Help children succeed as school starts

2012-08-28T00:34:00Z Help children succeed as school startsBy Martin Russell Helena Independent Record
August 28, 2012 12:34 am  • 

This is a significant time of the year for many households as students return to school and family patterns are (re)established. In encouragement to families, I would like to offer some helpful suggestions to parents as they seek to show love to their children.

1. Pray for your child daily that they will love themselves and make good decisions. Pray for yourself as a parent that you are able to listen, direct, love and have the courage to be a parent. Your child is a gift to you and you are a gift to them. God, who seeks to be a part of your lives, gives these gifts.

2. Set boundaries for your child that you are able to clearly identify to them and that you are going to follow through on. You must follow through with discipline or the boundaries do not make any difference. Do not give up that responsibility because your child shows some resistance. Do what you can to be consistent.

3. Know what your child is doing, who they are with, and where they are going. Make your child accountable for letting you know what is going on with them.

4. Daily tell your child that you love him or her, even if they are 6 feet, 3 inches tall and they do not say anything in return. Your child needs to hear from you that you love them.

5. Praise your child whenever possible. Most children are trying to do the best they can. They need to know that we see that.

6. Help your child to make decisions. Do not make all their decisions for them but help them to process what things need to be considered when they make a decision. This will help them to have ownership of their decisions.

7. Let your child know that you know that you are not perfect. When you make a mistake, admit it. When you have done something for which you need to apologize, do so.

8. Spend time with your child. Play. Laugh. Develop a common interest. Take an interest in your child’s activities. Attend their performances, athletic games and award ceremonies. Your presence is very important.

9. Realize that you can do all the right things and that all the wrong things can happen. You are not perfect. Your child is not perfect. Learn to be hopeful, work together to resolve those things that may go wrong, and seek a better future.

10. Worship weekly with your child. When your spiritual center is nurtured, your lives will be well fed.

Know that the churches of the Helena area are ready to help and be supportive of all families.

Martin Russell is the lead pastor at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church.

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. fellowhuman
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    fellowhuman - August 30, 2012 3:57 pm
    "Simply calling yourself a 'godless heathen' does not make it so." I agree. But living like a godless heathen does. Remeber that the god to which you refer is supposed to have imbued us with free will.

    "But feel comforted that GOD hasn't rejected you." Huh? How the heck could I be comforted by something in which I don't believe?

    We have to restore critical reasoning skills to America.
  2. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - August 29, 2012 11:28 am
    While I am grateful for your concern and your belief that your imaginary friend cares about me, I stand by my original contention that a belief in religion or God is not a prerequisite to ethical or honorable behavior, good parenting, or contribution to society. The first amendment protects your right to worship as you choose, and also protects my right not to do so. And that is part of America we need to preserve.
  3. steeline
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    steeline - August 28, 2012 5:00 pm
    Well you might reject the notion of a GOD. But feel conforted that GOD hasn't rejected you. You don't have a choice. That is the way it is and always has been and will aways be. You have no say. Simply calling yourself a "godless heathen" does not make it so. We have to restore America.
  4. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - August 28, 2012 12:13 pm
    As a godless heathen, I would like to point out that I also am perfectly capable of raising well-mannered, intelligent, respectful, honorable children without relying on religion or prayer to guide us. I'm glad if religion works for you and fully support peoples' right to worship as they choose, but I would like my right to not worship also to be respected. And please recognize that religious faith is not a pre-requisite for spirituality or ethics.

    Love your children. Set boundaries. Enforce boundaries. Help them to set appropriate goals. Teach them to be kind. Show them respect. Teach by example. None of these things requires God in the equation.
  5. steeline
    Report Abuse
    steeline - August 28, 2012 10:46 am
    I might add couple of things that need to be considered. 1) turn off the TV, 2) control the use of electronic hand held games machines, 3) take your kid to the mountains and forests, limit the cell phone use at the dinner and other places, teach them that winning is a good thing. We have to restore the American Dream

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