“Raising Spiritually Healthy Kids” – Part 4

Here is the final thought in raising spiritually healthy kids.


Find the right Approach.

Remember the first time you used one of those phrases your parents used that you swore you would NEVER use? Like “because I say so” or “just do what your told.” Yep, we’ve all done it. And it’s because of our patterns. Even if we did not like the approach our parents took with us, it’s still ingrained in our mental patterns.

It seems a bit obvious to say we can’t use the same approach our parents used on us, but it’s still true. I can’t even use the same approach with Matthew that I used with my older son Tyler because it’s two different worlds they’re living in.

Understanding the right approach to take with our kids has everything to do with really “knowing” our kids. That’s why the previous post is so crucial…availability. Being with our kids helps us know who they are and how they function. It may take some time and several failed attempts, but it’s imperative you discover the most effective way to connect with your child. The reason this is so difficult is twofold:

It takes time. Think of a time when you were frustrated with your kids (like this morning). You reach into your parenting tool bag for the most reliable tool we have, the lecture. Your late for work, the kids have to get to school and there’s no time to wait. It must happen right now. You begin dispensing wisdom in occasion inflexions in your voice to emphasize importance. While the content is solid and true, you are amazed and frustrated to see that your child is not soaking in the parental proverbs that have just escaped your mouth. “WHY?” You scream.

Maybe, just maybe, the approach is off. Think of these two factors:

·     Timing
·     Delivery

Re-cap…they are on their way out the door to school (every kid’s favorite place to be) and you are yelling at them about something they (right or wrong) don’t care about.

They need the correction and guidance you are intending to give, but the approach is off. Now, don’t take this too far to the other side. I am not saying we do everything so it’s convenient for our kids. And I can tell you this; my kids DO NOT decide how and when conversations happen in my house. However, if it’s really important and I really want them to understand and grow, I need to find the right approach so they actually HEAR me and not just stand there and LOOK at me.

I’m always looking for opportunities to have “God conversions” with my kids, but I want them to truly listen and learn. In order for that to happen, it usually works best to find the best approach and not just force it. The forced conversation has its place and you will need to use it. But make it the exception for the really boneheaded things, not the everyday things.

Just a thought.


  1. I loved this series. Thanks, Steve, for sharing your thoughts on spiritually healthy kids!

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