We can bless or curse our children with our words. I think that is the biggest responsibility, and perhaps, the most seriousness of parental roles and responsibilities that we have. The words of our mouth can confirm confidence and a future, or they can do the opposite. Yikes!
At times, without intention, we can make a child feel like what they do is more important than who they are. We reward good choices, behaviors and grades. All great and necessary things, but what happens when a child digresses and their choices, behaviors and grades tank? Do we end the rewards? Do we begin to penalize them because we know they have potential they’re not using? Do we stop the compliments and “atta-boys” because we’re disappointed in the way they’re heading? These are sobering and yet, very realistic things that we do. But what is it saying to the child? Are we reinforcing the hopelessness that perhaps they are already battling? Maybe?
Perhaps a more influential way to respond to them is to always intentionally establish purpose in who they are by confirming their identity. When we continually strive to do that, we release them to take on more responsibility and confidently be better because I think at the heart of every child, regardless of their age, is the struggle of finding their identity and their worth. They are challenged by their peers to prove themselves, and often challenged by us to do the same thing. Although, we have different tactics than their peers.
Why wouldn’t you bless your child with your words? It’s a rhetorical question, but I bet emotions are at the top of the reason pile. Past the reason pile, is the truth that we need to separate identity and behavior. Remember, our words can give them permission to prosper in life, which doesn’t mean we are condoning bad, rebellion or disobedience. We are simply and consistently confirming their identity and blessing who they are, a child of God created with infinite value, dignity and worth-not for what they do.
"Father God, may you give us the wisdom, insight and strategy for each of our children. May the words of our mouth be words of life over them. In Jesus Name, Amen."