Staines Memorial College

Devotion – Raising Great Kids in a Troubled World (2)

Raising Great Kids in a Troubled World (2)

Devotion: Term 2, Week 6

Over the next few days, let’s look at some practical areas where parents are often confused. (If you’re not a parent, why not use these points to help you pray for parents you know.)

Guidance versus criticism. If you have a placid, agreeable, and compliant child who enjoys school, homework, and doing household chores, bringing ‘… them up in the training and instruction of the Lord’ will be a joy! (Ephesians 6:4 NIV). Many of us, however, are given assertive, strong-willed kids with their own agendas. These kids know what they want, and when and how to get it. They also know what they don’t want to eat, wear, hear, say, and do! And parents or carers of these kids need help in building the kind of relationship that creates trust and allows for mutual discussion and respect in a tug-of-war atmosphere. In such cases giving guidance can easily become criticism, constantly emphasising the child’s faults: ‘You look ridiculous in that. … You’re never on time. … ‘Why can’t you be like …’ A much better approach is to point the kid to the solution.

Even valid guidance offered negatively will damage self-worth, breed resentment, and destroy the possibility of building mutual respect. They need to hear you say, ‘I’m not on your back – I’m on your team!’ When normal conflict arises – and it will – it’s tempting to become overbearing or frustrated. When you shout, insult, or humiliate the child, you lose sight of your parental goal of guiding and training. This leaves them feeling angry, disempowered, uncertain of themselves and you – an invitation to rebellion. But if you guide your child as one who is on their team, with patient practical help, links will be forged that encourage cooperation, trust, and mutual respect.

SoulFood: Gal 5:22 Luke 19:11-26 Ps 36:5-9 Heb 10:19-23

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

Raising great kids in a troubled world (2)

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Devotion – Raising Great Kids in a Troubled World

Devotion – Raising Great Kids in a Troubled World

Bitter versus better. What is bitterness? It is strong resentment or cynicism. How do parents create bitterness in their children? Consider the following triggers:

a) Inconsistency. This happens when you are autocratic and authoritarian one day and permissive the next. What brought a strong rebuke today brings a smile of leniency tomorrow. So, your child never knows what to expect.

b) Moodiness. Today you’re fun and enjoyable to be with; tomorrow you’re irritable and distant.

c) Unreasonableness. There is no room for discussion, no opportunity for children to explore their feelings. ‘Just do as I say because I say it!’ So, the kid is never given the chance to think through the reasoning process.

d) Abusive behaviour. It might be physical or emotional (withholding your love, the silent treatment, rejection). Or it might be verbal (yelling and using words that wound).

e) Failing to walk your talk – saying one thing but doing another! You profess certain beliefs but don’t practise them. You expect your kids to be respectful while you display disrespect to others. You expect honesty from your children, but they see you cheat and lie your way through life. Children are keen observers – they may not say anything, but not much that you do escapes their attention. They see your inconsistencies – when what you say doesn’t line up with what you do. All of these behaviours can make them resentful. ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won’t become discouraged.’ (Colossians 3:21 CSB)

Jeremy Williams
Author: Jeremy Williams

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