parenting bible study

 

Encouraging Your Kids

In a recent Focus on the Family broadcast, Dr. David Jeremiah shared five insights on Encouraging Your Kids.  He suggests we encourage our kids with focused attention, individual affirmation, genuine appreciation, and physical affection.  He also stressed that we simply have fun with our kids.  The following bible study is based upon his outline and also uses material from Man in the Mirror and Family Life.

1.  Encourage your kids through focused attention.

Concentrated time with your children communicates "you're important" and "I'd rather be with you than do something else." Many of us need to put down the paper, turn off the TV or computer, and focus on our children. If we establish a pattern of really listening to our children about "unimportant" things, they will feel the freedom to approach us with more serious matters.  

Giving your kids time communicates love and respect.  Whether through active listening, spending time playing games, or any other type of activity, our kids will understand that they are important to us.  On the other hand, a perpetually absent father communicates, "I don't love you and I don't care what you do because I'm not interested in what you do."  In fact, an abusive or emotionally distant father puts his child at a 68 percent greater risk of smoking, drinking and drug usage than a teenager who has a good or excellent relationship with his or her dad.  

Is it possible to "be home" and "not be home"?  Is it possible to be in your family setting and not even be aware that you are there?

   

How much "family time" could you create by simply turning off the TV?  (TV Free Week Apr 25 - May 1, 2005)

 

Our kids need to know that WE KNOW who they are, what their issues are, and that they matter to us.  How well do you know your kids?

   

How can you practice "non-judgmental listening"?

   

2.  Encourage your kids with individual affirmation.

Kids come in all shapes and sizes.  God gives each child natural talents and abilities.  One child can excel in sports while another has a gift for the arts.

Is it easier to encourage our kids when we share common interests such as sports or outdoors activities?

 

How can you motivate yourself to get involved in an activity that you find to be dull or boring?

   

It has been said that we should "watch to see where a child's innate skills and talents lie, then lead them in those areas".  How can you practice this as a father?

   

What kind of affirmation did your father give you?  How has that influenced your fathering style?

   

See Matt 17:5, Eph 6:4, 1 Thess 2:11-12

 3.  Encourage your kids with genuine appreciation.

No amount of success at work can adequately compensate for failure at home. So be your children's spiritual leader, greatest fan, encourager, cheerleader, champion, hero, mentor, and example. Pray for them. Spend time with them in ways they want to receive it-board games, outings, watching their sporting events. Tell each child every day, "I love you!" and "I'm proud of you!"-like God did in Matthew 3:17! Also read Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:23.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children” (Ephesians 6:4). “Fathers, do not embitter your children” (Colossians 3:21 ).  

"I'm proud to be your father, I'm pleased with you, I'm grateful for you".  It is hard for you to say these things?

 

As fathers, we often only notice our child's behavior when something is wrong.  In essence, we govern our family by objection.  How can we overcome this trait and begin to discover and reward good behavior?  How can "we walk around trying to find them doing something right?"

     

Nurturing fathers have a positive attitude.  They constantly encourage and build up their children's hearts.  Some parents tell their children who they are now and all the things they need to change.  A better way is to tell them who they can become and encourage them to get there.  What are some practical ways we can do this?

 

We should always look for open doors with our kids.  Keep an eye out for the times when your children are especially open to expressions of love: 1) When they find something funny; 2) When they have accomplished something; 3) When they are ill and want your love; 4) When they are hurt emotionally; and 5) During times of pleasant experience (camping, athletics, etc.)  Share an experience such as this.

 

Thirty ways to say "I love you"...

1. Learn your child's "love language".
2. Value their work.  (Art, school projects)
3. Listen intently.
4. Create father/son and father/daughter days.
5. Surprise them with a gift for no reason.
6. Use an erasable marker board for communication.
7. Be there.
8. Deliver what you promise.
9. Share an appreciation for their music.
10. Dress like them.
11. Give up something important to you.
12. Spend quality and quantity time with them.
13. Hide love notes around the house.
14. Text message your daughter.
15. Have "dates" with your daughter.
16. Agree on mutual trust.
17. Honor confidentiality.
18. Ask questions without interrogating.
19. Wrestle with your kids!
20. Respect their privacy.
21. Cultivate an atmosphere of humor.
22. Practice patience.
23. Be spontaneous and fun.
24. Minimize lectures.
25. Create family rituals and traditions.
26. Create boundaries and practice discipline.
27. Love your wife.
28. Eliminate busyness, create simple family fun.
29. Hug your kids.
30. Give "I Love You Prizes".

....and don't forget to say "I love you"... often!

 

4.  Physical affection.

For many of us, our parents were of a generation that wasn't into hugging and touching.  Was physical affection the norm in your family?

 

Do you find yourself reluctant to hug your kids?

   

What benefit is there to modeling appropriate physical touch between husband and wife?

   

As teenage daughters develop, fathers sometimes back away when their daughter needs a hug the most.  What can you do to keep this from happening?  What happens to a daughter who is starved for affection by her father?  

5.  Have fun with your kids.  

When kids get older they rarely remember the high and lofty conversations you had.  Instead, they remember the fun and crazy things you did.  Are you doing plenty of fun and crazy things in your home?  

 

Why is it hard to "be a kid" with your kids?

   

If your kids could only list one funny thing you did in your home, what would it be?

 

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