You might think, “wow, raising children and prepare them for their teenage years is a big job. Not to mention, preparing them for adulthood is another huge undertaking.”
There is one thing to remember, most everything your child needs for adolescent and adulthood is learned in their younger years. I don’t mean like driving a car, budgeting, and dating, etc. But most everything is learned early on in life.
Amazingly enough most everything we learned from ages 1-12 we used in college and all throughout our lives. In fact, we use those learned skills more than what we learned in college.
Of course, life and experience along with training greatly helps and will also make you more of the person you already are.
We have raised four children, ages raging from 16-26, and there are some tips we have learned and I want to share some of those with you.
Here are 5 ways to prepare your children for adolescence and adulthood
One thing I want to make clear, we have home-schooled our kids all the way from kindergarten to high school. Our first three are now doing very well in college and in life. In the past four years we have seen great fruit from our hard labor. So if your children are in the public school system, you have a whole nother set of challenges that we never dealt with.
However, my wife and I were public school students, so we know the system well, plus we are friends with many others. By the way, our training and success with our children did not come without much prayer, tears and confronting our fears as parents, teachers, leaders. Yes, tough work, but well worth it
Let’s get into it.
1. Teach them moral values
In a moral-less society our families are in great need of strong people, strong leaders with strong moral teens and adults.
One of the ways we taught our kids moral values was by:
a. Putting others (especially siblings) ahead of themselves. Boy that’s a challenge.
b. Serving/helping others.
c. By teaching the boys to respect and open the door for their mom and sister and by teaching sister to respect her brothers.
d. Proper dress code. Our daughter learned early on to dress modestly, and our boys have learned to be attracted to girls to respect themselves in this area as well as in others.
e. Stay pure until marriage. Yeah, this one is tough for our culture. But our kids are very proud of their decision to honor their own selves and God til marriage.
f. Look at others in the eye when speaking to them. This is a sign of respect and confidence in what you’re talking about.
You might think that these are very simple things, but believer me, these are skills and heart conditions that are lacking everywhere in society. Eventually, as parents we want our kids to be great moral and ethical leaders and not less than average followers for the rest of their lives.
2. Teach them the ways of the Lord
I’m coming from a Christian background here.We believe that the ways of the Lord are the most important thing a child could learn.From knowing to have a personal relationship with Jesus, to trusting him, to sharing their faith with others.
In addition, equipping them with Bible knowledge that is related to science, the mathematics of life, moral values as stated above, and much more.
When they learn the ways of the Lord, the Bible says, that when they’re old, they will not depart from it, and whatever they do, they will prosper (Proverbs 22:6; Psalm 1:1-3).
3. Teach them mannerisms
Are you kidding! Have you seen the way some people carry themselves these days and even the way they eat at restaurants?
So teaching kids how to carry themselves and even how to eat at the table is important. For example, how to set the table, where to put the napkin and how to hold their forks, knives, spoons and how to cut a steak. Oh yeah, and how to eat soup without slurping.
These little things show respect toward others when eating at their table, and a little side benefit is that it makes the parent look good.
We’ve also taught our boys how to open the doors for others when entering a building. And how to wait for the door to be opened for our daughter if a gentleman is getting close to a door.
Lady-likeness for your daughters and the boys to learn how to be gentlemen will go a long ways for them. Simple yet important.
4. Teach them selflessness
In a “selfie” society, it’s harder to learn to be humble. Our culture has been a self-center and very selfish society. This is a true everywhere in much of the world. Selfishness comes from the pride hidden in the heart-the very thing Jesus died for.
One of the ways we taught and continue to teach our kids is to be considerate towards others, even if they are not considerate towards you. Is that weird? Is that too hard?
Sure, it could be very frustrating to be a servant-leader to others that don’t seem to deserve it. But here’s the secret that we’ve ingrained into their brains and heart – everything you say, and everything you do, is a seed.
A seed will ALWAYS give you a harvest. Good seeds and bad seeds always produce a harvest accordingly – therefore, sow good seeds properly.
We’ve always heard the term: “what goes around, comes around.” Well, the Bible calls it this way:“you reap what you sow.” And that’s a promise.
I have taught them what the great late Zig Zigglar used to say: “you’ll get what you want in life, if you just help enough people get what they want.”
5. Teach them respect and honor
Ok, this one is big – very big.Let’s face it, our culture is a culture of dishonor. In other words, children’s human nature is to defy and even disrespect their parents.It’s the sinful nature. So as they learn to live to honor God, they learned to honor others.
In other words, our culture disrespects all sorts of authorities; from their teacher to the president of the United States.
Listen, let me remind you that when you teach your kids to first respect you as their parents, and their authority, you teach them mannerisms and moral values, and you teach them how to respect their siblings, and put others ahead of themselves, they will grown not only respecting others, but also honoring authorities.
Likewise, in their Christian walk they will learn to not only believe in God but reverence and honor him for who he is.
Believe you me, it’s a real challenge to teach kids these principles for life in today’s world. My wife and I were taught most of these five tips early on but not all of them.I struggled with honor, and I struggled with putting others ahead of myself.
I wanted to be a servant-leader as a minister and my wife as a teacher, but with selfishness in our hearts it was a huge challenge – not to mention, honoring God with everything we are and everything we did
So we changed and helped our kids do the same.
What other tips do you have that could help us help our kids grow into adolescence and adulthood?
Be awesome and share below.
About the Author
Alex Colón, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Teacher, Pastor, Blogger and best of all, Husband and Father of 4. Living the re-Branded life