One of my favorite aspects of having adult children is watching them and seeing how they are like me or my husband – but a better version! It’s a great adventure to watch each of our kids navigate their lives and become who they are. As a parent we want nothing more than to see our children grow up to be happy, healthy, successful people who contribute something wonderful to this world with their gifts and God’s plan and purpose for their lives.

Part of our job as parents of young children is modeling what we want them to be as adults. If you don’t want your child to be insecure, don’t be insecure. If you want your child to be healthy, pursue health. If you want your child to live a life of integrity, live a life of integrity. And on and on…

Don’t live through your children; live with who God has made them to be. It’s easy to project qualities or adventures we wish we had or had lived so we can experience it through our children. If you start to venture here, see it as a warning sign and back off! Pray for wisdom to see who they are, not who you “need” them to be.

It’s simple and not rocket science, but in a nutshell: whatever you want to promote in your children’s lives, promote in your own.

Children Learn What They Live

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.

By Dorothy Law Nolte

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.