By Erin Bird,
We are in a series here in the News & Notes about Jesus-centered parenting. Before I jump into this week’s topic, I just want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who has let me know how this series is positively impacting you. That means a lot – glad to know I’m not just writing into the Internet abyss!
Empowering Your Child
This week, I want to empower you to empower your child through responsibility. I think we can agree that what our world needs are adults who will carry their weight at work and in society. And I believe this preparation is best done not just at school, nor through the Internet, but in the home.
And my encouragement to you is to begin this preparation as soon as you can.
Now, obviously, you can’t give your kid responsibilities on day one. But you can…
- have them help you pick up their toys when they are 6 months old
- let them “help” wash dishes in the sink when they are a year old
- put their clothes in their drawer with you when they are 18 months old
- or help you “wash” the car when they are two
Most little ones really enjoy “helping.” So do what you can to include them as early as possible. And as they get older, begin to assign them jobs to do as part of the family. (If you do create a “chore” chart, be sure to include yourself so they can see how much you contribute into the functioning of the household.)
So all of the above is well and good, but if you notice, it’s just helpful advice. Where does the Jesus-centered motivation come in?
I believe that the reason you should aim to empower your child to bear responsibility is because that is exactly what Jesus has done with us.
Think about it… When Jesus gathered his followers on a hill as he prepared to ascend to heaven after his resurrection, he commanded them to “Go, and make disciples.” In other words, He was giving them the responsibility to continue the mission He had began. And he empowered them through His presence, which was found through the Holy Spirit.
This means that if God the Son, who could have done everything Himself perfectly, chose to empower His followers to continue His mission, you can do likewise and empower your child(ren) to take on responsibility. And as your kids learn the value of work, they will be building character, learning life does not revolve around them, and part of their purpose in life is to serve others.
So give your kids appropriate responsibilities, empowering them to thrive and become the people God plans for them to be.