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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To Have Great Kids Start Early

So if you could describe the third-grader or middle school student, teenage or adult you would like your child to be what words would you use? Polite, self-controlled, kind to others, honest, obedient, God-honoring?  I'm sure we could make pretty long lists and many of us would include the same words.

Why?  Because they are words that describe the character, attitudes and actions we know make up great people, those who get along well with others, succeed in life and serve God by doing things that matter.

The problem is that many parents think these qualities will just appear in their children one day. In the meantime they wait for the child to get older before they try to instill and develop those qualities in their offspring. That is a huge mistake.

If you want your children to exhibit certain behaviors and attitudes start when they are little and I mean little. Yes, children are different in both personality and development so we can't all expect the same results at the same ages. Some kids push us harder than others and have a stronger will to resist the direction we want to give them.

In fact, that is why a lot of parents just give up and don't stay with training their kids in the way they should go because frankly it's just hard. But please don't make your child being a challenge an excuse for not digging the soil deep for planting personal seeds for their future.

We were just with our daughter Amy, her husband David and their two boys for eight or nine days. However, the youngest, Silas, who is just twenty-months, would regularly say thank you when he was given something. Twenty months. But that didn't just happen. They have a boy who is learning to be polite and they are helping him to it. In fact, their oldest, now almost four, has been learning politeness for a long time now.

Are those boys perfect?  Of course not and we cannot expect that. But too many parents simply do not try to build character qualities into their children early in their development assuming they can't learn these things. They can amd they will if we'll be actively involved.

And when your children push back, especially the strong ones, then yes they will require more repetition, reminders and practice. Your timeframe for success will be longer but it will be worth it. Don't quit.

Of course other factors are important such as modeling, family atmosphere and parenting styles. We parents must practice what we preach. But when we put intentional training along with natural modeling we are far more likely to have children who actually become what we've hoped and prayed for.

So start early.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

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

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