Helping kids develop discernment and wisdom

An oft heard cry in our home is praying for our children to become wise and discerning. We often bless our children’s spirit with wisdom and discernment and talk about Continue Reading →

Growth areas for our children

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Sarah's baby photos 077When our daughter was 8 months old, hubby & I wrote a list of skills that we wanted to teach and see develop in her over the next 12 months. The list included the following:

Physical capabilities:

  • To be able to clap her hands.
  • To be able to throw a ball.
  • To be able to kick a ball.
  • To be able to walk.
  • To be able to blow her nose.
  • To be able to clean her teeth with a toothbrush.
  • To be able to stack 5 blocks on top of each other.
  • To be able to use a crayon to colour.
  • To be able to fasten Velcro, and use a zip.
  • To assist with dressing herself.
  • To love the swimming pool & putting her head under water.
  • To be able to kiss with lips closed.
  • To be able to wave goodbye.
  • To be able to play by herself & to be content with that.
  • To be able to walk up & down steps.
  • To be able to dance to music.
  • To be able to retrieve a hidden toy.

Speech capabilities:

  • To be able to say “Thank you” /use sign language.
  • To use sign language for – thank you, please, no more, drink, something to eat,
  • To understand “no”.
  • For us to read at least one book per day to her.
  • To be able to obey simple commands.
  • To be able to identify facial & other major body parts.
  • To be able to use a soft & a loud voice & to learn how to whisper.

Spiritual aims:

  • To look forward to grace before every meal.
  • To pray with her every day.
  • For us to read the Bible to her most days.
  • To speak into her spirit and bless her each night as we pray with her.
  • To daily speak words of identity over her and love, value, acceptance, worthiness etc

Emotional / social aims:

  • To teach her to be gentle.
  • To enjoy playing with other children.
  • Not to whine / winge.
  • To regularly communicate to her that we love her & love spending time with her.
  • That she feels secure & can trust us.
  • Not to pull other people’s hair or bite them.

That year we were really intentional as we sought to help her grow in all areas. We still have a list of life skills that we desire our children to develop in before they leave home but the annual lists change as to their age and skill development. This last year, an item on the list was for both children (Princess aged 13 and Matey aged 10) to be competent in cooking 7 different breakfasts, 7 different lunches, 7 different snacks/cakes/biscuits, 7 different main courses and 7 different desserts all by themselves. This has been achieved in less than 6 months mainly through their initiative.

This morning I was chatting with some other mums about our 13 year old daughters and the issues that their friends were dealing with. It seems that a lot of 12-15 year old girls are having huge issues with identity and acceptance. The topic then turned to how we as parents are helping our children deal with these issues and bringing these issues out into the open. The issue of 8 & 9 year old boys being exposed to porn was also highlighted. Are we chatting to our children about what to do if they see sexually explicit images on the computer by accident and how it is not their fault but to tell you immediately? As one mum stated, when they are surfing the internet, it is like you have put a huge table full of books in front of your child and hidden a number of sheets of horrific graphic images among them. Sooner or later they will come across these images as they read the books. It is not their fault. How we handle it though, can either impair their future or assist them in their future. The topic among us mums then changed to buying items on hire purchases or buying items by paying nothing upfront, but paying later with exorbitant interest and how some teenagers are seeing this as a great way of getting new clothes without paying anything at the time. Have we taught and modeled to our children that this is not wise?

Just as we have a list of life skills that we want to see developed in our children, we also need to look at how we are intentionally communicating with them about the emotional and social issues that they will confront in their life. I would love to know what issues you are talking about with your children as I love being intentional in my role as a parent and there may well be issues I have overlooked. Thus, please feel free to comment below. This may help other parents as well with various issues that they need to raise with their children/teenagers. Thank you.