This thought crossed my mind this past weekend while on a lengthy road trip home from Ohio. It is so easy to be critical as a parent, always want to see improvement in our kids, behavior changes, and the ability to make better choices. Usually it's us wanting them to do better than they want for themselves. This can begin at a very early age and go on until they leave the home as a young adult- it may just be the way alot of parents are wired.
I think we all too often focus our attention on the habits and character issues that we dont want developing in our children at the expense of neglecting to nurture the good stuff that is developing. Meaning this: because it's so easy to be critical and focus our energies at addressing and tending to the bad stuff, we miss opportunities to point out and affirm the good stuff.
I also know that what we give attention to- the kids will pay attention to as well- whether it is good or bad. When we're able to slow down and find those 'bright spots', and we affirm those things in our kids, we're ultimately heaping fertilizer in their lap- reminding them that these habits or actions are good and worth paying attention to. When we point these character traits out, and when we highlight their wise choices and discuss them, we are not only affirming them, but we're fertilizing these areas of their heart- in the hopes that they keep pursuing them.
2 Timothy 1:3-7 Finds the apostle Paul doing this very thing in a young Timothy. Affirming the good stuff and reminding Timothy to pursue these fruits that are developing in him.
Food for thought: What are the bright spots that you are seeing in the day to day life of your child or teenager? What are the fruits that are developing in your child or teen that you want to see evident in their life more often? How are you pointing these out, 'fertilizing' these fruits or events in their life?
We have stocked up on Tobymac, Skillet, Jermey Camp and Brandon Heath CDs. I have them in the youth room cafe for $7ea. Let me know if you are interested and we can set them aside for you
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