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Are You Setting Your Kids Up For Success?

“Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant.”  — The words of King David speaking to his son Solomon in I Chronicles 22:14

Arrow with ShoesWhat I desire for my children can be summed up in three simple assertions:

  1. To love God with all their heart
  2. To respect and serve others
  3. To find their passion and pursue it

That’s it. If those three realities emerge at some point in their development, I’ll be the happiest parent around.

Those are real broad, big-picture type goals. How to specifically teach and impart these goals by taking advantage of what life brings our way is another story altogether. I continually wrestle with how I can best move each of my children forward in these areas. I know this one thing for sure though – none of it will happen unless I’m involved in their lives.

I cannot assume they will get there on their own, without direction from me. I’ve got to be present every day – modeling, teaching, correcting, encouraging and guiding them. (And having a TON of patience.) I can help set them up for success but only if I’m an engaged parent, who maximizes their strengths, confronts their weaknesses and meets their needs.

Parenting is a hands-on affair.

One of the greatest leaders of ancient times, King David, had serious parenting issues. The Bible gives us clues that his parenting approach was to be entirely hands-off when it came to his children. (He definitely didn’t confront their poor behavior.) It got so bad, that at one point he lost his great courage and fled for his life because he had allowed his son Absalom to usurp his kingly authority in an attempt to take over the kingdom. He definitely would not have won any “Parent-of-the-Year” awards.

But David did know how to plan. So when God revealed to him that another son Solomon would build a magnificent temple, David put a program in motion that would set Solomon up for success. He accumulated and stored massive amounts of gold, silver, bronze, and iron for the temple construction. He had timber and stone cut by master craftsmen and he hired all kinds of skillful men for every type of work the temple construction would require. And in a final moment of parental inspiration, he challenged his son to “Arise and begin working,” for God would be with him.  (I Chronicles 22:14-16)

David wasn’t making it easy for Solomon. There was still a great deal of work to be done and Solomon would have to oversee the entire project. But this must have been encouraging and instilled a great deal of confidence in Solomon for him to see all that his father had done for him. At the least, I’m sure it showed Solomon how much his father loved him.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not going out of control crazy here trying to manipulate my children’s future. Ultimately, it will be their responsibility as to whether they succeed or not. Their life will have to stand on its own merits through their own efforts. But if I can support them by giving them a positive head start and paving a little bit of the road ahead, then I’m all about that.

Are you parenting with the future in mind? How are you actively trying to set your kids up for future success? What’s the most important thing you are teaching your child right now? How are you doing it?

Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Brian

I'm a former private high school personal finance and Bible teacher now turned stay at home dad and blogger. My hobbies include rental real estate, running, cooking and sports. In my down time, I love hanging out with my four kids and hearing my wife talk about all the cool things CPAs do at work.

Comments

  1. Well, I’m not parenting at all so there’s your answer! But seriously, I really like the three things you listed at the beginning and I would be more than happy if my children were able to develop with those at the focal point. Great post, as usual.

  2. Alexa Mason says:

    My main my goal in life is to be a good parent and raise responisble, good natured, kids into adults. I am very hands on with my kids. They are only three and four so they can be a big handful. I let them have their independence that they crave. (Like pouring their own juice or trying to tie their shoes) and we sit down and read and learn everyday.

  3. Shannon Ryan says:

    Love this, Brian! Too me, one of the saddest ironies is that so many parents think giving their kids everything they want and never saying “no” is the best way to raise them. Unfortunately, it’s not. You are creating entitled kids and crippling their ability to be successful on their own when they are so used to having everything handed to them. The real world doesn’t work that way. Yes, I am actively working with the girls to help them have the best life possible. As you said, in the end it will be up to them but I can help give them the right tools and support to achieve it on their own. I’m sure this will come as no shock to you, but one of the greatest gifts (besides lots of love) I have given the girls is the ability to make smart, informed money decisions. I’m not even sure if I fully understood how much of an impact this would have on their lives when I started teaching them. But they get it. Life is about the choices we make, and often time those choices have a monetary cost to them. So if we can learn to make decisions in alignment with our values and goals, we are already ahead of the class.

    • “Too me, one of the saddest ironies is that so many parents think giving
      their kids everything they want and never saying “no” is the best way to
      raise them.” I’ve worked in education over 15 years Shannon and it’s easy sometimes to spot these type of kids. They really believe they are entitled to receive anything they desire and when they don’t get it, they throw a fit. Get a grip kiddos. In the real world, you have to work hard and earn everything.

  4. Love your bulleted thoughts. To raise kids to know Him and make Him known!!

  5. Many parents want their kids to love everything they do for them or to be ‘friends’ with them. In many cases, what’s best for your kids are things that they’re not going to like. If your kids agree with everything you do for them, then you’re probably doing something wrong!

    • “If your kids agree with everything you do for them, then you’re probably doing something wrong!” Ain’t that the truth! I didn’t agree with everything my parents expected of me when I was growing up. Funny thing is though, now that I have my own children, I see they were right in almost all respects.

  6. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Good post Brian! We’re raising our kids with the future in mind. Like you said, whether or not they succeed is largely up to them and their efforts/goals/ etc. That said, I think it behooves us as parents to give them the best foundation we can. I think it’s the loving thing and really the right thing to do on so many levels.

    • Thanks John. Giving them a foundation to build on is really what this is all about. So many parents just let their kids figure it out on their own. I think that’s foolish and detrimental to their future success.

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