In Proverbs 22:6 the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Training is much more than talking. Successful training takes a well thought out, consistent regiment over a long period of time. In addition, not all children can be trained in the same way. Some children learn better visually, when they are shown illustrations of the lesson. Others learn in an auditory manner, picking up the lesson by hearing alone. Visualizations would be distracting to these children. Still, other children learn with the help of motion or kinesthetically, which incorporates movements into the lesson and helps affix it to their understanding. It’s important for you to recognize the way in which your child learns best. Regardless of the way your child learns, all children will respond to the following:
Encouragement is defined as “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.” Here are a few ways to encourage your child this week.
- Discover their areas of giftedness, and help them understand how their gifts, talents, skills, and passions can be used to help other people.
- Listen to them. Seek to understand what your child is trying to express. Show interest in their thoughts by asking a few open-ended questions. An example might be, “That’s interesting, why do you think that?” Or, “I’m amazed at how smart you are. Can you tell me more?”
- Observe them as they play, watch TV, interact with a friend, or help someone. Find something positive you can say about their attitude toward these situations. Compliment them on the positive things you observed.
- Engage with them in a game of their choosing. Don’t be in a hurry for the moment to end. Embrace the opportunity to spend time together.
- Expose your child to new activities. Kids love trying new things. Don’t be a pushy parent. Be the parent that helps your child discover new joys in life. God has given us music, drama, sports, travel, the great outdoors, service to others, science, and millions of places and things to explore.
- Show patience and understanding. Your child is just that… a child. Be patient with them as they grow and learn. Recognize that they are going to mess up. They will make hundreds of poor decisions. II Thessalonians 5:11 says that we should “encourage one another and build each other up.”
- Tell them how talented, how special, how unique, and how loved they are. Remind your child that God created them and loves them deeply.
One last thought: God tells Joshua in Joshua 1:9 to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So parents…Be Encouraged. God is with you on this parenting journey as well. Be Strong and Courageous. You are not alone.
Trusting God, No Matter What
Pastor of Families, Westwood Baptist Church, Alabaster, AL