Raising Competence?

Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.
—Robert A. Heinlein

“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed…”– 2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)

I have a challenge for parents to begin expecting more from their children. In America, especially, we have a hard time with balancing “letting kids be kids” and expecting them to produce high expectations or “perform”. We are concerned with endangering their childhood.

Let me clarify that I’m not talking about a child performing for our love. A child’s love needs should never be tied up with performance. Our love for our kids comes with no strings attached—it’s the grace of the relationship.

What I am talking about is as our children begin to grow we need to help them enter the adult world by making certain their competence level is high. There is no doubt that as adults it’s our performance that gains us approval from other adults, so we should begin to instill principles of hard work and rewards at a young age.

We began teaching our children the importance of contributing as a family member as soon as possible to begin teaching them responsibility. There are things they can do to go above and beyond to “earn” money or special trip. While we are teaching them life skills as a young age, we are also giving them opportunity to explore their gifts so they can begin to hone in on and flourish in the abilities God gave them. As they do this we will work with them to discover how they can use this to contribute.

Thoughts for parents:

How are you preparing your children for the reality of the world?

How are you helping your children to discover their gifts that will be used to contribute to society?

Are there clear consequences in place for your children not following through with an expectation?


1 comment

  1. I like this very much! I was at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit a few months back, and Bill Hybels was talking about how in the work place, the place where we excel and do our best work is the place where we are slightly over-challenged—doing just a bit more than we are comfortable with. If we are under-challenged or grossly over-challenged, we are not at our best. I think this is true for kids as well as adults.

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