I guess we have all experienced those times when children take us by surprise by their questions or their insights. In the process of bringing up my three children, I found myself time and again with the joy and the privilege of revisiting things that I’d missed or not understood when I was a child. The same thing is happening again with my grandchildren.
In our new set of conversation booklets we recognise that the experience of being with children as parents, godparents, uncles and aunts, teachers, children’s workers, volunteers in playgroups, younger church or uniformed organisations or good neighbours is always a two-way street. We might start by thinking that we can or must teach and train them, but soon realise too that they have an innate wisdom and spirituality that can sharpen and challenge our own thinking and behaviour.
The booklets are ideal for personal reflection and also for meaningful conversation in groups on matters of faith and spirituality around living with or teaching children – wonderful for toddler groups, baptism preparation, training sessions for workers with children and young people, as well as for all of us in general in our day-to-day lives!
Guidance is given for the benefit of group leaders in planning and facilitation of the sessions, and guidelines on good and respectful conversation are included: listen carefully to whoever is speaking, reverence the gift of each person’s own unique experience, refrain from speaking for too long and so on.