Let Them Be Kids: Adventure, Boredom, Innocence, and Other Gifts Children Need

Let Them Be Kids: Adventure, Boredom, Innocence, and Other Gifts Children Need

by Jessica Smartt


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As parents we want to safeguard our children from the pressures and influences of the world but also prepare them for age-appropriate realities. How do we find that balance? Jessica Smartt shares ways to be more aware, engaged, proactive, creative, and protective, but also adventurous with our kids.

Let Them Be Kids is Jessica’s offering of grace and confidence to moms, giving us practical ideas to meet the challenge. Her well-researched, tested methods, woven together with her personal stories and witty humor, deliver wisdom on tough topics, such as

  • balancing family time vs. outside activities,
  • the gift of being awkward and uncool,
  • managing technology,
  • protecting purity,
  • showing grace when kids disobey, and more.

Part story, part guidebook, every chapter includes doable strategies and encouragement for the journey, equipping moms with ways to provide a safe, healthy, Christ-centered upbringing for our children.

If you want to conquer fear and find the truth that transforms entire families, Let Them Be Kids shows us that it’s not only possible but essential to enjoy every special moment of building family values together. And it serves as a gentle reminder that, someday, we’ll be very glad that we did.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785221272
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 06/09/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 286,645
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mama of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog “Smartter” Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in beautiful North Carolina, where she loves hiking with kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s ever been done to a potato.

Table of Contents

Let Them Be Kids: A Manifesto ix

1 Why Childhood Matters 1

2 The Gift of Adventure 19

Bringing Back Skinned Knees, Secret Forts, and Yard Games

3 The Gift of Boredom 48

Why Kids Need Mental White Space

4 The Gift of Being Uncool 67

How and Why to Let Your Kids Be Awkward

5 The Gift of Imagination 88

Creative Play, Saving Reading, and a Family Technology Manifesto

6 The Gift of Balance 114

Sports and Extracurriculars Are Awesome (Except When They're Not)

7 The Gift of Grit 131

Instilling Work Ethic, Handling Failure, and Other Lessons from Our Neighborhood Pet-Sitting Business

8 The Gift of Manners and Kindness 148

How I Taught My Kids to Look Adults in the Eye (and Other Long-Lost Courtesies)

9 The Gift of Family 162

Why Kids Need a Tribe and They Need It to Be You

10 The Gift of Innocence 178

The Blessing of Not Being a Grown-Up

11 The Gift of Faith 199

Grace for Kids (and Parents) Who Mess Up

Family Mission Statement 215

Resources 217

Books to Read with Your Kids Before They Leave Home 217

Movies to Watch As a Family Before Your Kids Leave Home 220

Conversations to Have with Your Kids Before They Leave Home 223

Things Children Should Always Have on Hand 226

Best Family Games 227

Acknowledgments 229

Notes 233

About the Author 239

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