Grooming Our Kids for Success

The role of parenting is not an easy one because it’s a relationship that is designed to have an end, unlike other relationships. As Dr. John Townsend says in his book “God Will Make A Way” (ch 13), “God’s design of you as a parent is to be constantly working yourself out of a job.” We are to help them grow and be independent adults that are not dependent or codependent on us financially or emotionally. 


It’s not easy to let our kids grow up and become completely independent of us when we have poured ourselves into them during their childhood years, but that is the way God designed this role to be. We are parents only for the first 18 to 21 years of their life, then, if our job was done successfully, they will have matured enough to make their own life without us….whatever that may entail… not dependent on us in any way. Some kids are not mentally capable of this, there will always be an exception, but for the most part, parenting is designed to end. 


From infancy all the way until their teen years, we need to teach our children the skills they will require to live life independently of us. We need to allow them to make choices and let them experience the consequences of wrong choices, without judgment or condemnation. What do you think are the skills they will need? In my opinion, these include good money and time management, good communication and social skills, and dependence and wholehearted trust in God and His promises. What would you add to the list? 


“It is our very heart that has given them their own hearts so that they have the strength to leave and follow their true Father in the ways He has prepared for them” (J. Townsend) We must constantly remember that God loves our children even more than we love them and He is very concerned with their growth and maturity in every area. He knows the plans He has for them and they are for their good - plans that will help them prosper in every way (Jer 29:11)


Parenting is not easy, but if God gave you the privilege to be a mom or dad, He will give you the wisdom, help, guidance, and resources you need to do your job well. As parents, we will constantly be faced with our inadequacies, but that is simply a reminder that we cannot travel this path of life alone. We NEED God on our side to give us wisdom and help us control our emotions when things seem to be out of control; this is even more so if God gives us the role of homeschooling teachers! If parenting has been hard for you, remember that God allowed you to become a parent for a reason…. He will give you wisdom and all the resources necessary to be a great parent. Pour yourself emotionally into your kids, but always remember that your role must come to an end….. Allow your kids to grow up and encourage them to be independent of you emotionally and financially. That is the main goal of your parenting years. 

There is a lot of controversy about whether or not to give kids an allowance, and if so, how much. I  believe that by giving kids a good allowance we can start teaching our kids good MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS, which is something that they need to learn in order to succeed in life. If we can't manage properly they money we get, we will never have enough. We will always complain about not having enough money. On the other hand, if we have good money management skills, it won't matter how much we make, we will still apply the basic principles and always have enough no matter how much we bring in each month.


I have learned some principles over the past few years that have helped our family live debt-free. We have payed off our condo, and we always pay off our credit card bills each month so we don't get any accrued interest. What are these principles? They are ones that I learned in a book several years ago:


1. 10% of household earnings goes to an"Offering" account. This can be given in the church or to any other organization to which God prompts us to give.


2. !0% is labeled "Investment", which means anything that will potentially make you money. I do not believe investing in the stock market is very wise. My personal belief is that investing in a network marketing business that offers products that we are passionate about is the best place to invest that 10% and so that is what I do, and what I teach my kids to do.


3. 10% goes to a "Savings" account. This includes saving part of it for yearly vacations and part for retirement, along with anything else for which we want to save at the moment. 


4. Our expenses need to be kept down to 70% of our monthy income, which includes entertainment, of course, not just monthly bills.


 So, how much is a good amount to give them? We give them approx $50 a week, but they get paid $100 on the 1st day and the 15th day of the month. 


I have them pay partially for the classes they want to take, which include gymnastics and dance. That way they get a taste of what it means to pay monthly bills. 10% automatically gets taken out for offering so they do not spend it, 10% goes to an investment account (my son already is using that account money since he started his own network marketing business with Young Living) and 10% goes to saving for a car (though it doesn't amount to much, that gives them the basic idea of what it means to save for something big for the future; it helps them apply the financial principle). They get to spend the rest of their money in whatever way they desire, and many times that includes purchasing clothes they want (my daughter loves going shopping with friends, but she always finds good bargains on clothes she loves)


Do they do chores? Yes they do, but that is honestly separate from money management skills. Doing chores teaches them to be responsible for their own living space. It also teaches them to share in household responsibilities without complaining. What they do depends on their age. The older they get, the more chores around the house they need to do. 


I don't know if you agree or not with me on my position of giving kids a good allowance, but that is my take on the subject and I think it teaches them good money management skills so they can learn do live independently of their parents once they turn 21 and beyond, not codependent of us. 

What other LIFE SKILLS could we teach your kids? Here are some things to consider: Making daily exercise a priority, showing them that a good night's rest is just as important as other healthy habits like eating healthy and exercising, and helping them see that choosing products that will enhance our health is extremely beneficial.

Our main responsibility as parents is to be used by God in any way He desires to use us to be a blessing to our kids. We may think we know what is best for them, but that is when we starting getting impatient and angry because they wil l many times not do or perform according to our expectations. We need to just pray for them and ask God to move in their lives, asking Him to help us simply play a suppotive role in their lives, honoring them, encouraging them and supporting them in their decisions. 


Some examples:

- If your son or daughter wants to do something you don't really approve like going to a dance or getting a tatoo: Instead of getting angry and saying "No way!", talk about it with them and hear why they want to do it. Say that there is nothing in the Bible that talks clearly against that, but you want to make a prayerful decision about it. Ask them to pray about it too, and maybe even pray about it together if they are up to it. This way they will realize how important it is to get God's approval before we act, no matter what the issue may be. 


- If they want to do something that is clearly against what the bible says, like sex before marriage or living with someone before getting married: Assure them that you understand the pressures that their friends put them under, but that God has that rule simply to save us from a lot of pain later (contracting a sexual transmitted disease, getting pregnant and contemplating either single motherhood or abortion, among others). Pray togehter and/or encourage them to pray when they are faced with the temptation so that God will help them stay strong. 


- If they want to pursue a career in an area where you think they are not going to make any money, don't laugh at them. Just support them all the way and pray that God will help you see in what direction He is leading them. He always has the best plans for their lives! For example, my son is clearly being led in the arts and entertaiment area. He loves music - playing the guitar, singing, playing the piano.... He also like making movies and he signed up for a summer film camp for which he paid mostly with the money he saved up or was granted from us and from my parents in a fund we labeled "education fund".


No matter what, always remember that God is in charge of our children's lives. We are simply to honor them, encourage them and support them in any way God desires us to do so. It will be hard to give up parental control, but this is the only way that God can truly use us to be the best parents to our children. Just love them and be there for them at all times!

When I first became a mom, I was a single mom and a very angry one at that. I was filled with anger at those who had hurt me and many who I thought had hurt me, including God. I didn't beat my son or daughter, but anytime I felt my kids did not meet my expectations, I would yell at them for quite a while. Poor little guys! I certainly did not feel like I was cut out to be a mom!


I felt God had called me to be a stay at home mom and a homeschooling one, yet I kept failing over and over again. I would get angry at them all the time. I wanted to just throw in the towel and I kept telling God, "I'm sorry. I just can't do it!" God was extremely patient with me. By His grace I am able to now start this blog section and encourage you in your parenting journey so you can groom your kids for success in this world.


I pray that God's love will flow through me and that He will give me the words of wisdom I need to write in each blog. May you be encouraged whether you are a single or married parent, and whether you are expecting a baby or you have teen or preteen kids. You can expect a blog post once or twice a month in this section, so stay tuned.