Would you like to have a gifted child, one who counts for God? That is doable—you just have to make the gifts.
Give Your Children a Godly Example (Proverbs 1:7-9)
If your children do not learn to respect God, they will not have even a modicum of genuine knowledge. Your children will learn more from your lifestyle than they will from your words. Your children already know you’re not perfect. They want to know that you are genuine. They watch to see how you handle your failures and your problems.
We are interested in our children’s grades, health, and popularity, but who is teaching them character?
Give Your Children Unconditional Love (Proverbs 4:1-4)
There must be unconditional acceptance, regardless of the child’s misbehavior. You may not accept what they do, but you accept them—and they need to know it, so that when they are in trouble, they won’t be afraid to come to you. And that unconditional love needs to be not merely words. Be constantly hugging them and holding them. Show them sympathy, and cry with them when they hurt.
Give Your Children Constant Encouragement (Proverbs 3:21-24)
When you regularly encourage a child, you are giving that child confidence. Rather than trying to catch them doing something wrong, try to catch them doing something right! There is a difference between praise and encouragement:
Praise will make a child think, “My parents are proud of me because of what I do.” But suppose sometimes he doesn’t do so well?
Encouragement says, “I love you, and I am grateful for you—not necessarily because of what you achieved, but because of who you are.” It may be a subtle difference, but learn to encourage your children.
Give Your Children Wise Instruction (Proverbs 2:1-7)
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Wise instruction is always joined to training. Kids today see no distinction between right and wrong. They don’t have the fixed standard that is given in the Ten Commandments. Do you think it is a disgrace that the Ten Commandments have been taken from schools and public places? Do you have the Ten Commandments posted in your home? And do you, parents, know the Ten Commandments?
Give Your Children Reasonable Restrictions (Proverbs 6:20-23)
We encourage our children to set goals for themselves, but we also need to give them limitations. Some things need to be denied. God put His children, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden and gave them restrictions. No limitations implies that you have rejected that child, and that is the reason so many children are conquered by somebody else. Don’t make a lot of little rules—make a few, big ones, and keep them.
Give Your Children a Listening Ear (Proverbs 18:13-15)
If a child’s spirit is broken, it is terrible. You have to be willing to listen when a child wants to talk. Be ready when your child is ready, and make time. Take your child (or grandchild) out for a meal. Take that child on a drive. Don’t be in a rush, and never be too busy to listen to your child.
Give Your Children a Happy Environment (Proverbs 15:13-17)
Be firm, be fair, and be fun. Laughter lubricates the home, so let your home ring with laughter. Not coarse, unclean laughter—”neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4). Learn to laugh at yourself, and at your problems.