The Four Parts of The Training Process
As we have discussed previously, there are four “E’s” to every training process we face with our children. We need to focus on all four of these steps for successful training.
The first is our example as parents. Are we setting the example of good decision making? If we make a bad choice are we humble enough to explain and help our children learn from our mistake? Do our children see us going to God’s word, praying about it and seeking Godly advice when we make a decision? Remember a very big part of the training process is living out what we are teaching.
The second step is exposing them to the decision making process. Like we said in example, include your children in decisions that are being made as a family. Allow them to see how to process a big decision.
The third “E”, is experience. We need to allow our children the experience of making their own decisions. We stated Monday that often it is easier as parents to make decisions for our child because it is so time consuming to walk them through the process. However, if we are not allowing them to practice decision making then we are actually stunting development in this area.
Finally comes encouragement. We also need to take the time to encourage our children when they make decisions. We need to go crazy with praise when they make the right choice, but we also need to take the time to encourage when the decision is not the right one. This means we take the time to process with our child and encourage that they can do better and you believe that they can make the right choices.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
The 2 Components of Making Wise Decisions
There are two components that are necessary to teach our children so they can consistently make wise choices. The first is knowing where to go to find answers. This is the first step to a good decision making process. There are many places we can train our children to go to look for answers if they are unsure in a decision. The first is always God’s word. Many of the answers we need, can be found by simply cracking open the Bible and looking. Another place to go is other people who can help give wise and Godly advice. This is great area to help our children practice. The more quickly they learn not to take advice from just anyone the better their decisions will be.
The second is learning the discipline to do the things I know are the wisest things to do even when I am tempted to do the opposite. This means that we need to teach our children, when they find the answer that they are looking for in scripture or through wise advice, they need to stick with it even if it is hard. Helping our children to use their heads in the decision process and not their wants or emotions will help them in the face of temptation. The second thing that we need to help our child with is learning the discipline of saying no. This is a very difficult thing for most of us but something that is essential for good decision making. We have even spent a week discussing The Power of No.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
Why It’s Important to Raise Good Decision Makers
This seems like an obvious question, because how our child makes decisions will affect every aspect of their life. But if we truly believe this then why is this not a more prevalent focus of our parenting? For one thing it is a lot easier for us to make decisions for our child and not take the time to train the to make decisions for themselves. We are usually in a rush and taking the time to present and explain decisions to our child takes a lot of time and effort.
When we are in a rush and our child makes a poor decision we usually don’t take the time to help them process through how to make a better choice next time, we usually just yell and move on. Keep in mind if our child doesn’t know how to make decisions for themselves then they will spend their lives allowing others to make decisions for them.
Two verses that we consistently bring up in discussing parenting which apply to the decision making process as well are,
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.
Your Words with the Negative Child
For every family there is either a child, or a stage for a child, who is more difficult to encourage. Some children just have a more difficult time accepting praise so they bite back. There are also times where a child is struggling through something and has difficulty expressing themselves. The difficult child or difficult stages of our child’s life, such as middle school, are the times that they need our verbal encouragement the most. It is so easy as parents to take it personally when our encouragement is blown off and we shut down. We need to constantly analyze ourselves to make sure that we are not taking our children’s attitudes or behavior personally. The expectation should be that our children will act like children. They are immature emotionally and will not handle things like adults.
We must go out of our way through the difficult seasons to encourage. Choose to go above and beyond with that child. Leave notes in their lunches or backpacks for them to find and on their mirror for when they get home. Sit on their bed at night and tell them one thing that you that made your proud of them that day. Force yourself to get in a routine of encouragement. We so often forget these important investments into our children in the busyness of life. They are worth the effort! Choose to take the time to verbally invest in your children!
Listen to today’s podcast for more ideas on how to verbally invest in your children.
Investing in Your Son
Verbally investing in your children needs to be something that is done daily. We discussed the importance of investing in your daughter, but what about a son?
Four words that go a very long way for a son are, “I’m Proud of You!” Affirmation for a young boy is pivotal. For a girl it seems that they ultimately want to hear, “I notice you, because you are important to me.” For a boy it is more, “ I notice what you are doing, because you are important to me.” How many times do we hear from our sons, mom/dad watch this? They want to know that they are doing a good job and that we are proud of the job they are doing. This seems to be the child version of the verses in Ephesians 5. These verses on marriage discuss the needs of the male and female. Men need the respect of their wives and wives need to feel the unconditional love of their husbands.
Remember, even if things aren’t done exactly how we would want them, we must applaud the effort. Applauding effort not only outcomes is key! For example, if you have given your young son a job, like cleaning up his toys, even if they are not put back exactly how you would have there still needs to be affirmation and encouragement. This goes such along way! If a boy doesn’t receive this affirmation, especially from dad, he may go through his life constantly seeking the approval of others.
Make sure that you are looking for ways to affirm your son and remind him just how proud you are of his effort in whatever he does!!!
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the power of your words in your son’s life!