Have you heard the saying,”Once our kids are fit to live with they are living with someone else?” There is an element of truth to this. Parents are the kid trainers- the main socializers of children. Ultimately it is our job to grow our kids so they are able to make it on their own. We tend to view this as moving from dependence to independence. In a broad sense that is true and obviously important.
I’d like to put an bit of a twist on that truth. I believe our job is to move our children from dependence on parents to dependence on God, while teaching them life skills to live as an adult. Personally, this is a bigger challenge. It is easier for me to provide instruction on how to operate a washing machine, help with study habits, and model how to interact with others-but how do I train or teach my children about a life of dependency on God?
Layering is the answer.
Not just walking the talk but talking about how to walk the talk. Verbalizing with sincerity and acting with consistency in faith are two other components. No matter what choices my kids make, they don’t even need to ask what Tom and I think about something because we have been careful to express our belief system and act on our principles. This is not an easy road. Especially as children become young adults and are making some pretty big life decisions that will have just as large consequences. (If you find yourself in this nasty position- keep loving your kids while being true to who you are. And for the record I’m sorry. This can be very painful-I intimately know this heartache.)
Even though young adults are interested in a mother’s and father’s point of view, they sometimes choose to act independent of it. And..at the end of the day- the parent’s opinion- or anyone else’s for that matter- really doesn’t matter. Only one opinion does…Our Heavenly Father’s.
Parenting Tip: When your family faces a challenge: unemployment, health issues, tragedy or experiences a great joy: new baby, better job, good family time let your kids see you talking to God, trusting Him, and praising Him. So..when your children get older they will be in the habit of turning to the Creator of the Universe for all things. If you have not yet done this, don’t be discouraged. Start today. We serve a God who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. He created “time” and is not bound by it like we are. He can make time up in the air!
How do you train your kids to depend on God? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.