My parenting journey began some 18 years ago with the birth of our first child. And what a cliched journey it has been: full of ups and downs, laughter and tears, mistakes and victories…. Through all that, I am so thankful to God that his grace is ever sufficient to cover my shortcomings as a parent. Even though I now have three teenagers in the house, and I can honestly say that I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being a parent.
6 Tips for Parenting Christian Kids
Here are some tips for parenting christian kids that can help you enjoy your journey even more.
1. Know your child’s love language
I’m sure you love your kids and they know it too! But do you know your child’s love language? In his book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, Dr. Gary Chapman suggests that everyone has a unique way of giving and receiving love. He lists 5 love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch. Knowing the unique love language of each of our children will help us communicate our love better and strengthen our relationship with each child.
2. Enforce a no-device rule during mealtimes
Mealtimes are great opportunities to catch up with each other’s day and stay connected as a family. But very often, we may be tempted to check our emails or catch up with the daily news. And our kids are more than happy to be left alone with their devices. Establishing a no-device rule during mealtimes will help in facilitating meaningful interactions.
3. Parenting Christian Kids – Schedule family playtime
Families that play together, stay together. Be intentional about scheduling regular family playtimes, be it sports or indoor board games. Give each family member a chance to choose what game to play. Consider games that are not only fun but can also teach valuable lessons.
Bible Games Central has a collection of bible games for kids that makes learning the Bible fun. If your budget allows, plan regular family trips away from home. These don’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. Choose something that suits your family’s budget and interests. Involve your kids in the planning and give them a say on where to go and what to do.
4. Allow your kids to be bored
It’s not your job to keep your kids entertained, 24/7. Don’t fully pack your kids’ schedules, and don’t jump in to entertain them every time they complain that they are bored. Teach your kids to play by themselves. You may also want to consider setting a no-wifi rule for certain times of the day to ensure that your kids are not hooked on the internet. Using an automatic timer switch for this will really be helpful.
5. Start them young with chores
Chores are a great way for kids to learn responsibility. Kids won’t remain kids for life and it is our job as parents to equip them to become responsible adults (when they eventually get there). Start with small things when they are young. It may mean buying lighter brooms and non-breakable dishes and having to patiently (and painfully) wait for chores to be completed in double the time we take, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
6. Parent with eternity in mind
Our kids are gifts from God, for us to cherish here on earth until the time we all return to our Father in heaven. While we have the responsibility to provide and care for their earthly needs, we must parent them with eternity in mind. Pray for your children daily and let them know that you are praying for them. Teach them God’s commandments. “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) Be a role model for your kids and let them see you live out your faith in your daily life.
Not only are we to make disciples of our own children, but we must also help them to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Get them excited about sharing the gospel with their friends using one of these Gospel Tracts specially created with children in mind. Equipping your kids with wearable gospel tools like the salvation bracelet also mean they are always ready to share the gospel.
Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of www.BibleGamesCentral.com. At Bible Games Central, you will find a variety of fun and captivating games complete with Bible learning points, recommended scripture passages and discussion questions.