If we are teaching our children to be followers of Jesus, we must teach and encourage them to help others! Children naturally love to help, yet we often get so involved in what we need to accomplish as parents that we forget to include our children when we are serving. We can give them age-appropriate opportunities, and we can model what it looks like to help others, so they can learn to show God’s love by meeting people’s physical, monetary, emotional, and spiritual needs.
“I had it first!” “He pushed me!” “I hate my brother!” “Why won’t she ever be nice to me?!” Don’t these comments make you want to pull your hair out as a parent? Do you ever think, “Why can’t my kids just get along?!”
I am sure we have all experienced the scene of an enraged toddler pounding his fists, stomping his feet, and screaming in the middle of the store isle, “I WANT THAT TOY!” Everyone goes about their business pretending like they don’t notice the racket and trying not to cover their ears and make a mad dash for the door.
When my kids were very young, I had a hard time not losing my patience with them on a daily basis. I love kids, but I just expected my kids to- well, be perfect, and perfect, they weren’t! Of course they were growing and maturing, but it felt like such a slow process when they were in the middle of it and still so young. When they went against my rules, the anger would sometimes get the best of me, and I would think, “How DARE those kids disrespect me like that?!”
As part of the preschool curriculum I am developing, A Heart Like Jesus, I am creating Character Calendars to encourage our children’s character development in fun and simple ways! Each month I will have a character calendar available for you on a specific virtue that includes ways to practice the character trait, a Bible verse to memorize, and Bible stories to read, and other fun games to encourage your kids!
I recently read the book, Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave, by Joey and Carla Link of Parenting Made Practical, and I love how they not only explain the importance of teaching children to obey but also the practical side of how to do it! The Links get to the heart of obedience and provide practical tools to help train your kids that are easy to understand and implement.
Last month I had an opportunity to interview Joey and Carla Link from Parenting Made Practical, and in “part two” of our interview, they share some practical tips and resources for teaching our kids to obey. Moms that find themselves parenting through difficult circumstances will be encouraged that, while it may not be easy, teaching your children to obey is possible!
The month of Thanksgiving is the perfect time to cultivate a heart of thankfulness in our children. With the remembrance of the pilgrims and how God helped them through their trials, we can appreciate how much God has blessed us and thank Him for all He has done in our lives too!
I enjoy hearing creative ways that other families disciple their kids to love Jesus and follow in His ways. Although each family is unique, we can all glean ideas and wisdom from each other, so I thought it would be beneficial to hear from some families as to what Biblical resources and approaches they have found effective in encouraging their children in Christ-like ways.
Rather than taking more of a passive role and worrying but not taking steps to help them along the way, if we are INTENTIONAL to guide them in making good choices from the beginning, I believe they will have a greater chance at doing well and following God’s ways.