There’s a lot to teach children before they “leave the nest” and try to live on their own. The responsibility of a parent is huge and can seem overwhelming at times. Our homes are actually “training grounds” for what lies ahead in our kids’ lives. Let’s look at some of the areas they need to be trained in:
- What it takes to live a life of integrity. Teaching them not to lie, steal, exaggerate, and blame others needs to be taught and shown consistently from day one.
- To be responsible for their behavior, owning up to mistakes, and learning from them. How you respond to their mistakes helps them to either own up to it or hide it the next time. There’s a difference between mistakes and outright defiance. There’s also a difference between discipline and punishing; discipline includes training. Punishing does not.
- How to work hard to achieve goals and expectations. This generation of entitlement has led our kids to believe they deserve anything they want.
- How to have affective conflict resolution skills. This training will help them with their relationships in the future. Talking things out, compromising, and skills in negotiation are healthier than physical violence, yelling, or slamming doors. Healthy confrontations and conflict resolution is modeled by you and the other adults in their lives.
- How to have good discernment in making friends, making healthy decisions, and how to live safely in our society today. These can be taught in day to day experiences.
- How to be responsible with finances and possessions. Teaching kids how to live within their means, use money wisely, and not mounting up credit debt, will set them up for greater financial success and responsibility.
- Training them up in the Lord and His principles gives them a strong foundation and a resource to go to in time of need and gratitude. Make God a priority in your family to ground them, surrounding them with people who love the Lord and will encourage them.
Now, how do kids learn all of this in their “training ground for life?” From you, Mom and Dad! If you are a single mom, that puts a lot of the burden on you. You train by your own words and example. Are you a woman of integrity? Do you work hard to accomplish your goals and the expectations of your children, employer, or others? Do you practice good conflict resolution skills? Do you surround yourself with quality friends who share your values, are encouraging and supportive? Are you putting God first in your life?
It’s up to you, Mom, how your use your “training ground” at home and set your kids up for success in life. May God bless you and guide you as you train your children for their future.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” Prov. 22:6