Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 5


How To Appropriately Question Authority

We want to raise critically thinking leaders and not blind followers.  A skill that’s necessary to teach our children is how and when to appropriately question authority.   First thing we need to instill in our children is to always take things back to God’s word.  He is the ultimate authority.  So there may be a time where a teacher, youth leader, grandparent or even parent says something that is not correct. We need to give our children the skills to ask a question about it appropriately.  This begins at home.  There will be a time where our children may not understand or will disagree with a rule.  We need to teach them that it is ok to ask questions about it.  It is all about the how.  Arguing is not appropriate so what it?  Politely, coming to the adult and asking, “can we talk about this?” is one way to do it.  Our children need to know that their opinion matters but it may not change the rule.  There will be times when a parent is in the wrong and we need encourage our children if they bring this up appropriately.  Discussion about things is great but arguing is not. Teach your children how to question appropriately and respectfully.


For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 52018-03-22T10:03:20-04:00

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 4


Having Fun Within The Boundaries of Respect

One of the things that is amazing about setting up  proper respect for authority in your home from early on, is it allows for more fun within the family.  There must be a clear line set up but once those boundaries are in place, fun can happen with out the fear of it getting out of control or disrespectful.  We have used this metaphor before but if you think of a sports field or court there is always a line drawn that is out of bounds.  Everyone knows it the ref, teams playing, and the spectators.  So it is very clear when the ball or player crosses that line and is out of bounds.  The same thing happens in our homes.  We can have fun with in the lines of respect because they are clear-cut, what is permissible and what is not.  When someone steps over the line then a warning or consequence is given.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that the fun needs to stop if the child heeds the warning.  For example our family game nights always got very silly and fun, but this could happen because we knew where the line was.  Make sure to have clearly set up boundaries that have been discussed to allow for family fun!


For more on this listen to today’s podcast.

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 42018-03-22T10:01:07-04:00

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 3


 Starting At Home

The home is the practice arena for everything external.  Children first need to be taught to respect their parents.  Things like voice tone, proper response, and facial expressions are areas we can work on with in the home even from a young age.  From toddlerhood on they can practices as they begin to exert themselves.  They can be taught to look at someone while they are speaking; this is also helpful to ensure that they are listening.  They can also be taught to respond to questions that another adult asks.  This includes being polite to others, a please and thank you can go along way.  This also includes teaching them words of respect like, Mr./Ms. or Sir and Ma’am.

As children get older decide the things in your house that will not be tolerated because they communicate disrespect.  These can build on the things like voice tone and facial expressions.   Things like talking back or yelling back, and temper tantrums, which in older kids and teens look like stomping and slamming things or doors.

This is another place that we as adults can set the example.  Make sure that we are communicating respect not only to our spouse but to our children as well, in how we speak to them and about them.


Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 32018-03-22T09:58:34-04:00

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 2


Why Is It So Difficult To Teach This?

It is not natural for anyone to automatically fall under someone else’s authority.  We are self-focused and think we know it best.  (How well I know this, as my youngest is 2 .)  Respect for authority is not cultural either, we seem to have made a game out of insulting authority figures.  The media consistently pokes fun, constantly questions, and sometime outright disrespects those in authority.  While we want to raise our children to be critical thinkers, there needs to be a line of respect for a position.  Respect isn’t role modeled in our culture either.  Look at way some of the parents berate coaches and refs at children’s sports games.  It has gotten so bad that some of the fights between coaches and parents have made news.

We need to look at ourselves and make sure that our children are seeing us role model respect.  Do we question their teachers or other school staff in front of our children? What do they hear us say about our pastor, our boss, even police officers? Another influence in our child’s life is music, TV and movies.  What are we allowing our child to watch or listen too?  Many of the shows and movies present adults and authority figures in general as silly or ignorant, and the children are the heroes of the story.  We need to make sure that the music and things they watch are respectful to others, especially those in authority.


Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 22018-03-22T09:57:41-04:00

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 1


Why It’s Important To Teach This

There are many reasons why we need to make it a priority to instill a respect for authority in our children.  These reasons range from it makes my child enjoyable for other adults to be around, to it opens doors for them both educationally and for employment.  One of the big reasons to instill respect is because it is a Biblical principle.  It is so important to God that it has even made His top ten list, or the Ten Commandments.  Exodus 20:12 states,  “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Paul then reminds us again in Ephesians 6:1-4 which states, “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’”

Again this is such an important concept to God that He includes a promise with the commandment.  This is a command for children but it is our job as adults to teach them how to respect.

Be sure to check back this week as we continue to tackle this topic and as always listen to today’s podcast for more.

Training Your Child to Respect Authority with Torrey Roberts | Part 12018-03-22T09:55:50-04:00

Teaching The Gift Of Giving | Part 5


What to do with Santa…

The discussion of Santa will stir up different emotions in Christian circles.  For some, Santa totally distracts from the message of Christmas and so there are very strong feelings against Santa.  Others feel strongly that there is no harm in the fun of Santa.

We would like to say that this must be a personal family decision but there are some things to consider.  First is if we are teaching gratitude and teaching our children how to give to others then obviously Santa cannot be the one bringing all the gifts.  If you do decide to do Santa in your house maybe Santa could bring one gift or be the one who fills the stockings.  Secondly the attempt is to make the center of the Christmas season Jesus and not Santa. Which is another reason why it is a good idea for a gift, not all, to be from Santa.  Finally, we need to remember that childhood should be about imagination and fantasy.  The harsh adult world is imposing itself far to early on our children.  It is our job as parents to fight for their childhood.  The fun of Christmas may be a perfect time.  Whichever you decide to do take full advantage of this Christmas season to begin or enjoy family traditions.

Listen to today’s podcast for what we did with Santa growing up in the Barnes’ house.

Teaching The Gift Of Giving | Part 52017-12-14T11:36:25-04:00

Teaching The Gift Of Giving | Part 4


Using Christmas Traditions to Teach

We can use traditions at Christmas to point back to the birth of Jesus, which is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  Choose to look for ways through the holiday season to point back to God’s gift to us.  As you are decorating, you can even use these moments as teaching tools.  For example as you are trying to get all the knots out of the Christmas lights, ask your children what they think the lights represent.  They can represent that Jesus is the light of the world. They can also show that when they are plugged in they can shine brightly.  Just like we can’t do anything with out God as our power source but when we are “plugged into Him” we can shine His light.

As you are hanging ornaments you can talk about how the Christmas tree can represent Jesus.  It was alive but was cut off for us.  Make a game out of seeing who can do the best at finding how each ornament points to Jesus.

We can do this all through the Christmas season in different areas.  This is a great way to start teaching our children to look for how God reveals Himself in everyday life.  Again, as your children are leaving home what do you want their Christmas memories to be? This year choose to keep Jesus the center of Christmas.


Teaching The Gift Of Giving | Part 42017-12-14T11:35:21-04:00

Teaching The Gift of Giving | Part 3


What Is Your Christmas Ministry?

A thought to ponder, what if Jesus spent Christmas with you, what would you do differently? What would the focus of the day be, would it be about the presents or about serving others?  It is ironic that the very person this day is celebrating, so often, we forget to honor.

The week of Thanksgiving we discussed choosing a service project for your family to spend time on through the Christmas season.  Now is the time to put that plan into action.  Giving to others is truly how we give a birthday present to Jesus.  In fact, in Matthew 25:34-30, Jesus says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”

What will your family birthday present to Jesus be this year?

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on teaching the gift of giving.

Teaching The Gift of Giving | Part 32017-12-14T11:33:55-04:00

Teaching the Gift of Giving | Part 2


Using Christmas to Teach Contentment

One of the ways to teach contentment with what you have is by focusing outward.  When you are focusing on something other then yourself or the gifts that you are getting, then it is easier to be content.  An easy way to do this with children is by creating excitement for giving gifts to others.  A few months ago, we talked about having your child save their allowance for Christmas presents.  Depending on the amount your child has saved you can match their savings or a portion of their savings.  Set aside some time to take each child out individually to shop or split it up where dad takes the kids to shop for mom and visa versa.  Make that a special time where maybe you get up early, go out for breakfast and then head out to beat the shopping rush.  Remember that excitement is contagious so be careful not to communicate that this is just one more thing on the to do list.

Christmas morning don’t just make a mad rush tearing open all the gifts but take the time to enjoy each person opening a gift.  Allow your children to feel the excitement of handing the gift they bought to their sibling and watching their face as they open it.  The memories of learning to give are much more important to look back on as adults.  When we are beginning to turn the focus of Christmas from what is gotten to what is given, then we are training our children to be content.


Teaching the Gift of Giving | Part 22017-12-14T11:33:06-04:00

Teaching the Gift of Giving | Part 1


Fighting Materialism at Christmas

Christmas season can be very stressful and overwhelming to parents.  There are so many parties and activities.  Probably the most stressful is the feeling that we must give our children a perfectly magical Christmas experience. And of course have found the perfect gifts.

We need to look at big picture.  When our children are grown what do we want them to remember about Christmas? Was it a time spent focusing on the true meaning and through the Joy of that, serving others? Or was it a time for materialistic overindulgence?  This is not to say that we don’t give our children gifts but more what is our focus for the season.  Take the time this season to think through what traditions will help our children focus on what the true meaning of Christmas is and the joy of giving to others because of it.


Teaching the Gift of Giving | Part 12017-12-14T12:03:16-04:00