1. Children begin forming their opinion of themselves by the manner in which you talk to them. Is what they hear positive?
2. Set aside special time to spend with each of your children.
3. "Catch" your child being good!
4. Move closer physically to your children. Hold them.
5. When you and your children talk, stop and look into their eyes.
6. Share positive feelings often.
7. Don't say, "You shouldn't feel that way." It makes children believe their feelings are not important.
8. Tell your children "I love you."
9. Read the Bible to your children and remind them that this is how God talks to us.
10. Pray with your children several times each day. Let them know that this is how we talk to God.
Our children are born into a financial world of income, taxes, loans, creditors, investments - and even church contributions. Sadly, few are prepared to take on the challenges of managing their finances at all, much less according to biblical principles.
Note some staggering statistics: eighty-five percent of divorced couples indicate financial problems were a contributing factor to the erosion of the marriage. The average score for a financial I.Q. test administered to high school students was 42%. Last year, there were no less than one million personal bankruptcies.
Does the Bible address financial concerns? Absolutely! Families, and the church as a whole, would be better off if we managed money according to biblical principles. Let us note some of the principles we need to pass on to our children.
The Bible has much to say about our disposition towards money. The love of it is a root of many evils (1 Tim. 6:10, 17). The Bible is not a get-rich-quick guide. It warns that the insatiable desire to have things is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Many have a strike-it-rich mentality that demands more time and attention than spiritual concerns.
Our children need to learn from us, that money, and the things it can buy, are a means to an end. They help us live, so that we can serve God.
In addition to having the right attitude about our money, we must practice biblical principles regarding management and teach them to our children.
It is time for the cloak of secrecy to come off in our homes. We cannot expect our children to live in a financial bubble, detached from the "real world," and then be able to become an adult, almost "miraculously" at the age of eighteen, navigating through the financial maze.
It is our job - not the school's or any other's - to ensure that our children have proper training in this area of life. Here are some biblical principles that we ought to be training our children to believe and practice.Sweating
: One must work in order to earn money. Parents do their children a disservice by handing dollar-after-dollar to them for years, without the child ever earning that income. It is no wonder that employers are finding it more difficult to hire individuals with a good work ethic (2 Thess. 3:10).Saving
: "There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man swalloweth it up" (Prov. 21:20).
Our children need to learn the value of both short-term and long-term saving. One the short-term side - dishwashers go out, new tires need to be purchased, and clothes are outgrown. These are the kind of expenses that often create difficulties as they "take us by surprise." (See Mary Hunt's suggestions in The Complete Cheapskate, Colorado Springs: Focus on the Family Pub., 1997.)
On the long-term side of saving, teach your children about Joseph, who prepared for seven years of famine - over a period of seven years - by saving. Our children should have the same kind of conviction about saving as they do about giving into the church treasury (and hopefully we have taught them to give). Charles Schwab writes that the biggest mistake people make about saving for retirement is - they don't (Charles Schwab's Guide to Financial Independence, New York: Crown Pub., 1998, p. 39).Spending
: There is nothing wrong with spending. Money management is not telling your kids, "Don't buy anything." Rather, we must educate them on what it really costs to live. Teach your children how to spend wisely (Prov. 22:7). Shop for clothes out of season, compare grocery stores, mind the sales, etc. (Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two Income Economy, Elkton, MD: Full Quart Press, 1996).Selecting
: Teach your children that the idea of "some for the Lord, and the rest for me," is not a scriptural view of life. Help them develop a lifelike budget, on a child's level, that will in some way imitate what they can expect later in life. When they receive an allowance, them to give, to save, and to help pay for things they need and want.Sacrificing
: Read Malachi 3:8-10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; and 2 Corinthians 8:7-9 with your children. Do they know what you give to God as a family? If they don't, would you be embarrassed to tell them? Sacrificial giving is the best investment about which you can teach your children (Mal. 3:8-10). (See Larry Burkett's book, Financial Parenting, Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Pub., 1996.)
Train your children to avoid financial pitfalls, with the focus on being a faithful steward of all with which God blesses us.
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Child abuse is:
Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte