A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine. She was telling me that she started creating a list of items that her 3rd grade daughter needed to do each day. The list was a mix of items including practicing piano, reading her Bible, completing homework etc. She said that after using this new system for a few days, her daughter said, “I like checking things off my list, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
I rejoiced with my friend and told her what a great job she was doing as a mom. I told her my belief is that a parent’s job is to raise well-rounded, self-sufficient, productive citizens who love Jesus. She agreed and said she wanted to get together soon so we can talk more about parenting.
The real question is how do we accomplish that goal? It isn’t always easy because kids have a free will, but I strongly believe that when parents take their job seriously and parent with purpose, that goal can be reached. As Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Lay the groundwork for adulthood as your child grows in all areas of their lives.
- Expose them to arts, sports and other activities and see which ones excite them.
- Give your children boundaries-but don’t hover too closely. It is ok if they fail, or fall-we learn from our mistakes and they make us try harder next time.
- Teach personal responsibility early on in life, it is an important trait that is sadly slipping away from our society.
- We need to coach our children to be self-sufficient and productive. Requiring chores and teaching life skills over the course of their lives makes them better adults, citizens, employees and parents later on.
- Submerse them in the Word of God. Use music, stories, videos etc to keep them in the Word day and night. Family devotions and Bible studies as well as Sunday school, Children’s Church, mid-week church classes and youth groups are all important activities to help kids of all ages keep their eyes on Jesus.
As we move through this year, I will be sharing the tools and methods we have used over the years to raise our awesome sons. I know every child and every family is different but all I can do is share what worked for us and hope that some of it works for you. Parenting is hard work and I am here to be a friend that walks beside you on the journey. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
BTW that picture is from 2006! LOL!