Raising pro-life children involves teaching kids about the sanctity of life in all its stages. This can be a difficult topic to approach with kids. Author Krystle Joy DeGraide wrote The Story of You, to help parents teach their kids about pro-life values in an age-appropriate way. Today we’re taking a look at why these values are important ones to instill in our kids.
The Importance of Teaching Children About the Sanctity of Life
1. Raising Pro-Life Children Can Help Instill a Respect for Life
Raising pro-life children to value unborn life can help them also value the sanctity of life all around them. The first step towards this could be as simple as leading by example in how you talk about others, and how you treat the people in your life. Teach them that people of all ages and abilities deserve to be valued as God’s precious creations.
Society tends to classify people as either productive or burdens, and it’s important to challenge this view. Value is intrinsic, and isn’t decided by society. When a child is exposed to people of all abilities and walks of life, it can help them understand that everyone is equally important, even when someone can’t take care of or speak for themselves.
2. It Can Encourage Critical Thinking
Encouraging your child to think through hard questions instead of automatically “going with the flow” of popular opinion may help them develop into adults who will take time to really understand something, so they can take a well-rounded approach to difficult topics.
3. Teach Them About Empathy
Compassion and empathy should be the foundation of any pro-life teaching. You can take what you’ve taught them and show them real ways to help. This may look like shopping for baby clothes to help families in need or donating baby food to your local pantry.
If you have an animal lover in your household, volunteering at or donating to an animal shelter is another way you can encourage empathy and a pro-life mindset. Sometimes wildlife rehabilitation centers or farm sanctuaries have baby animals that need a lot of extra care to survive. Seeing even the smallest of babies treated with care and love can help your child understand that even when humans are little and need help to survive, they’re still important.
4. It Can Be a Bonding Experience
Teaching your kids about pro-life values can be used as a bonding experience. You can use household or food items to show them how small they were throughout different stages of pregnancy, and how even when they were very small they were still just as important. You can explain how at around six weeks old, their heart started to form and flutter.
Funny topics like expectant moms getting weird food cravings can add humor to this learning experience. You could even compare their favorite foods to the foods their mom was craving during pregnancy, and ask them if you think there’s any correlation. All of this will help them feel like an active participant as they learn about the different stages of development in utero.
Ultrasound Images Can Bring Educational Moments to Life
Whether you use your child’s ultrasound images or find ones to use online or in a book, they can help your kid visualize how they looked at different stages of development. This can help challenge the common “clump of cells” argument they may hear later on in life.
If you’re able to find some ultrasound videos, they may get a kick out of seeing an unborn baby do acrobatics in their mom’s belly, or even get hiccups! This can help show bits of developing personality in babies even before they’re born.
5. Positive Change Can Start With You
Everyone has different gifts and abilities. One person can’t change all that’s wrong in the world, but by teaching our kids love, respect, and the value of life, we can encourage them to use their gifts to make the world even just a little better. Kids each learn differently, and how parents choose to talk about pro-life issues may look different depending on the parent’s teaching style and their kid’s learning style.
Some parents feel led to adopt so mothers who can’t care for their babies have loving homes to trust their care to. While that is certainly a powerful example of pro-life values, that isn’t everyone’s calling. No matter what tools you have or what you feel led to do, you can impact the world in a positive way by filling it with more love and kindness than it had before.
Where Do You Start?
Consider Their Maturity Level
Sometime around elementary to upper elementary age, your kids may be able to start understanding some more difficult topics. Some of these topics can include why someone may seek out an abortion, and why you believe life is precious at all stages, even when the unborn baby is very small.
This is a complicated topic, and you ultimately know best when your child is ready to have this conversation. When you sense they’re ready to start grasping the complexity of pro-life issues, you can start off the conversation and leave it open to questions.
Give Them Helpful Tools
You can also take the approach of waiting until your child comes to you with questions. At some point in their lives, they are going to learn about abortion either from you or a different source. If you prefer to let them come to you when they’re ready to ask questions about it, you can still offer them a good foundation of empathy to prepare them for this moment.
Providing them with books early on about how special life is, and how precious it is from start to finish, may help them come to you with concerns when they start to hear about abortion.
If you have a reader on your hands, or you could use some help with this topic, investing in some good books can help parents as they strive to raise pro-life children. These books are written to be age-appropriate and educational. You can give any book you want to offer your kid a proofreading before you hand it over. That way you have peace of mind knowing the book aligns with your values.
Having books like that on hand can save you from scrambling to answer questions you weren’t ready for. Instead of putting off the answer or struggling to find the right words or examples, you can pull out the book and give it to them, or sit and read through it together.
Where Can You Find Books Like This?
It may be difficult to find pro-life books in your local bookstore, but they may be present in a section dedicated to religious books. You may be able to find more options for your kids in a Christian bookstore. When in doubt, you can call ahead of time and ask if your favorite bookstore offers pro-life books for kids. If not, it might be time to hit the internet.
Hands-On Learning Ideas
If hands-on learning is a good fit for your kid, planting seeds can show them a real-life example of something very small growing into something different.
It can be a helpful way to show that while a seed looks very different from a flower or tree, that little seed has everything it needs to become a plant hidden inside of it. All it needs is time and the right environment to grow. You can get excited to check on the plant’s progress together and even measure it as it grows.
Talk to Them Often
The best thing you can do when it comes to teaching your child is to have a good relationship with them. Talk to them often, encourage them to think critically, and nurture their desire to learn. This will give you the best chance of being someone they trust to bring hard questions to. As you answer these hard questions, it will help prepare them for the future.
Eventually, they may be in a situation where they see peers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. If they’re faced with a situation like this it’s important they have knowledge on the topic before they’re asked for their opinion and feel as though they can reach out to you for advice.
Live Out the Example
Teaching doesn’t always have to feel like a lesson. There are simple, practical ways you can help your child understand pro-life values. Reading about God’s love and the celebration of human life through scriptures, opening up your home and heart to those in need, helping the parents and children around you, and being involved in your community’s needs are all ways to be pro-life together with your child.
If you want an easy way to bring pro-life teachings into your home, The Story of You was written by Krystle Joy DeGraide for just this reason. This book is geared towards helping kids understand the miracle of life. If you’re interested in adding it to your book collection, visit Krystle Joy DeGraide today to order your own copy or learn more about it.