This past Tuesday we had the pleasure of directing parenting questions to Kent and Lisa Ness and Kim Klein. So thankful for Godly parents that are walking before me and the guidance they bring! Thank you!
1. Allowance and Chores- there is a fine line between expecting kids to do chores because they are part of the family, and rewarding chores they do with an allowance. Instill in kids that they work as part of the family, and surprise them with extra reward for helping with a good attitude. The value of a dollar is an important thing to learn. Suggestion- have kids divide out any allowance into saving, spending, and tithe.
2. Establish supper/evening meal as dedicated family time. No TV, no cell phones. Even in the hectic lives of teenagers make supper a meal eaten at the table. Try to all be there when possible and talk about the day.
3. Devotions- It is so important to model devotions for children. Start when they are small and make God a reference point throughout each day. The Ness’ split up their kids, older and younger tailored to their ages; and do devotions with them before bed. Kim suggested making sure that kids see you doing your personal time with God. Keep your Bible and journal in a visible spot.
4. “I am second” – could use this phrase to emphasize unselfishness. God is first. I loved that Kim tells her kids she gets grumpy when she doesn’t spent time with God. They pick up on that and realize that they get grumpy when they are not spending time with God!
5. Set consequences and FOLLOW THROUGH!!! It will look different for every child because they all have unique personalities. FOLLOW THROUGH is still most important, so don’t put out a consequence you aren’t willing to serve.
6. Kids need to know that they can talk to you. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. You are their parent, not their best friend, so BE the parent. My parents always said that if I felt uncomfortable in a situation they would always be the “bad guy” and I could always use them as an excuse to leave.
7. Important to establish the difference between a secret and a surprise. In an age where abuse is all too prominent, kids need to know that it is not ok to keep a secret from mom and dad, and if someone tells them not to tell mom and dad that should be a warning to tell! Secrets should not make you feel bad inside.
8. Sleepovers, cell phones, etc. what ages? It really depends on the child and the situation.
I know this list is not comprehensive of everything that we talked about on Tuesday. I appreciate all of the ideas and comments shared. It really does take a village! J