In this helpful article, Greg Baird outlines three practical ways to help children be successful in everyday life.
As parents, one of our overriding desires is to see our children be successful. Maybe it’s for a small child to be successful in learning new behaviors. Or it might be that we want them to be successful in school. Maybe it’s in a sport they play, or growing in their faith. Or perhaps it’s simply a desire to see them happy and fulfilled.
Whatever that desire for success looks like, most parents are “all in” to help their child. That might be financial support, advice, helping them make connections, teaching them personally, or any number of other ways we can support them for success in specific pursuits.
But what about in the “everyday”? In a general sense, as a growing person, how can we help them be successful today…and everyday?
These apply to any child, at any age, in any situation…
3 Ways Parents Help Their Child Succeed TODAY!
1. Pray for them
We know we’re supposed to pray for our children, right? But I wonder how many times the day skips by without us actually pausing to do the one thing that will help them more than anything else.
One of my favorite quotes is by Oswald Chambers, who said: “Prayer does not equip us for greater work…prayer IS the greater work.”
What this means is simply this: whatever we are doing, prayer must precede it. It is in the prayer that we find success. This is true with our children, as well. We teach and guide and discipline – all necessary as parents – but it is prayer which will, ultimately, have the most impact on their lives.
I have a praying Mom. She has prayed for me daily since the day I was born. I am convinced that whatever success or personal growth I’ve experienced in life is, in large part, due to her faithfulness in praying for me.
Why don’t you stop and pray for your kids right now? And then think about how you can and will be intentional about praying for them daily in the future.
2. Listen to them
We know what’s best, right? When children are young, we tell them what to do. When they are in their early teen years, we tell them what they should do. When they are young adults, we wish they would listen to what we want to tell them to do. We always have ideas about what our children should do and be.
And we may be right. But we need to learn to listen. Listening adds value. Listening communicates concern. Listening promotes listening.
When my sons were little, I tried to make a habit of listening to their wild and crazy ideas. My youngest son would talk all the way home from school everyday. He would talk about things that, frankly, didn’t really interest me. He would tell stories over and over. He would say things that didn’t make sense. But I tried to listen anyway.
As the boys got older and began having their own opinions about what they wanted, I tried to listen. I always had an opinion of my own, but I found that I needed to listen to them first. We didn’t always agree in the end, but they usually listened better to me after I’d listened to them. And, often times, listening to them allowed them just enough time to work through an idea themselves and come to the same conclusion I could clearly see from the start. It also, at times, helped me understand what they were saying that I really didn’t understand to begin with, and bring me around to their way of thinking.
Listening to your child today might just be the very thing they need. It might be the boost that allows them to think through a big decision. Or it might be the thing that helps them know you really care. Or it might be the thing that causes them to then listen to words of wisdom that they need to hear from you.
3. Encourage them
Do you know what makes your child tick? Do you know what makes them smile? Do you know what causes them to tackle new challenges with determination? Do you know how to push them without aggravating them?
Are you intentional about doing these things? Do you look for opportunities to do these things?
Children need to be encouraged. A few ways to do this include:
- Accepting their strengths and weaknesses with unconditional love.
- Giving words of blessing and praise often – as much or more as words of correction.
- Not holding on to unrealistic expectations about anything your child does or is.
- Show appreciation often for who they are (not what they do).
- Thanking them, trusting them and telling them the positive – often.
Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21 both instruct fathers (parents) not to provoke their children. Why? So they don’t become discouraged. There are a number of ways to provoke, or aggravate, your child. Rather, parents need to understand their child and intentionally, consistently and thoughtfully find ways to encourage them.
What have you found that daily helps your child succeed?
Article used with permission from Greg Baird.
About Greg Baird
Greg is a Children’s Ministry veteran with over 20 years ministry experience. Greg has had the privilege of serving in four San Diego area churches, including under the leadership of both John Maxwell and David Jeremiah. He continues to fulfill his life calling through the ministry of ChildrensMinistryLeader.com offering an experienced voice in equipping and connecting Children’s Ministry leaders around the country and around the world.