Let’s face it: we all want well-behaved kids, but sometimes it feels like we’re spinning our wheels. Enter the game-changer character. I recently had a follow-up chat in my second episode of the Warfare Parenting Podcast on Biblical Character with Dr. Kathy Koch. We dig deep today into the link between
character and obedience. It’s so enlightening!
Why Character is the Foundation of Obedience
Why is Character Key?
- It changes your child’s heart.
- It helps them want to obey, not just have to.
You see, character isn’t just about being nice or polite. It’s foundational to every single thing, including—yes, you guessed it—obedience. Character transforms the very essence of your child, so they’re not just obeying to avoid your wrath or to snag a reward. They’re obeying because they genuinely want to do the right thing. It’s long-haul obedience we’re talking about, not just rule-following.
When Misbehavior Is Actually a Teaching Moment
How to Use Misbehavior to Foster Character:
- Avoid labeling your child.
- Look for patterns.
- Get to the root issue.
So, your kid acts up. Before you blow a gasket, take a breath. Dr. Koch suggests this could be the perfect moment to teach character. First, identify why your child misbehaved. Is it a belief they hold? A response to a situation? Then, instead of slapping a label on them like “rebellious” or “lazy,” look for patterns over time. Trust me, one mistake does not define your child. Once you uncover the root issues, refer back to your list of character traits to pinpoint what needs to be worked on.
The Power of Positive Reinforcement
Why Joy, Gratitude, and Self-Efficacy Matter:
- They motivate kids.
- They help kids believe they can do what’s asked of them.
We all know how much easier life is when we approach it positively. Well, it turns out that joy, gratitude, and self-efficacy aren’t just feel-good terms. These traits actually promote obedience. Dr. Koch revealed that these foundational traits can move your child from “have to obey” to “want to obey” and finally to “will do obey.” Affirming their good choices helps them develop an identity of being obedient.
And What About Chores?
Chores Can Teach Character:
- Make chores age-appropriate.
- Break big tasks into smaller steps.
- Offer some choices for empowerment.
Let’s not forget chores—those mundane tasks we often battle over. Kathy suggests turning this everyday challenge into an opportunity to instill character. Assign chores that are right for your child’s age and stage. Break down big tasks into smaller chunks and maybe even let them choose between a few chores.
The aim is to teach them that biblical character naturally leads to a desire to obey without all that usual pushback.
If you’re struggling to instill these concepts into your kids, don’t sweat it. Dr. Koch’s not here to shame but to empower us for success. Her book, “Parent Differently: Raise Kids with Biblical Character that Changes Culture,” is jam-packed with insights and practical
So here’s to shaping character that fosters obedience and watching our kids bloom in ways we never thought possible!