Time to Read: 4 minutes
Listen as Don and Suzanne are joined by their oldest daughter, Mollie, and oldest son, Michael, to discuss what life was like growing up in the Manning home.
Welcome to May! This month on the Weekly Rethink, our theme is Building a Great Childhood for our kids. We all want our kids to have an awesome experience growing up. We encourage parents to be intentional and present in their kids’ lives to create a childhood for them that’s full of laughter, excitement, and purpose.
How do we do it? What is life like for the seven Manning kids? We want to show you and allow you to get to know them! What better way to learn about their childhood than to hear it directly from the source!
To remind you of our kids and ages, we have Mollie (29), Madeline (25), Macy (23), McKenzie (21), Michael (19), Maddox (15), and McCade (13).
In today’s podcast, we are joined by Mollie and Michael. Both are the oldest kids in so many ways. Mollie is the oldest of all our children, of course, but Michael is the oldest boy and the oldest in our home right now, so they each bring a unique perspective to growing up in the Manning home. They are ten years apart in age so they definitely got Suzanne and me in different seasons of our own parenting journey!
We like giving you the option of reading the blog or listening to the podcast – or both – but this month we REALLY encourage you to listen to the podcast. To understand Crazy Cool Family, we think it’s important to understand things from our kids’ perspectives. That is why we quote them throughout our book. Mollie and Michael talked about a lot of things! This month in the blogs, we will simply bring out some key points in each podcast we feel are the most insightful. You won’t get it all in the blog, so click on the podcast and take some time to hear directly from our kids!
Mollie and Michael had a lot to share, but here is one key point I want you to take away from their discussion:
In the Manning home – not just Don and Suzanne, but with the siblings as well – an environment was created where they felt they didn’t want to “miss out” on following God. And this is the way family life is supposed to be! God has an amazing life for us, and one of the main ways He would love to show it to us is through family.
Michael shared how Madeline – the oldest sister in the home during his middle school years – gave him an example of a way of life he wanted to pursue. Now he is working hard to create that kind of investment in his younger brothers.
Mollie talked about how the family consistently invited everyone into “something better.” Instead of coming down hard on one of them for not doing what was right, they were always called to a better way of life.
So often kids abandon their family relationships because they feel like they are missing out on the “fun” the world has to offer. But what if we flip that thinking? We need to create a culture in our homes so that our children feel like they are missing out if they go the way of the world. What do we need to add to our kid’s childhood for them to see that life with Jesus is better than all the other options?
- Peace – No fighting within family relationships. Instead, there’s tons of love.
- Intentionality – Building good thoughts in our kids’ minds about themselves, the world, and Jesus.
- Define – What it means to be a part of your unique family (example: “The Manning’s love Jesus!”).
- Invite – Create experiences that kids want to be a part of and invite them into it (example: “Let’s go play Legos with your brother because you are practicing being best friends with them”).
- Show – Set the bar/standards high and then show them how much Jesus’ ways are better than the world offers.
Matthew 7:14 says, “The narrow road leads to life.” Are we showing our kids that wonderful path?
The enemy wants to pull them in with the ways of the world. He has a plan of destruction for each of our kids. But God has a plan, too…a plan to win! And that plan is through your family! What happens in your home plays a huge role in determining whether your kid wants to follow the world or wants to follow Jesus.
What kind of childhood are you building for your kids? What do you want your family to look like? Write down three things, and set out to implement at least one of them!
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].
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How to Listen to The Podcast
If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience.
1. Listen right here on the blog. – Click the little play button at the beginning of this post.
3. Share today’s show – Email the link to a friend or share on social media. Just click on the sharing buttons at the top or bottom of this post!
Thank you for joining us on the journey here on our website. We hope you jump right in and do the same on the podcast!