Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just Say KNOW At Home

If you could pick a handful of things you would want your kids to know the day they walk out the door of your home, what would they be?  Have you thought about them? If so, are you conscientiously teaching those things?  Chances are they won't learn them in one lesson. It will take repetition, years of modeling and lots of practical life experiences for those lessons to truly sink in.

Let me share a few that were on our list. I'm sure we didn't do them perfectly, but I think they're worth sharing with you. First, we wanted our kids to know and experience our Christian faith story. Yes, the first part of that goal is teaching them the basics of Christianity and I couldn't merely leave that to the church or other faith group. It was first and foremost our task.  But in addition we needed to give them and encourage experiences that would help that faith come alive and deeply resonate within them.

Second, we wanted them to know that their actions have consequences. That's part of life isn't it?  If you don't work, you don't get paid.  If you do something poorly the results will be poor.  If you don't practice you won't be a great athlete or musician.  Our culture has a way of coddling kids and always bailing them out even when they are clearly irresponsible.  Yes, we need to be understanding of a child's age or circumstances and give grace but we must not simply look the other way or only give praise but not correction.

Third, we wanted them to know how to love their spouse.  Our homes are Marriage 101 for our children.  Where else will they learn how to be married?  Nowhere.  So we need to model love, caring and even how to deal with conflict well.  Our kids are watching and will notice.  How we talk to each other, how often we compliment and express love will make a difference in our kids' marriages.  And if you're a single parent you can model well how you respond now to your former spouse and others.

Fourth, we wanted our kids to learn to give to others.  So much of what kids hear about life today is to get more for yourself.  It's all about you they're told  And unfortunately many parents foster that attitude in their homes.  Everyone gets what they want it when they want it.  We must do what we can to help our kids invest in others even when it costs them something. Teach them to give of their time, money and skills to help someone else through serving locally, missions trips, being involved in the church and the like. Go together and care for a neighbor and serve others on a holiday instead of having your own gathering sometime.

There are lots more key lessons and I'll share a few more next time.  In the meantime, think up your own list and then set some goals to start teaching them now before one or more of your kids is driving down the driveway for that last time and you've lost the chance.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

1 comment:

  1. I ALWAYS think about this..I want my kids to know that people are important and more important then programs and Church services...dont judge others, help them where they need it, live your life on purpose and thoughfully, and dont think you have to convince others of your own convictions..thats Gods job..your is to keep doing whats right.
    Misc things I want them to know:
    how to cook
    how to take control of their own health issues
    how to fix things
    general idea of how things work (mechanically)
    how to live on a budget

    I want my kids to understand that on the one hand life can be kept very simple and uncomplicated and where you can KEEP IS SIMPLE, on the other hand when looking at others and their situations always remember that things are always more complicated then what you can see and have compassion for the things you dont know...all truth comes from God and to love HIM is to love truth..not a man-made system, although those systems CAN and DO contain truth they are not the full expression of our in other words God comes in many packages be open minded enough to see Him everywhere and your life will impact the people who truly need it...thats what I want my kids to know...Ruth Laetz