Core to Christian discipleship is living into one’s new identity as a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). It’s something we need to be reminded of often, and I think we forget that our children need these reminders as much as we do.
This is something I’ve been trying to implement with our (rather strong willed) three-year-old son, Jensen. He has a habit of disobeying us and coming out of his room at bedtime, sometimes talking back to his mom in the process. A few times before bed I’ve taken him aside and said
Son, I you know you can make good choices or bad choices tonight. I know that you are the kind of boy that wants to make good choices, and I believe you can make good choices.
I’ve noticed real improvement of behavior as result of voicing positive expectations.
We’re also working with him on saying nice things vs. mean things. Sometimes we’ve said, “Jensen, our family is nice to each other–that’s just how we do things.” I’m anxious to take it a step further as I have opportunity, maybe saying something like,
Son, we treat other nicely because that’s our family acts…do you know why our family treats each other this way?
Because we are in God’s family…and that’s who we are.”