I need to start off by confessing this was not our idea. We stole (ahem, borrowed) it from some friends (thank you, Kyle and Sarah). A few years ago, my wife and I took a parenting class at our church and this was our big aha moment, our top takeaway, our immediate win to add to our repertoire to become better parents.
We call it the Kedersha Kid Night.
In our family, we value fun and want to create memories through shared family experiences. We desire our home to be a source of joy and laughter and we want to train our kids to be encouragers and to value serving others. Everything in my sinful nature and much in our culture wars against all of these values. We knew we had to be proactive and intentional to create memories and prioritize family time.
With kids at various ages and plenty of family commitments such as sports, community group, homework, and ministry opportunities, it’s easy to get caught up in either skipping family dinners or in doing the evening routine and checking out as quickly as possible. Some meals and evenings are a complete whirlwind as kids complete homework, we choke down dinner, and jump in our cars as we chauffeur our kids across town.
What is the Kedersha Kid Night?
Each week, on a pre-set, designated night, one of our four boys is the “Kedersha Kid.” The Kedersha Kid receives several responsibilities and opportunities.
- The Kedersha Kid chooses what we eat and helps prepare dinner. While this may not seem like a fun time, getting to choose and help prepare dinner is a big deal for our kids, especially as they get some coveted alone-time with either me or Kristen.
- Once we all sit down at the dinner table, we take turns encouraging the Kedersha Kid.
- Now granted, this takes a little training. For example, “He likes to eat blue ice cream with M&M’s,” or “He has a nice shirt” are examples of facts our boys have shared. While these may be true statements, these are not the types of encouraging comments we shoot for.
- Rather, we seek to encourage the Kedersha Kid with character traits we see in him, such as kindness, gentleness, self-control, and patience. First Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” We want our boys to build up and encourage one another on a daily basis.
- Life can be challenging for kids (and adults). We all need a good word of encouragement. Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
- With four boys, our home is often filled with loud, obnoxious sounds. When our boys “communicate” with each other, they sometimes argue and fight. God’s Word speaks often about the importance and value of our words. For this reason, we spend a lot of our time talking about the power of our words. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” We want our boys to build each other up, not tear each other down.
- After dinner, the Kedersha Kid picks a fun activity for us to do as a family. It can be something like watching an episode of their favorite TV show, playing a board game, reading a few chapters in a book, or shooting some hoops.
Our boys look forward to this night of the week. It gives them a chance to take responsibility in making the meal. They develop a sense of accomplishment and get the opportunity to serve the family in a fun way. The Kedersha Kid puts his head down at night with a full heart after receiving some encouragement. We train our kids how to encourage others. And, we help cement our home as a place, that while still flawed, is a family filled with the love of Jesus. The Kedersha Kid Night is worth planning ahead and hopefully will be something we carry on for a long time!
So what’s your night going to be called? Is it the “Smith Sibling,” the “Graham Guy” or the “Davis Daughter?” The name doesn’t matter. The lasting impact you have on your child and family does.