Yesterday I introduced this series of a parenting model called Olive Tree Parenting. If you need the introduction read it HERE.
Here are some suggestions to help you develop this “fruit” in your children. To be honest I need to remind you that this is a “model”. That doesn’t mean I was perfect at doing this. Some I did better than others. The fact is, however, that we seldom hit a target we aren’t aiming for, so make this your goal and you will find it easier to achieve than with no plan at all.
Love is the first fruit mentioned and the most important. Jesus said “love” was the greatest command for us all. Please understand you can’t really teach your child to love. You must model it for them. Here are some actions you can take, however, to instill this fruit in their heart.
*Ask your children questions about their life. Get to know your child and what they are thinking. Show you care.
* Do everything in love…….even discipline. (They will know when you are not acting in love. You will too.)
*Discipline. Don’t neglect discipline in “the name of love”. Discipline should actually be an indication that you love them enough to train them to do the right thing.
*Watch how you treat other groups of people; including other races and ethnic groups.
*Watch your child’s attitude; always recognize attitudes over actions (1 Sam. 16:24) and respond accordingly.
*Love your children’s friends.
*Be kind to your neighbors, friends and family. They are watching.
*Get involved in church and community not out of compulsion, but because you love other people.
The goal of producing joy is not to make your children happy. The Bible makes a distinction between joy and happiness. (Psalm 68:3) Here are some actions you can take to instill the fruit of joy in your child’s heart:
*Don’t reward everything. Life should not be a big celebration. Life shouldn’t revolve around the next big event.
*Have a sense of humor. Have fun parenting. Let them see you having fun.
*Be positive. Children can’t take the pressure and stress of life that an adult has to handle.
*Allow your children to enjoy life at the age they are, without trying to make them someone they are not.
*Life is difficult and there will be trials, but let your children see you use trials as something you learn from and have faith during; trusting that God will work all things for good.
*Remind yourself to “be joyful always”. This is another character trait we need to model for them.
Peace is a foundation for other great character traits you will want your children to have. The Bible says we can have peace that is there regardless of the storms of life. I know many adults who would like that kind of peace. You would certainly want that for your children. It is important to instill peace virtues into your children. Here are some actions you can take to model peace for your children:
*Pray for your children daily in their presence. This shows them the importance of prayer and relying on God for daily strength.
*Teach them to pray. Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Help your children understand they can talk with God anytime. They will catch on quickly. Faith comes much easier when built as a child.
*Let them see you read your Bible regularly.
*Talk about your faith. Peace is found in a relationship and they need to see that modeled for them.
*Remain cool in stressful situations as best as you can. It’s okay that they see you emotional, but they should quickly see you display a peace that surpasses understanding.
Stay tuned for more character “fruit” trait building activities tomorrow.