Great Relationships, Great Kids (Part 3)
3 Ways to Guard Your Kids from Poor Influences
In part 1 of this blog series, I mentioned that the single greatest influence on your children is their relationships. I would venture that the quality of their relationships will determine how well they will turn out! Our goal as parents is to be their most important relationship (after God), but it takes work and commitment on your part.
In part 2, we covered four relationship-building ideas to help you build a good relationship with your kids. When applied, these ideas have proven to build great, tight-knit families. Click HERE to view that article.
Today, we will finish up this "R" category of Relationships. I will provide you three relationship-building ideas that will help you guard your children from poor influences in their life.
Limit or eliminate the amount of negative music, friends, books, and magazines, and social media platforms your children are exposed to. Everyone in our culture is exposed to lots of negative and wicked material and you do not want your children to be marinating in it. As a parent, you must make sure that your children is not constantly hearing and thinking about a negative or immoral point of view. Know what kind of music your child is listening to, who their friends are, and what type of reading material they are digesting. The ideas they are exposed to create a way of thinking that has its own values and appropriate actions. For example, if you allow your children to hang around with negative or immoral people, they will have a high chance of also becoming negative and immoral. If they listen to sensual and angry music, or play violent, bloody video games that spout out profanity, they will become sensual and angry, hardened to violence, and accustomed to hearing (and using) profanity. If they constantly read materialistic and shallow magazines and books, or watch TV shows that idealize shallow and materialistic characters, they will likely become materialistic and shallow. Do not believe that one or two hours at church every week can combat or neutralize what they hear and meditate on every day.
Be alert for bullying, threats, pressure from school, church, neighborhood, especially online. One of the new realities is that children bully other children, especially online. This ranges from mild to severe. Be very alert to how your child is being pressured or bullied by the other children. Your child may even be a bully! This whole peer interaction can be so extremely stressful that it is debilitating for many children. There is also an unwritten code in children that says if you ask your parents to help you, you will be bullied more. Parents must be alert to what is happening at school and figure out what the best ways to help their children deal with it or get them out of a really dangerous situation. Realize that there are other children in your kids' life that have completely stereotyped your child and will not let them be anything other than whatever fits the stereotype they have of your son or daughter. Many children are not strong enough to resist that stereotyping.The world of school, church, and just playing in the neighborhood is patrolled by king pins who have very little regard for the fragile psyche and hidden talents of your child. All they care about is making sure that they are the king or queen and destroying anyone who could in any way threaten that. There are elements of socialization at work here and an overprotective parent can cripple a child, just like a bully can, but ask any girl in the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade if there are bullies and pressure -- she may break down and cry. You need to give your children the tools to cope and even thrive in this environment, as well as being a listening ear. In some situations where the pressure is extreme or the stereo-type is powerfully damaging, you may have to step in.
Focus on what your children are good at. It is your job to help your child to uncover the hidden talents and skills that God has woven into your child's life. They may not be interested in what you are interested in. They may not be the best at anything, but they have been wired to enjoy, be gifted at, and interested in a number of things, which they need you to help them find. Keep exploring hobbies, subjects, skills, talents, and interests until you find things that your children are good at and interested in. Protect your child from doing too many things at once. School is tougher these days and the demand on them is great. You as their parents are in effect the ultimate guidance counselor for them. They are constantly asking the questions, "What is my place in the world?" "What am I good at?" "How do I fit in?" "What is my contribution?" They do not have enough experience in the world to answer that question accurately. They need you help them explore new interests, talents, and skills. They may not be super-grateful for your willingness to sacrifice your time, energy, and resources for their destiny yet, but when you help them find what they are good at, it pays off with a child full of contentment and meaning. Your children will want to have a relationship with parents who are super supportive, who clearly enjoy being with them and want their best.
I hope you find this helpful for learning how to build great relationships with your kids, and I encourage you to forward it on to other parents who would benefit from this series. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how you are doing and how God is working in and through your life.
In His service,
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