Evening Devotional

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

[PROVERBS 22:6]

A good self image is one of the most important things we can build into our children. I believe there are at least ten building blocks to establish a child’s self image, enabling them to see themselves as God sees them.

First, we must express love to our children. That sounds so basic, but many children never hear their parents say “I love you.” You can’t say it too much. Second, be predictable. Children need stability, not capriciousness. Be predictable in your discipline, your standards, your love. Third, communicate clearly with your children. Do not expect them to read your mind. Remember that children are quite literal and do not understand nuance or subtlety as adults do. Fourth, try to understand the source of behavior problems, instead of dealing only with the symptoms. Fifth, catch your children doing good! That’s right—catch them doing the right thing, and praise them for it.

Sixth, provide a safe environment, emotionally and physically. Make your home a safe place for your child. Seventh, set reasonable limits based on your child’s age and development. Eighth, teach your child problem-solving skills. Don’t do everything for them. Ninth, don’t overreact. Ninety-nine percent of the things we parents loose our cool over are not life-altering. Finally, be patient. Parenting is a long-term effort, and you cannot achieve all that you hope for in a day. If you remember these things and strive each day to do them…with a word, a look, a touch…your child will have the foundation he needs to grow strong.

~ Dr. Edwin Young ~

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