There is an old parenting adage that says that when it comes to raising children, "more is caught than taught". If this is true, then maybe we should make sure that they catch us doing more of the right things.
Which makes me think:
What do I want my kids to catch me doing?
Here are a few ideas.
Have you ever noticed that many of the things that you didn't like about your parents growing up - and the things that you swore you'd never do - are the very things that you do today?
Maybe its the way you talk or respond or behave that is just like what you caught your parents doing years before.
It is one of the most frustrating things in the world when you find yourself doing what you swore you never would.
Thinking of this always reminds me of when the Apostle Paul said, " I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate - I do."
I hear ya, Paul. I hear ya.
There's good news and bad news in this message.
The bad news is that your kids are going to catch you doing things that you wish they never would.
The good news is that you can intentionally create things that they'll catch you doing that you'll be glad they did.
Like some of these ideas below.
Let them catch you...
You can talk to your kids about how you love each other all you want. But they need to see it for it to truly reach their hearts.
Our kids (like all normal kids) get grossed out when my wife and I kiss or hug. But we also know that it helps them to feel stable and safe and assures them that they don't have to worry about our family breaking up.
(That's my excuse anyway for kissing my wife as often as possible!)
Not only that, but parents who are affectionate with one another are an example of strong marriages and what they should look like for our kids when they grow up and get married as well.
So let your children and grandchildren catch you loving one another in a way that they will want to emulate once they get old enough to stop being grossed out by it.
One of the best things that my wife does to help raise our four daughters is to get up (normally she's the first one up every morning) and head to her "War Room". It's our designated closet space that she has turned into her place of prayer.
Every morning that the girls get up, they know where she is: Reading her Bible and praying.
This is such an awesome thing to "catch" your parents doing. Be sure that your kids are (no matter what age they are) catching you doing this most important task.
The role of a Christian parent is to introduce and show our children who God is and what He's like. That's what makes this particular issue such a huge and important thing for our kids to catch us demonstrating.
Probably the most important place that they need to see grace being demonstrated is with them, individually.
There will be plenty of times that our kids will fail and let us down. Sometimes, they will hurt us and disappoint us deeply. But it is exactly at these times and in these very moments that they need to see us extend and demonstrate grace towards them the most.
There is nothing more powerful than grace and nothing can reach our child's heart faster than a mom or dad who gives it freely.
The Church is not a place.
It's a movement of Jesus followers who are actively sharing the Good News wherever they go.
This cannot be overstated. Our kids need to catch us selflessly giving and doing good. They need to see us being the Church with our money, our time, and our hard work.
Again, it's one thing to say it. It's another to see it.
May our children and all who watch us catch us doing good.
I read about a family recently whose topic of conversation at dinnertime started with this question, "How did you fail today?".
The point of this was to help their children understand that failure is not an obstacle to growth, but the pathway to success.
I couldn't agree more.
Our kids need to catch us failing and moving forward. They need to learn to process it properly and to see how God uses everything we go through as an opportunity to grow and learn.
These are important lessons that we ought to embrace, not embarrassed by.
People are the Church. Not buildings or organizations. However...in this context, I'm talking about where you go to worship each weekend.
One of the big reasons that so many kids are leaving the faith when they get out on their own is because their parents were apathetic or unengaged with the church they attended.
They go. But they aren't passionate about it, nor do they really love attending or engaging with it.
When this happens, you can say "church is important" all you want. But kids catch your body language and lack of engagement more than your empty words.
If you love your kids - then love meeting with and getting fully engaged in the church you attend. If you don't love your church - find a new one. It's critical to the health and well-being of you and your entire family.
So what does all of this have to do with Finances, Money, or Financial Coaching?? EVERYTHING!
Our kids watch what we DO more than what we say. So it's important that we are consistent and intentional in every area of our lives.
Not only that, but when it comes to teaching your children financial rules that God has put into place, they need to see you consistent in following what He says in all of these other areas as well.
Do that, and there will be power in your words when you share with them how to win with money God's way, too.
What would you add to this list? What should kids catch us doing? I'd love to hear! Please comment below or tag me on your social media and share your ideas with me there.
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