We’ve been talking a lot about character, haven’t we? And if you caught my recent Warfare Parenting Podcast with the wisdom-packed Dr. Kathy Koch, you know why. Teaching character to your children is like laying the foundation for a home. It doesn’t just happen; it’s built brick by brick. So, what are the best strategies for making this happen?
The Problem: The Struggle is Real, and So Are the Stakes
You’re doing your best, but sometimes it feels like the parenting manual got lost in the mail, am I right? One day, your child is kind and respectful, and the next, well, not so much. This roller coaster can be exhausting, but it’s not just about behavior; it’s about shaping their hearts, building lasting character, and impacting how they face the world.
The Answer: Go Beyond the Surface
Let’s delve into the three groundbreaking strategies Dr. Kathy Koch shared that can help us in this oh-so-crucial mission.
Strategy 1: Be the Hero They Need, Not Just the Enforcer
- Walk the Talk: As Dr. Koch puts it, our words must match our actions. Kids are like sponges, and they’ll soak up hypocrisy as easily as integrity.
- Family Affair: Make character-building a family project. Encourage the Fruit of the Spirit as a family goal, so it’s not just about the kids “getting better.”
Pro Tip: Humble yourself. When you mess up (and you will; we all do), apologize. Show them that character is a lifelong pursuit.
Strategy 2: Choices, Choices, Choices!
- Teaching Moments: Use the word “choice” when correcting your kids. Point out that their choices are an extension of their character.
- Natural vs Logical Consequences: Sometimes, natural consequences (like losing a friend over gossip) teach better than a parent-led lecture.
Pro Tip: Don’t shy away from using examples that are relatable. Discuss choices and their consequences in a way they understand.
Strategy 3: Get Specific to Get Results
- Praise Specifically: “Good job” is nice, but how about “I appreciate your patience with your sister”? Specificity is key.
- Correct Specifically: Like praise, targeted correction offers a blueprint for change.
Pro Tip: Take this to your daily Scripture reading. Dr. Koch suggests looking for character themes and discussing them as a family. That way, the Bible becomes not just a book of stories but a character-building manual!
So, What’s Next?
Teaching character is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. But, oh, the rewards! We get to see our kids live out their faith and grow into adults who not just follow the rules but live by strong principles. And hey, the same Bible that calls us to raise them in the way they should go also promises that they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). So keep the faith and keep pressing!
Feeling encouraged? I know I am. If you haven’t yet, make sure to listen to the complete conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch on the podcast.
This has been a fantastic blog series on Biblical Character that changes culture, and don’t forget to buy this essential and family-healing book “Parent Differently: Raise Kids with Biblical Character that Changes Culture,”, which is jam-packed with insights and practical guidance.