Friday, February 27, 2009

Helping Your Child Find His Place in the World

Lately this has been on my mind alot, especially as the world we live in becomes busier and more complicated, offering endless opportunities, more than we can possibly pursue. It becomes necessary to prioritize and to limit both our commitments and our children's involvements.

Parents today struggle with peer pressure to have their kids involved in everything. Or at least something.

As a parent, I believe one of our foundational tasks is to help our children to discover their unique place in the world. "I see this quality in you. It's valuable for _____ and God may want to use you to ______". We must be a student of our child.

Rather than a list of do's and don'ts, to illustrate I will just share an example from our own family. We have one child who plays the piano, an interest requiring an enormous investment of time. When this skill is fully developed, it will be useful for ministry and for providing an income. But at this point, after many years, it still costs money and restricts her from being able to work. So we help her.

On the other hand, I know people who have skill in playing piano simply because they were forced to practice as a child. If they don't enjoy it, they usually don't use the skill to serve. Could it be that child would have been better served by being allowed to choose dance class, volleyball, or a job?

It's good to expose your child to a variety of opportunities. It's also good not to stack them on top of each other. Do you need to let go of some expectations for your child? Or is there something God is showing you that you need to allow your child to try?

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