So…why do kids act the way they do?
It’s in their DNA.
Think about it. We are all created in God’s image.
There are 4 very good reasons why people do what they do.
We are rational, emotional, relational, volitional, and spiritual.
This creates a genuine need for respect (rational); joy, fun (emotional); love and belonging (relational); freedom (volitional); and spiritual fulfillment (spiritual).
We can observe our children and discover which image element needs tending.
Listen to what your child or young person is saying:
“I’m not a baby…” translation: I’m growing up, I need more responsibility.
“Let’s go to the park…” translation: Let’s have some fun.
“Will you play with me?” translation: I miss you. I need time with you.
“You never let me….” translation: I need some freedom.
“Do we eat in heaven?” translation: I need to know more about God.
What our kids say gives us great insight into their character development and true needs. Listening to their heart, lets us know how to pray for, parent, train, and interact with our kids.
That’s the thing about parenting, isn’t it? It is fluid so we must pay attention.
And…it is always about love.
If you are the parent or grandparent of a toddler to eight-year-old and would like to know how to raise your child with the love Jesus shows, “Love is patient, love is kind…” read Raising Little Kids with Big Love. It contains easily applicable ways to live out the attributes of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.
We don’t just want to get our kids to behave. We want to go beyond that and develop their heart and character.
What techniques do you have for encouraging character development in your child?
By Lori Wildenberg
Wife to Tom
Mom of four
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting