complete silence.  And no wonder!  I remember that my first PLD was a bit daunting and it tremendously helped for me to hear examples as we shared them with our small group.   I encouraged my daughter to be thinking about the questions and that we would discuss them more during our family devotional times that evening and the next.  We started that night’s family devotional with me sharing some of my answers to my PLD.  The we all brainstormed some of the good and hard things that happened with our family throughout 2012.  I prepared them that the following night the kids needed to be ready answer questions on their own.  When that time came, I had prepared clipboards for my 2nd and 4th grader with the questions below, including space for them to write.  My husband and I continued to work on our PLDs on our laptops.  We allowed fifteen minutes and told the kids that if they finished early, they could talk to God about the list.  (Speaking of, we did start out our time with asking God to touch our hearts with what He wanted us to reflect upon for the past and future.)  The kids did have a few questions as they worked, but for the most part we tried to keep the time quiet so everyone could truly think.

PLD (Personal Life Development) Kid Style – January 2013
Best of 2012:

Hardest part of 2012:

What I learned about God last year:

How I would like to grow in God this year: 

After the time was up, we all went around and shared what we had written.  We encouraged positive feedback or follow-up questions as each of us read our PLDs out loud.  While the kids’ answers were short and sweet, they generated some fabulous discussions and insights.  I wrote these down below the kids’ answers so they could be documented and saved for revisiting next year.

For example, my son said the best part of 2012 was being surprised with an amazingly generous Lego set from his grandparents for Christmas.  To dig deeper, I followed that with “What does God want you to think about that?”  He sweetly answered, “God wants me to be thankful that I have loving grandparents who spent that much money.” 

For the hardest part of 2012 he mentioned breaking his arm.  Our follow up question was, “What did you learn from that?”  He wasn’t sure, so we all reminded him how he persevered and tried to do everything on his own.  He didn’t ever use his broken arm as an excuse.  And, he had a good attitude even though it caused him to miss out on some fun activities.  What a precious time for our family to pour those affirming words over that little boy we love so much!

My daughter mentioned that she would like to spend more time with God as her way she’d like to grow in God this year.  We encouraged her that the answer was a wonderful thing, but asked her how she specifically planned to do that.  This brought on a great discussion about how we all often have good intentions.  But, if we don’t have an action plan, we rarely follow through.  As we talked, she remembered a devotional guide she wanted to finish and decided that would be her plan. 

I hope these examples will help you and your family, just as the challenge and accountability from my mom friend helped me.  And, don’t forget to hang on to these for next year.  Our family plans to continue it as an annual tradition…WITH the kids!  My favorite part of my PLD process each year is reading through my PLDs of past years.  I know it will be special for our kiddos to have these yearly records of their growth and God’s goodness as well!

Past and Future - Two-Way Street Sign

Saturday 19 January, 2013  |  Copyright ©2013, Kara Durbin read more>>

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