Reading With Our Kids

What I Learned from The Hunger Games Experiment

Reading With Our Kids

At Storyline, we talk a lot about reading the Bible as a family. Our Life Journaling program challenges every person to be in the Word on a regular basis, and I’m so proud of the way our church is catching the vision.

Beyond the Bible, however, I am discovering that reading other types of books with my children opens up new worlds of conversation. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Visit many great books, but live in the Bible.” I agree with his take on this. While the Scriptures will always be anchored in my life, other writers can open up my mind in wonderful ways as well. Even writers I disagree with will challenge me to think more carefully on my position.

The Hunger Games Experiment With Ava

Ava - Coffee Date - Hunger Games readingRecently, I started reading a book with each of my children. One book at a time, one kid at a time. I began with my 11-year old daughter, who has been begging to read the rather-violent Hunger Games series. “All of my friends have read it, Dad!” she said. As if that old line would convince me. Give me a break.

But the more I thought about, the more I felt prompted to say yes. With one condition. She and I would read the book together, and follow that with a Frappuccino date to discuss.

The book was a page turner. Masterfully written, I couldn’t put it down and finished it fast—but not as fast as Ava. This week, over a 6:30 AM coffee table, we talked about countless things that we’ve never broached before. We exchanged ideas about evil, tyrannical governments, the awful feeling of guilt and regret, the temptation to be jealous of our friends, and the need for courage at critical points in life.

It was one of the best conversations we’ve ever had.

As our children age, it seems wise that we would shelter them less and equip them more. They need help seeing the world through a Christian lens. This requires parents to find a labyrinth into their little minds and to find out what questions reside there.

I have a lot to learn about being a good dad—especially to a young lady (I grew up with brothers).

But I think I’m on to something.

Gotta run. My 7 year old son swears it’s his turn now. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Catling.

This one is in my wheelhouse.