“Fine” That’s often the favorite word of the quiet child. If you have a quiet child, you may feel like it takes an enormous amount of effort to get him to speak a complete sentence, much less pour his heart out to you. Quiet kids can be male or female and any age, although parents seem the most frustrated trying to communicate with quiet teen boys.
You may be tempted to give up and not try after a few hundred failed attempts at conversation. Unfortunately, parenting is much more difficult when your child doesn’t open up and talk. Christian parenting is virtually impossible because a child who doesn’t tell you what’s on her heart and mind leaves you guessing by the behaviors you see. (Which can be a very inaccurate measure of the heart.)
Your quiet child is also very likely introverted and likes to go off and be alone for hours at a time. You can’t change how God created your child’s nature, but you can soften it a bit. (The strengths God gave your kids can become detrimental when taken to the extreme. God provides parents to mold those gifts to God’s original design and plan – often softening them from the extremes to which kids will often take their gifts.)
If you have a quiet child, doing these things should help if done consistently over a period of time.
Some of you are shocked to learn talkative kids exist. You may have a houseful of children who grunt more than they talk and think saying,”Nope” is exhausting. If you are raising a talkative child though, you may have days when you wish he were just a tad less vocal.
It’s probably no surprise to you (and certainly isn’t to my family) that I am a talkative person myself. I never meet a stranger, and can usually coax conversation out of even the most reluctant teen. It’s probably why I studied education in college and love to teach!
While your talker may wear you out at times, you need to understand this is a child who is displaying her gift from God. A talker can become an amazing Bible class teacher. She can get total strangers talking about their faith without breaking a sweat. He can preach a sermon without major nerves. Talking is a gift from God, He gave your talkative child to serve Him.
Unfortunately, talking, when undeveloped and unfocused, can drive people away from God instead of to Him. Self-centered talking can cause others to keep things quiet your child needs to know to serve more effectively. Talking when developed without the spiritual, godly aspects can create an arrogant, materialistic speaker – using his or her gift, but not necessarily in godly ways.
There are 5 things you need to do if you are raising a talker.
Nothing can get people more animated than beginning a discussion about money. Or poverty. Or God’s views on the two. Yet scripture after scripture talks about how God wants His people to care for the poor. Whatever your personal interpretation, I believe kids benefit from understanding the realities of poverty. The scriptures also make it clear God expects us to be good stewards of the blessings He gives us. The money your kids will be given and earn during their lifetimes is one of those blessings. Teaching stewardship should also begin early.
The average full time worker making minimum wage in the U.S. takes home about $300 a week. Let’s be generous and raise that up to $500 a week. Let’s pretend she’s a single mom with two kids and like 2/3 of single moms, receives no financial help from the children’s dad. You can make the rest of the activity simple or difficult depending upon the age of your kids and how much time and money you have to spend.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your kids “become” this fictional mom to better understand God’s views on stewardship and our responsibility to help others.
One of the hardest things about this ministry is seeing all of the wasted potential in the church and in the lives of children and teens. God gives each of us potential to make an impact on the world by serving the church and others and sharing our faith. Yet much of it lies untapped for a variety of reasons. Most are living lives that are a mere shadow of what God had intended for them to be.
Those who reach the potential God gives them have some of the richest, fullest lives I have ever witnessed. They know their purpose. Their lives have meaning and their connection to God is strong. Their faith allows them to cope with the problems of living in a fallen world with grace.
So, what do you need to do to help your kids reach their godly potential? These tips should get you started.
If you have been a Christian for very long, you are probably familiar with the Fruit of the Spirit. These are a list of godly characteristics that should be obvious in the lives of Christians. (Galatians 5:22-23) Kindness is one that normally doesn’t get much attention. It’s crucial though for living a Christian life.
If you read the New Testament, a pattern becomes obvious. God wants us to love others, but how we treat people as we love them also serves to draw people towards God. They will want to know why your kids are different than other kids they know. Many will start asking questions and your kids can use those opportunities to share their faith.
Since kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit, your kids will have an easier time once they are old enough to decide to become a Christian and are baptized for the remission of their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Making that transition will be easier though, if they don’t have to break a lot of bad habits. Training them to be kind from the beginning will make it easier when they become a Christian.
So what are the six key areas on which you should focus as you teach your kids how to be kind to others?