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Here are 24 encouragements, with examples and explanations, on parenting young kids, from Pastor Steve McCoy:

  1. Believe Kids Are A Blessing
  2. Read The Jesus Storybook Bible To Them
  3. Pray With Your Kids Concerning Taking Risks
  4. Teach *First Time Obedience*
  5. Give Rules For Respectful Disagreement
  6. Give Rules For Respectful Interruption
  7. Give Rules For Being Respectful in Public
  8. The Five Minute Rule (Warning)
  9. Pre-Event Preparation/Conversation
  10. Titles of Respect for Adults (No First Names)
  11. Use Timers
  12. Sharing Is Not Requested, It’s Essential
  13. Boys Treat Girls Differently Than Boys
  14. Play Rough & Teach Kids To Get Over It
  15. Kids Sit With You In Church
  16. Ask Your Kids To Forgive You
  17. Kiss Your Spouse In Front Of Them
  18. Talking Back To Mom Is Talking Back To My Wife
  19. Hugs & Kisses To Friends
  20. Disagree In Front Of Your Kids
  21. Keep/Give Away
  22. Teach Your Kids To Sing
  23. Teach Your Kids God Loves Them More Than You
  24. Get In The Pool

Read the whole thing for a short explanation of each point.

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14 thoughts on “Advice For Parenting Young Kids”

  1. Melody says:

    Why do people with noisy kids think they have to sit up front? Or never take them out? Do they think they are going to pick it up by osmosis or what?

  2. and you also might find this useful – 10 signs you’re overparenting them

  3. “Titles of Respect for Adults (No First Names)”

    I live in Australia. It is generally not disrespectful for children to call other adults by their first names

  4. Marsisme says:

    My advice for parents of young children is to get them involved in the creative arts as soon as possible. My wife and I have 3 adult children. We had them engage in music and visual arts at an early age. Today one is a graphic designer (as well as multiple medium artist), another a middle school music teacher (also plays piano, harp and flute) and the third (a conservationist) is a stand-out jazz/fusion drummer. Each one derives incredible joy and fulfillment from their creative pursuits.

    The reason this is important is that creative talents stay with us our entire lives. And in exercising these talents we fulfill the creative urge that God has imprinted in us – one aspect of being made in the image of the Creator.

    My own parents encouraged my appreciation of the arts by providing me with music lessons and having me read poetry (including the psalms) out loud on road trips. Today I play a fairly ‘righteous’ guitar when leading worship, ‘slam it down’ at blues jams and have written several poetry collections. To my great satisfaction, I hear God speaking to me in all of these pursuits. I am drawn nearer to God when ‘being creative’.

  5. Laura Blalock says:

    I would add, model the behavior you want to see.

    If you want your kids to do first time obedience, you can’t model that by making your kid say “Mama” fourteen times before you notice he’s talking to you. I used to tell my kid to do something once, and if that didn’t get results, I would say, “I asked you to do something; what was it?” to train her to pay attention when I talked to her. How could I expect her to do that if I didn’t pay attention when she talked to me? Always hate being in public and seeing a child with a legitimate concern being IGNORED by the parents. The parents are modeling rudeness and dismissive behavior. This: “The rule is, put your hand on my arm and I’ll tell you when it’s ok to interrupt. Sometimes I keep talking with someone for 45-60 seconds before I say to my son, ‘What do you need, buddy?'” is a fine example of showing a kid you are not ignoring him, even as you are teaching him to be polite.

    Same goes, of course, with being respectful both to other people and of other people behind their backs. Your kids are watching you even when you think they’re not.

    1. Melody says:

      And with a toddler that repeats themselves over and over even after you have answered them?

      1. Laura Blalock says:

        “I answered you, sweetie.”

        “I already answered you, honey.”

        There’s so much going on in the fast-developing toddler brain. Repetition could just mean that the toddler is practicing language, or practicing interaction with another person, and you don’t want to punish that, but it’s still annoying of course. It would be cool if you could read their little minds and know what’s really going on, but you have to do a lot of guessing.

        For a lot of toddler behavior, you just have to wait for the passage of time to fix the immaturity.

  6. Melody says:

    Yeah, did that Over and over in fact. Now we have the added behavior of telling people that they are interrupting her. Including side conversations in the same room. Will that just go away? I babysit her. None of my own children tried to command a room that way. They were shy.

  7. Laura Blalock says:

    This is a child that you babysit?

    I think her parents and you will have to have a discussion about expected behavior. At some point you have to be able to say “the grownups are talking”. If she’s eighteen months old you can’t do that because she won’t get it. If she’s old enough to tell people they are interrupting her, she’s old enough to be taught better behavior, but you can’t do it or enforce it if her parents don’t. You can’t because she’s not your kid, and you can’t because she is learning differently from them. It’s a shame if they are encouraging that, because nobody likes a brat and it’s not her fault that she is being trained to be obnoxious and set up for being disapproved of. OTOH maybe they haven’t thought it through, or maybe they are trying to correct the behavior and y’all need to think how to handle it together.

    1. Melody says:

      Yes and she is their first so every thing is a new experience. She is ahead of herself in social/verbal behavior. Since my own children were shy I did not have to deal with that kind of behavior, just the usual kind of interrupting.
      I thought maybe someone would have the kind words to set her straight. But I’m not sure if it is even possible to explain to a two year old that she is not the center of the universe.

  8. Laura Blalock says:

    It probably isn’t possible, because from her point of view, she is the center of the universe, and she may not have the brain development yet to understand otherwise. If “Sweetheart, the grownups are talking.” doesn’t do it right now, you may have to keep telling her that when she interrupts until she gets it. And don’t feed the behavior that you don’t want, of course.

    Of course you will make sure that when it’s appropriate she does have your attention. Read her little books and so forth. Then you can remind her, we’ll have your little book later, just the two of us, but right now you need to play quietly with your toys.

  9. Marla says:

    Sorry, I have to comment on the Jesus Storybook Bible. I thought it was an awful watering down of Scripture and have thrown it away. What this book did to the Lord’s prayer, to me, was very dishonoring to God. I understand that some things can be brought down to a child’s level and the reverence and context still remain. This book doesn’t do that and makes what Scripture really says unrecognizable.

    Am I the only one that doesn’t like it? Sorry, Justin. :)

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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