I remember the first time I thought “The way those parents are raising their kids will never work, their kids are going to turn out to be hellions.” I thought this because I didn’t have kids and read loads of parenting books that all offered the perfect recipe to raise great kids. The front of the book always has a kid screaming and back always has a mom and a dad with 5 well groomed kids, a picture perfect family. As I continued to read those books and watch the kids I thought would never turn out to love Jesus become passionate followers and then see kids who came from great homes walk away from their faith, I need to go back to the drawing board. What made the difference? Every parent expert offers you different advice, recipes and techniques for success. Let me save you a lot of time, money and energy. The one thing that made the difference: Consistency.
Over the years I have come to realize that to raise great kids it take a lot of faith, a lot of trust and a lot of work. I wish I could tell you that if your kid lies do this, if your kid cheats do this, if your kid hits their friends do this. I can tell you what I do but that may or may not work for you. What you MUST do is be consistent. Consistency matters more than anything else.
I have a friend who didn’t have a bed time growing up, they didn’t eat dinner around the table that often, all their kids are amazing adults what made the difference? They had a lifestyle of consistency modeled to them. How do you model consistency?
What do kids need?
– Consistent love – They need to know you will love them even when they mess up
– Consistent correction – They need to know that you love them enough to help them grow their character.
– Consistent time – Kids need to know that you love them everyday, time has a way of speaking that words can’t measure up to.
– Consistent praise – You need to build up your kids by speaking to their strengths – you only know those strengths by spending time with your kids but that’s a post for another day.
– Consistent Faith – More than a trip to the local church on the weekend, your kids need to see you trust God even when it looks like he failed you. You kids need to see you practice what you preach