More tips for raising kids who are great humans
As we discussed in our last column, parenting can be tricky work, but we all have the same goal: to raise kids who are great humans and faithful disciples of Jesus. The culture we’re parenting in often works against that goal, so here are some more tips for raising kids who are both great and great to others.
Not everything is fabulous. The world of “super-duper” everything is diluting our children’s perception of greatness. We have to be honest with our kids and be specific with our praise. Not everything they do, say or create is awesome. They need to know our love for them isn’t connected to which place they finish or the award they receive. They need to know coming in last or getting a “C” won’t end in disaster.
Service builds compassion. Jesus told the Apostles he came to serve, not be served, and we should not only teach our kids that, but make sure we provide lots of opportunities for them to grow their servants’ hearts. True service is done out of love and compassion, and doesn’t require a certificate or a shout-out on social media. We serve because Jesus asked us to.
Speak the power words. The three most important words we can say to help our kids become great are “I love you!” They need to feel it, hear it and see it every day. Truly loving our children means all the things on this list. Every fall kids come back to my classroom to tell me about their summer, and the best stories are not about the shiny, fancy things they did, but the simple things that required only the time, love and attention of their parents.
Do the most important thing daily. Pray for your children every day. Pray to see them as God sees them, and pray for the guidance to help them become who he created them to be, not who you think or want them to be. Bless your kids on the forehead each day to remind them that in their baptism they were claimed for Christ and we can trust him to help us be great.