Child_Delight-in-Nature_1048 by 480

Experiencing goodness and truth

What are some ways that we can help the Lord store goodness and truth for our children? What is our role as parents?

Provide a loving environment that supports innocence

  • Talk to your baby often. Tell him or her, “Mom loves you, Dad loves you, the Lord loves you.”
  • Be selective about what your child sees and hears.
  • Set reasonable expectations for behavior and be consistent about behavioral boundaries.
  • Teach the Ten Commandments.

Create an enriched learning environment

  • Read stories from the Word, fairy tales, and folk tales with your child.
  • Provide unstructured play time—especially outdoors.
  • Explore nature together. Talk about the Lord’s creation.
  • Encourage your child to talk about their learning experiences.

Cultivate habits that give children a sense of useful purpose

  • Get everyone involved with household chores.
  • Adapt chores to a child’s level of competency.
  • Toddlers can fetch and carry and put their toys away.
  • Older children can help with meal preparation, fold clean clothes, sweep and vacuum.

Practice the skills of friendship

  • Provide opportunities to interact with others.
  • Encourage giving and sharing.
  • Keep in mind that becoming unselfish takes a lifetime of practice.

Encourage compassion

  • Provide opportunities to reach out to people in need. Children can help deliver a meal to a family with a new baby, help an elderly neighbor, or help a charitable organization.
  • Talk about ways to use the Golden Rule as a guide when interacting with people: Whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them (see Matthew 7:12).
  • Look for books and movies that help children learn about kindness and compassion.

Help your child become aware of his or her own competency

  • Give opportunities to practice making choices e.g. “Do you want to wear the yellow shirt or the red shirt?”
  • If you cannot honor all choice options, take care not to present a situation as a choice when it is not really a choice, e.g. “Do you want to set the table or cook dinner for the family by yourself?”
  • Foster confidence and security by giving increasing opportunities to make good choices.
  • Allowing children to take some risks can increase their feelings of competency, e.g. climbing trees, jumping down steps, swinging high.