3 Essential Questions for Our Children

We all know this parenting gig is hard, am I right?! I think most of us mamas are constantly of the mindset that we can use all the help we can get {that is if it's constructive- ain't nobody got time for anything else- ha!!}!

In my effort to continue learning, I signed up for Mom to Mom , and I am loving every minute of it- the wisdom and knowledge I have gathered so far are priceless. And, given that it's February and we are focusing on how to love well in our relationships, and this week's focus is on loving our children well, I thought I'd share 3 questions that we were encouraged to consistently ask our children as we raise them.

3 Essential Questions for Our Children

1. How will you respond to authority?

Wow- I don't know about you, but I definitely want to be raising children who respect ALL authority. Connie, our teacher, said, "The way a child responds to his parents will be the way he responds to God, future bosses, teachers and coaches." And, she gave us a great tip for helping our children do just this- she said "paint a picture" for our children of what it takes for authority to serve them and be there for them.

For instance, Connie mentioned how she painted the picture of her son's coach preparing and sacrificing his time to be there and coach his team. With my girls, we recently had a conversation in which we broke down the level of dedication and sacrifice of EMT's, nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, etc and how they work very unusual schedules to care for us.

Breaking down the level of commitment, helps children have a better grasp on how to listen and obey authority and how even a thank you to them can mean so much.

According to Shepherding a Child's Heart, authority in parenting is expressed as control and influence. The weight on each shifts over time {control heavy in the beginning to influence heavy in later childhood years}.

Be intentional- ask yourself what you would like to see in your child(ren) before summer- write down some goals.

2. Who will your friends be?

Connie spoke about really asking our children who are the kids in your class who are "doing life well"? Who are making good choices? Not that you would have them be rude or unkind with the other children, but when it comes to living life and going about their days, you certainly want to encourage them to be keeping good company.

I know for myself, most of my poor choices in my childhood, other than the time I stuck bubble gum in this girl's hair {that was all on my own accord- yikes!}, stemmed from the friends I was spending time with... And, I made some really great decisions as a result of who I spent time with... 

In addition to really encouraging them to choose their friends wisely, Connie reminded us that favor is a form of grace. She challenged us to start a page in the back of our Bible's on which we write every Bible verse that mentions the word favor. She said to pray those over our children that they would find favor with God and in life, with their relationships, etc.

3. Will you be a giver or a taker?

This one Connie also described as whether they will be a lifter or a leaner. I believe in our home, at least in this season, this is one of the ones we need to hone in on a bit. One reason is because on our drive to school today one little lady shared that it's always best to be first- whoops- mom fail- ha!

But for real, really helping them unpack this some more will be where we hang for a bit over the next few weeks/months. While the girls are generally great friends, we certainly have bickering moments and moments where truth is really not being told in an effort to "get our way". My desire is to really encourage them to be the last in line and see the goodness and richness that comes with that.

And, I also want them to be great peacemakers. Not that they loose "their voice" and/or fail to stand up for what is right, but that they desire to come alongside and support others rather than just prove a point. Connie shared about Peacemaker Ministries so I just ordered this Young Peacemaker Book. It looks like it has 12 booklets, so I plan to go through 1 per week with the girls between now and summer- an extra peaceful summer sounds really nice, right?!

Aren't these helpful? Which one do you feel your children/family needs to work on?

I know it can feel as if there's so much to ask and say and do in order to be a "good parent" and, as one who is always looking for ways to simplify, for both myself and for clients, I love being able to focus in on these 3 specific questions!

Tonight, I am planning to write them on the chalkboard in our kitchen so we can refer to them often as we eat meals together and go about our days.

And, mamas, be encouraged that you're doing a great job- the fact that you read this post tells me your heart is in the right place :)

{If you didn't catch last week's 5 Tips for Loving Your Spouse Well, you can do so here}

3 Essential Questions for Our Children