When Our Parenting Message Changes: 5 Truths We All Want To Teach Our Kids

Helping to raise our two boys is one the great joys of my life. Yet, we all know that parenting is not for the faint of heart! After being a youth pastor for five years and a parent for over eleven years, I now understand why some animals eat their young! Many of my blog readers are millennial parents with young children. I think you will find this content super helpful. Yet, I know this content is also very applicable in guiding parents with young adult children and grand parents as well.

Our words matter, a lot.

What we say to our children helps shape who they are and what they become. The Bible teaches that our words are the most powerful thing that we share with the people around us.

Solomon, the writer of the biblical book of Proverbs and the wisest man who ever lived, said that our words actually carry the power of life and death. I can’t think of any higher potency than that!

My wife sent me this instagram picture the other day and I about died laughing:


@Riley.Shoes hit the jack pot when she said, “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”

One of the very best books I have ever read on the subject of parenting is 12 HUGE MISTAKES PARENTS CAN AVOID by Dr. Tim Elmore. Fabulous read. Seriously worth the investment of your time. It can help us protect our kids from an entitlement mindset and from our own unhealthy parenting habits!

Tim Elmore shares 5 messages we want to communicate to our young children and 5 things we want to convey to our older children.

5 Messages To Share In Their First Five Years:

1. You are loved.

2. You are safe.

3. You are valuable.

4. You are uniquely gifted.

5. You are supported.

As powerful and positive as these messages are, there comes a time when our parenting message must change.

5 Messages To Share In The Last Five Years They Live At Home:

1. Life is difficult.

2. You are not in control.

3. Your life is not about you.

4. You are not that important.

5. You’re going to die one day and leave a legacy.

Now it would be morbid if you tried to teach your six year old about life insurance, long-term care in nursing homes or how to write their own eulogy.

The truth is that every person needs to hear a mixture of both lists, for the rest of their lives. It's not black and white or as clear cut as we'd all like it to be. 

Every parent knows that parenting is more of an art than a science. 

But, since we all want to raise mature children, who don’t leave home with entitled thinking that the world owes them everything, we have to learn to adjust our message. Knowing that a message change will, at some point, need to take place is a start in the right direction.

[Tweet "Our "parental script" can't stay the same in each season of our kid's lives. "]

Having some of these tools can greatly help us do the job we all want to do: raise healthy, happy, hardworking members of society.

Our kids can’t be anything they want to be, but they can become all that God has designed them to be.

It's part of our job and sacred trust to teach them this these truths. This is why parenting is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Anna and I want our kids to live out their redemptive potential. I know you do too.

I hope this post gave you some tools to talk over with your spouse as you grow in your parenting journey.  I also recognize that there are many single parents trying to do this all by themselves, every day. You are all real life heroes. Let's keep growing as parents. Our kids are worth us getting this right.

Humanly speaking, there is no such thing as the perfect parent. But, I believe that whatever price we have to pay to raise our kids well, will be well worth it!

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Join the conversation. Add a comment.

How have you seen this play out in your own parenting?

Which of the 5 messages do you most naturally share and which do you struggle with adding into your parental playbook?