Work is Good for Everyone!

I was cleaning up the yard with my teenage son the other day. He was working, but it was slow. I grew more and more frustrated by the minute as he trudged through his assigned task.

Then I realized that I was the one at fault in this situation. I obviously had not properly trained him to put more effort into his work, because he wasn’t. The truth is it had been a while since we had worked together.

So I apologized to him about my show of frustration and we talked about why he was having trouble working briskly. The talk went well and we went back to work… now on the same mission.

In conversations about teen work ethic with my father, he reminds me that I was not very ambitious at that age either. Today there is even more entertainment to draw kids away from being productive. It is no wonder our kids are afraid of work. They’ve been entertained so much; they feel that being entertained is what they do best.

Each of our kids was created with unique talent. We as parents should help them discover it and encourage them to use it.

Work helps unearth one’s talents. You might find out your child has great attention to detail, entrepreneurial skills or a knack for working with his, or her, hands.

Work with your kids, and start when they are young. This prepares them to be productive adults in the future, and ease your workload today. It’s one of the best ways to connect and find even more things to love about your child!

-- Courtney and Jenny Graber Confident Parent Coaching 803.947.8343

Family Devotions Don't Have To Be Lame.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if family devotions aren’t fun or attention grabbing then we don’t have a chance at engaging kids who have grown up in such a fast-paced culture. The truth is, we often over complicate things more than we need to. While working as houseparents at a children’s home, one of our job requirements was to lead our household in nightly family devotions. We are so glad that this forced us into a routine that otherwise could have easily been overlooked in our busy lives.

We simply took 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to review a passage of Scripture as a family. As parents, we took turns staring a discussion about how a particular Biblical passage applied to life in today’s culture and closed with a family prayer. In all honesty, sometimes the kid’ eyes glazed over as their thoughts obviously wandered from the topic at hand. But, more often, this intentional time led to great discussions as we shared our hearts and poured over God’s truths together.

Now that two of our children are teenagers, we recently assigned them a night each week to lead the family devotion. The results have been far better than we expected. It has ensured that our kids must spend time digging in the word in order to be prepared to lead discussion. As parents, we’re getting a window into their struggles and beliefs. They are growing in confidence as they practice sharing their faith and finding evidence in God’s word to support their beliefs.

Before your kids are old enough to contribute to a discussion, it’s easy to begin this routine with a story from a children’s Bible before bedtime. We’ve especially enjoyed The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

If you’re a Christian, challenge yourself to carve out at least 2 days this week to lead your family in Bible study. Our years as the main influence in our children’s lives pass by so quickly.We can’t rely on our youth pastors or Sunday School teachers to prepare our children for life in a secular culture. The responsibility lies with us. Let’s make time for what truly matters most.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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 6:6-7

Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

I have always been big on justice. I am a first-born and a rule follower. I want the bad guys to lose AND I want them to get what they deserve.

I know this is a poor attitude and one that doesn’t follow the model of Jesus Christ. It is my human nature and I’m working on it.

This feeling of wanting the punishment to fit the crime has crept into my parenting. My experience as a parent of at-risk teens, has taught me to let that desire go to a certain extent.

Some mistakes are so big that our consequences don’t seem just.


That is OK. Give them enough consequences to help them regret their choice and move on. As they mature, they will learn how big their mistakes were and be glad that you trained them to use self-control.

You don’t have to make sure they get it “this time.” If you are consistent, they will get it eventually.

It’s a good thing we have 20 years to train them.

How to Encourage Maturity

We all know that it would be unwise to give a long, difficult consequence to a very young child. Why don’t we do that? Most likely, because he would be overwhelmed. He would become despondent, feeling like he was in a pit that he couldn’t dig his way out of.

In our experience, kids that haven’t had many disciplinary consequences, often react like a very young child. They feel despondent and want to give up before they even start.

How do you handle this?

Just like you would with a very young child, give small consequences that can be quickly completed. Then, gradually increase the size and intensity of the consequences until they reach an age appropriate level.

The ability to persevere in tough times is a critical life skill.

If you want to raise a child who is a quitter, then protect her from adversity and teach her that she is not capable of pushing through hard things.

Realistic Expectations

Some parents have expectations for their children that are too low. On the other hand, some parents place expectations on their kids that are too high. Both are problems, but today I want to talk about the second one.

I am as big a believer in parental responsibility as you’ll find. I blame a lot of kid’s poor choices and behaviors on poor training by parents, but it’s not the biggest reason behind it all.

Catch Them When You Can!

Many sins, like stealing, lying and defiance, can be dealt with at a very early age and can save parents a lot of grief in later years.

Many parents choose not to address these issues at a young age, when they are easier to spot and kids are easier to punish. When a child’s age reaches the double digits, he gets a lot better at stealing, lying and throwing fits when they get caught. This all makes correction much more difficult. So don’t wait until then.

10 Reasons Why Your Child Shouldn’t Have a Television in Their Bedroom.   

1. They won’t leave their room.

No one knows what kind of person you want your children to be better than you do. In order to train them to be that type of person (honest, hardworking, unselfish, etc.) you have to spend time with them! You need to pass your priorities on to them and teach them how to be a good person. It won’t happen automatically.