I did something with my daughter, Mollie (10 yrs old), last week that proved to be very effective. I actually got the idea from Ron Hunter at Randall House Publications. It's this whole idea of paying your kids to read books that you hope will be influential. Ron said that he pays his kids to read certain books that he thinks will be beneficial - books on faith, leadership, etc...
I thought this was a fantastic idea because I know in my own life that nothing shapes my thoughts like books. So I've been thinking of books that I want my kids to read. Most of them are currently over their heads, but I thought of a really great one that I was sure Mollie could handle. It's a short parable called The Boy Who Cried Abba by Brennan Manning. Since it's so brief and Mollie is such a good reader, I told her I'd give her $3 if she read the book. She loves to read so she didn't even have to think twice about it.
The best part was sitting and discussing this powerful story with my daughter. She totally got it! It's a beautiful story of a young Mexican boy who is rejected in every area of his life. He encounters a Medicine Man (Jesus) who helps him learn to love, forgive, and be loved. Mollie told me how sad she felt for Willie Juan and loved how the Medicine Man helped him not to hurt so much anymore. She completely got all the symbolism. It was awesome to sit and discuss things like human hurt, grace, and the love of God with my daughter.
I am definitely going to keep doing this as often as possible! Although I doubt I'll ever get off so cheap again.