Raising Kids is Simple With These 12 Powerful Rules
Melanie and I have six children, all married, with 13 grandchildren (and one on the way).
I look back over the 32 years we had children at home and can see 12 main rules we followed.
Here they are:
1. Start SOON.
- Psychologists now say age 4 is the time when their character is formed. That’s 208 weekends. Make them count.
2. Win every BATTLE.
- You HAVE to win every “battle of the will” without bruising their spirit. This includes the “table war,” learning to share, doing chores, controlling fits, cleaning their room, going to bed on time and a hundred other battles you will encounter.
3. Learn to LISTEN.
- Give them at least 15 minutes a day of your undivided attention. Avoid being distracted by work, media, etc. when you are at home. “When at home, BE at home.”
4. Keep your EYES on them.
- Of course you watch them like a hawk when they are in a pool or the ocean. You also need to watch those who are their friends. Later on, you must watch their phone…and their relationships. Of course, you must protect them from any predator who wants to prey upon their innocence.
5. Put them FIRST.
- Put yourself last. You’re going to need every penny to be ready for the “big 10”: their birth, food and clothes, school, sports, music lessons and instruments, braces, car, college, wedding, and (possibly) a home down payment.
6. Make MEMORIES.
- Take them on an annual vacation. Make Christmas special. Go fishing and camping. Have a weekly fun Family Night.
7. Teach the WORD.
- Read them a Bible story daily. Get them in Sunday school to reinforce your teaching. Help them go on mission trips and church camps. They changed my life.
8. Find their SPOUSE.
- Tell them early on that you will help them find their spouse. Ask yourself: “What is their background? How about their family? Are they a stable individual? Do they have a good work ethic? Did they make good grades?” For more info, see my recent blog "How to Marry the Right Person For Life."
9. Teach them FINANCES.
- Teach them to tithe and save. Show them that reward only comes by hard work. Start their retirement early. ONLY go to college to learn a marketable skill and do it with no college debt.
10. Reward RESPONSIBILITY.
- Dave Ramsey said, “There is a 4-year-old and a 32-year-old inside my teenager. Which one am I dealing with today?” Showing responsibility brings privileges, not nagging, pouting or manipulation.
11. Build their CONFIDENCE.
- Speak positive words over them. Get them tested for learning problems. Be personally involved in their life. Give them feedback on work. Teach them a trade and life skills. Talk to them about their purpose.
12. Show them HONOR.
- Once they are “grown and gone,” honor their spouse. Encourage their new business or new job. Let them make their own decisions without interference. Don’t boss and certainly don’t try to control them.
There you go. The “essential 12.” I only scratched the surface, but start right there. Share this with your friends and grown children.
Here’s to a new generation of great, godly leaders.