How to Raise a Smart Child Who is Wise

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Many parents do everything they can to raise a child who is smart and successful. Nothing wrong with that...We all want successful kids.

Unfortunately, there are those who resort to other tactics to get their child special treatment or go to great lengths to remove the consequences for bad choices. Not so smart, eh?

When well-meaning parents act this way, they do nothing more than short-circuit the growth of their child. They forget to teach wisdom.

Wisdom is gained while sitting in time out, or apologizing for bad behavior. It also happens when you allow your child to be counted tardy, or have him pay back the money for the broken window.

I admit, it is painful to watch your child wrestle through difficult issues, but it does him no good if you constantly remove him from learning through his experiences. You will stunt his growth and cause him more pain down the road than he will ever feel now.

Most of all, he will never truly be wise.

In this post, I am going to encourage you to embrace the challenges your child is facing so you will raise a smart child who is wise. I will also give you suggestions on how to teach wisdom to your child at every age. 

Related: The Best Parenting Tips You Will Ever Find

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My Kid is the Best

Over the years, I have noticed an increasing desire (that’s putting it mildly) for parents to have kids who are the best at, well…everything.


I am sure there is a myriad of reasons, but mostly, I think it comes down to pride.

And pride makes us do some really crazy things. I have seen some crazy mamas in my time!

Okay, so I realize most of you probably haven’t bought your child’s way into a prestigious university, but how many of you have written a note to school stating your child was sick when he really just woke up late?

Perhaps you let her stay home to finish a paper she should have done the day before? Or you have brought her lunch or forgotten homework up to school for the tenth time?

Guilty. Guilty, and… guilty. 

And then my child did it again until I stopped saving him or her. (I won’t divulge the guilty party.)


Rescuing Your Child

Let’s get a little more personal here. How many of you have signed off on a reading log when your child didn’t really read the full allotted time? Or completed most of your child’s homework or Science Fair project?

Perhaps you are one of those parents who will just do the whole assignment yourself. You laugh, but I have seen this a lot!

Consequently, we have become a generation who rescues our kids. We are afraid to let our children fail because down deep it feels like we have failed too. Sometimes it is hard separating our child’s growth process with who we are as a person.

It is easy to get the two intertwined. I understand. Which is why I saved my kids for a while…

If we keep rescuing our kids, they will never learn how to be independent and work through hard problems.

The most important thing you can do is look to Jesus for who you are as a person, and continually point your child in the same direction.

Give up the pride and let your child experience life, the good and the bad. He will start to become wise when he feels things to the fullest degree. It won’t be easy, but it is biblical.

Here are a few verses to help you understand how important it is to be wise.

Related: How to Stop Living in Fear

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What Does the Bible Say About Wisdom?

There are many verses in the Bible that talk about wisdom. Here are a few verses that reinforce how to raise a smart child that is wise:

Proverbs 19:20 ESV 

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Proverbs 1:7 ESV

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 2:6 ESV

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

Proverbs 14:16 ESV  

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

Proverbs 13:20 ESV 

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

There are many other verses that talk about wisdom. These are just a few. If God gave so much time to this subject in the Bible, it is important. Here are practical ways to reinforce wisdom with your kids.

Related: How to Pray for Your Children

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 Purchase Estranged on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 


How Do You Raise a Smart Child Who is Wise?

Here are some suggestions to help you raise a smart and wise child at every age:


  1. Sing and play songs about the fruit of the Spirit.
  2. Go through each fruit of the Spirit. Do one a week. Talk about that quality all week.
  3. Read Bible stories aloud about characters who made wise choices.
  4. Read books aloud that reinforce good character and wisdom.
  5. Movies/TV programs that teach morals and good choices.
  6. Bedtime stories that include funny characters who made wise choices and not so wise choices. (You can even make them up.)
  7. Make artwork that reinforces stories. Paint, color, chalk, etc.

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Elementary age:

  1. Read out loud a chapter a day of Proverbs (There are 31 chapters, one for each day. Use children’s Bible or easy translation.)
  2. Pray for people who need help. Talk about their choices.
  3. Role-play situations that include wise choices.
  4. Family devotionals that include wise people.
  5. Talk about Sunday School lesson after church.
  6. Reinforce the fruit of the Spirit with books, music, and art.
  7. Reinforce Bible stories with artwork. Draw, paint, color, chalk outside, etc.
  8. Introduce money and talk about ways to use it wisely. Save, spend, tithe.
  9. Talk about choices while playing sports/games. Not to lie or cheat.
  10. Talk about wise choices with friends


Jr. High/High School

  1. Get an age-appropriate devotional and Bible for your child to read.
  2. Encourage a quiet time. Read Proverbs alone or together.
  3. Talk about how to wisely navigate situations at school. Cheating, lying, stealing.
  4. Talk about the sermons and Sunday School lesson after church.
  5. Use dead time at night, in the car, vacations, etc. to talk about family, friends, or news stories. Discuss how their choices have affected others.
  6. Have conversations about using social media wisely. Give some examples of good and bad choices.
  7. Practice saving, spending wisely, and tithing with allowance or money earned.
  8. Continue to encourage wise behavior while playing sports. Good sportsmanship.
  9. More in-depth conversations about wise choices with friends-drinking, drugs, sex.
  10. Wisdom on college choice.


I hope you will take the time to reinforce wisdom with your kids. Don’t skip one of the most important aspects of parenting and become too busy to do some of these things. They are just as important as school work, sports, or friends.

Being smart will help open doors for your child, but wisdom will place him among great leaders.

Related: How to Get to Your Child’s Heart


New Book

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart is here! If you are having problems with your family or you are estranged, this book is for you. It is my personal story plus a biblical guide to help you overcome your own family problems.

 Purchase Estranged on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

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Get Creating Family Memories for FREE in exchange for your email. If you get this book, it will help you build a good relationship with your kids so that when the hard times come (teen years), you will be able to weather the storm.

Scroll down or look to the side to sign up. You can also get it at your favorite bookstore.


Facebook Group

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Parenting and Family. This is a place for moms with preschool-age kids or older to talk about their struggles with parenting, family life, education, or marriage. You will find biblically-based advice from other moms who want to raise godly kids.

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Julie Plagens


  1. Janene Eldred on April 20, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Interesting and wonderful post! I believed in discipline while raising my kids, and didn’t tolerate attitude. As a parent. Amazingly, I had to tolerate it as a public school teacher!! We have to discipline our kids, and, I agree with you so much…if we don’t discipline them we will have so many more adults than we do now, who think rules are meant for others, are rude, and entitled to anything they want. For the rest of us, this is just YUK!

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Janene, I love hearing from teachers! You have a pulse on what is going on with this generation. It is YUK when you have to deal with a child who has not been disciplined or acts entitled! Thanks for your comments.

  2. Lisa on April 10, 2019 at 7:35 am

    I love all of these ideas! As a former teacher, I agree that parents want their kids to be the best but to avoid the feeling of failure completely. As a mom, I don’t like that at all. I want my kid to understand failure, learn how to use their mistakes to try again, and to see the hard work they’ve put in!

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      Lisa, I love it when other teachers validate my thoughts. It is not easy to let your child fail, but if they learn you are not going to save them, they act better. Eventually, they learn to take care of themselves. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Amanda on April 9, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Wow, this was a really thorough post. Love the bible verses, and the reminder that we’re raising PEOPLE, not just trying to make our kids fit a certain standard.

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Amanda, I am so glad you enjoyed the post. I hope it is something that will be helpful. It is important to think about raising wise kids who will be responsible. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Diaba on April 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Great tips for toddlers. We love singing and reading books together

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      Diaba, I am so glad you read and sing with your kids. This will help them be ready for school. Hopefully, you are working in biblical values as you go!

  5. stefanie stroot on April 9, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Love this so much! Shared on my facebook page!

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      Stefanie, thanks so much for sharing. I am so glad it is helpful.

  6. Laurel and Iron on April 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    These are great tips for raising emotionally intelligent children and growing the parent-child bond!

    Lauren |

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:38 pm

      Laurel, yes, these tips will help you raise children who are not only smart but wise with their behaviors long term. Not perfect, but wise for their age!

  7. Leah on April 6, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Love the tips you share! It is really cool that you have it broken down by age group. I also appreciate the scripture references. This is such an important and too often forgotten aspect of parenting!

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      Leah, I wish so badly parents understood how important it is to incorporate scripture into parenting. And to live biblically. People have changed their focus to making more money instead of character.

  8. Halee Anthony on April 6, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Great advice!! As a homeschooling mom, it’s easy to get caught up in the curriculum and forget about studying the Bible together. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Julie Plagens on April 21, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Halee, it is so easy to do this. I homeschooled for a while, and I just wanted to get done every day! Kudos to you for all you do. Keep up the good work.

  9. Danielle on April 6, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Right! We as parents should definitely not force our children to be over spectacular. As long as we as parents encourage our children to just be them selves wise in all they do they will be great!

    • Julie Plagens on April 6, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Danielle, I think parents don’t realize how important it is to develop wisdom along with their education. It can all go down in smoke in a matter of minutes when they make a wrong step.

  10. Erin on April 6, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    This is a really important post – smart doesn’t always mean wise and vice versa. Well-rounded upbringings matter!

    • Julie Plagens on April 6, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Erin, that is so true. We have so many things to do to make sure our children are not only smart but wise.

  11. Noemi on April 6, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. Currently, I am reading my daughter some stories from the Bible off her coloring book. Basically it gives littles lessons on each page. I’m capturing her attention by drawing and coloring with her but also reading it with her and telling her the story. I try to do 2 a day. Very useful and helpful.

    • Julie Plagens on April 6, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      Noemi, what a great way to reinforce values and wisdom. Awesome suggestion. Thanks.

  12. Sonia Seivwright on April 6, 2019 at 9:29 am

    This is such a very helpful and useful tip. My child is 5 years old. I think its time for me to put in more work in training her. This post is just what I need.

    • Julie Plagens on April 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      Sonia, I hope this will help you to develop wisdom in your child. You can never start too early.

  13. Julie Plagens on April 6, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Thanks, Dad! So sweet of you to comment. Thanks for teaching me to be wise.

  14. sam ventura on April 6, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Thanks Julie. You make me proud. I love you sooo much. Let me know if i can do anything to help you. DAD

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