Friday, January 20, 2012

PARENTING TODDLERS INTO TEENS YOU'LL LOVE (5 of 5)

LET THEM EMBRACE GOD'S UNIQUE DESIGN (love based), NOT LIVE MY DREAMS (self based)

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 reads: "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."
We all know the parents who seem to have their kids doing everything they did or even wished they could do.  In an effort to lead their kids into a great experience, they have accidentally led them into a version of themselves a parent, not into who God has fully called their kids to be.  For sure, my family camps because I do.  Sure, my kids play soccer because I do.  We all clearly influence and shape our own kids.

But they also have their own unique personality and passions too.  Parenting my 5 kids means that I must constantly consider how God has uniquely wired and gifted each one so that I love them for who God has made them to be, not who I wish I was or they were.

In parenting toddlers, this might mean:
  • Fuel and fan anything they love that is good.  If your kid loves to draw, then feed that.  If they love to run, then get places where they can run.  If they love to sing, then by all means, give them some place to excel at that gifting.
  • Look hard in the mirror before correcting your child's passions. Make sure the issue is with your kid, and not truly with you instead. 
  • Try all kinds of stuff with them.  Try dance and art and reading and sports and music.  Try little bits of all kinds of stuff to try and help discover how and who God has wired your kid to be.
  • Let them have some choices.  For example, instead of just picking out their outfit for the next day, either help them make a choice or give them a few sets of clothes to choose from.   Maybe ask them to pick between 3 meal options for friday night.  When you go out, let them choose from several options to order off the kids meal. 
  • Be your kids biggest fan. Go ahead. It's ok. Love your kid and who they are and celebrate how God has wired them.  Help curb their rough spots for sure, but be sure to celebrate with them in what makes them super happy too.  

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Well, I hope you liked this series of posts. I hope it was moderately helpful to you in your role as a parent. I know even writing them out again reminded me of some values I'm trying to continue to instill in my kids, long after the toddler age has come and gone.

2 comments:

Adrian Waller 6:10 AM  

My parents didn't do much for me growing up, but this was one thing they were great at. They didn't care what we "liked;" they supported us both emotionally and financially, as well as with their time.

Loved these posts. Keep up the great writing!

Alexander 12:30 PM  

This is a great read! Really enjoy all your blog posts!

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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