My mother always told me this even before we had kids “Be more concerned with how adults respond to your kids than how their peers respond to them.” Some of you may be scratching your head? What does that even mean? This is something I constantly monitor with our kids. I want to see how adults react when my kids enter the room. I want to see how adults react in a conversational situation. Why does this matter to me?
1. How adults respond shows me more than many other things where my kids attitudes are at. My kids attitudes matter more than actions, I believe adults perceive attitudes much better than peers. How my kids act around their friends is more behavioral how my kids act around adults is more about their attitudes.
2. Responding to adults with proper attitudes will teach my kids how to properly show respect for the authority God has placed in their lives. Exodus 20:12 God clearly tells kids to honor their mom’s and dad’s. All through the bible God puts a priority on honoring the authority that are in our lives. He goes so far as to say slaves honor your master, doesn’t even address the evils of slavery. If you want your kids to reflect the character of Christ and to be successful in the workplace, teach them to respect authority.
3. When I see me kids interacting with an adult I see things surface that I need to work with my kids on. It’s like seeing our own conversations from a birds eye view.
– Make sure your kids say hi and make eye contact with adult that address your kids in your presence.
– Teach your kids how to have conversations with adults by telling them what to say ahead of time
– Watch the body language of the adults in the room when your kids enter.
– Make your kids wait when you are in a conversation with another adult.
– Pray, ask God to reveal things to you before they become a problem.
– When another adult tells you something about your kids, don’t be defensive. God puts people in your path to shed light on the blind spots in your kids life. They may be mostly wrong and a little right but if you want what is best for your kids you will listen to everyone but not take any complaint or compliment to heart.
What do adults think of your kids? Do they say specific things they appreciate about your kids? I can think of no greater complement than when our adult friends tell us they enjoy spending time with our kids. If you have never noticed start paying attention to how adults respond to your kids, it speaks volumes.