Fun Ways to Encourage Consistency in the Lives of Young People

Living the Christian life well requires consistency. Although only Jesus is perfect, the faith and impact of Christians will be much stronger if we are able to do things like praying, serving others, sharing our faith, studying scripture, obeying God’s commands on a consistent basis – rather than every once in awhile. Consistency requires perseverance, patience, commitment, faithfulness, stability, dependability, reliability and other important character traits.

Thankfully, you don’t have to constantly lecture or preach to your kids to help them learn the importance of consistency or to practice it. There are fun things you can do that will help them learn those lessons. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Growing things. Whether it’s a garden or a Venus fly trap, plants require consistency from caretakers to survive. Often it is also a very particular consistency the plants need, which will make the lesson even more meaningful. Not being consistent in the right ways will damage or even kill the plant. The most effective way to teach this lesson is to invest in a plant that you are willing to allow to perish at the hands of your inconsistent children. Seeds are often the best option because they are inexpensive, give you multiple opportunities to try again by planting a few more and your child’s consistency in caring for the seeds has no obvious pay off for the first few days.
  • Being a penpal. Yes, it’s old school, but that is what makes it so effective. This can work even better if the penpal lives somewhere you are willing to eventually take your child to visit. Encourage them to be consistent in writing so that the friendship is strong enough to justify a visit. Of course this works best when the penpal has a parent also encouraging consistency.
  • Learning a new skill. Whether it’s swimming, playing the piano or cooking, consistency in attending lessons and practicing is needed to be successful or at least show substantial progress. This works better if the new skill is something the child really wants to learn how to do.
  • Jigsaw puzzles and models. Find a difficult one that your kids are excited about. Limit the amount of time they can spend working on it each day, but offer a small reward if they complete it by a certain date. The date should be close enough that they can only miss a day or two and still meet the deadline.
  • Sourdough bread making. Word of warning. Identify lots of people to whom you can gift loaves of freshly baked bread before you start. Sour dough bread requires a starter. Most starters need regular bread making to stay ”alive”. The bread making needs to be on a consistent basis for it to work well. This type of project is best done over long school holidays.
  • Fitness or other goals. In order to see tangible results from exercise, it has to be done regularly. Your child may choose to gradually work up to hiking or running a certain distance comfortably, lifting a certain amount of weight safely, doing a certain number of crunches daily without being sore the next day, or performing some sort of gymnastic or other move that requires consistent practice to perfect.
  • Writing a book. Successful writers will often tell you that the key to success in writing is to write for a certain number of minutes each day. It requires not only consistency, but also the perseverance to write even when nothing comes to mind. Film making and other complex creative projects can provide similar benefits.
  • Practicing spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines are things like praying, studying and reflecting upon scripture, etc. When done consistently, they help the person’s faith remain strong and even grow. You can search for past posts on our website for ideas to help your child be successful in creating these crucial habits.

Have fun with it, but help your children be better at consistently doing important things. It will make it a lot easier for them to live the Christian life.

Published by

Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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