Helping children build a healthy view of God

Anna Hawken introduces ‘Unwinding’ – one of Parenting for Faith’s five Key Tools you can easily use to help children connect with God in the everyday.

How to sort unhelpful ideas young people have about God

As we learn more about God, we may notice that children and young people have formed muddled ideas about who God is and what he does. BRF’s Parenting for Faith programme teaches family members, carers and anyone involved in children’s ministry a Key Tool called ‘Unwinding’. It helps them to spot and gently correct unhelpful beliefs that children have taken on from others, or developed themselves.

Children can often end up having a false perception of God. Their life experiences, friends’ opinions and ideas from the media can get jumbled up in their young minds, making God seem something he’s not.

Say a child is bullied – how do they reconcile that experience with the idea that God loves them? If he does, why did he allow it to happen?

Or maybe they’ve seen illustrations of God looking down on the world from a cloud. So they start to see him as distant, not interested in the tiny things that make up much of their world.

'What if teenagers feel God's so busy with the big issues in the world that they shouldn’t bother him with how they’re feeling? When you spot an imbalance you can gently start the process of unwinding.'

Rachel Turner, BRF’s Parenting for Faith Pioneer

Man talking to teenager
‘Unwinding is about spotting those confusions that might be holding our children back and setting them straight.’

Recognise, understand, unwind…

Session three of BRF’s Parenting for Faith course, teaches parents and carers to ‘unwind’ unhelpful thinking in three easy steps:

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  1. notice when their child’s view of God is a bit lop-sided
  2. understand what might have contributed to this thinking
  3. ‘unwind’ it and broaden their understanding to have a better picture of who God really is.

Discover other Key Tools to help you ‘parent for faith’

Check out the other four simple Parenting for Faith Key Tools and grow in confidence as you nurture faith in the home. 

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Creating Windows

Allow kids glimpses of what your relationship with God looks like, so they can learn how to have a real two-way connection with him themselves.

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Explain how God works in all of life, how to explore the Bible well and work through any question they might have.

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Chat and Catch

Help children to connect directly with God at any time, in all circumstances, wherever they are.

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Surfing the Waves

All children are different, and God’s purposes for them are different. Learn to support them as interests and passions come and go.