How to Raise a Smart Child Who is Wise
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.
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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
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
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:
- Sing and play songs about the fruit of the Spirit.
- Go through each fruit of the Spirit. Do one a week. Talk about that quality all week.
- Read Bible stories aloud about characters who made wise choices.
- Read books aloud that reinforce good character and wisdom.
- Movies/TV programs that teach morals and good choices.
- Bedtime stories that include funny characters who made wise choices and not so wise choices. (You can even make them up.)
- Make artwork that reinforces stories. Paint, color, chalk, etc.
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- Read out loud a chapter a day of Proverbs (There are 31 chapters, one for each day. Use children’s Bible or easy translation.)
- Pray for people who need help. Talk about their choices.
- Role-play situations that include wise choices.
- Family devotionals that include wise people.
- Talk about Sunday School lesson after church.
- Reinforce the fruit of the Spirit with books, music, and art.
- Reinforce Bible stories with artwork. Draw, paint, color, chalk outside, etc.
- Introduce money and talk about ways to use it wisely. Save, spend, tithe.
- Talk about choices while playing sports/games. Not to lie or cheat.
- Talk about wise choices with friends
Jr. High/High School
- Get an age-appropriate devotional and Bible for your child to read.
- Encourage a quiet time. Read Proverbs alone or together.
- Talk about how to wisely navigate situations at school. Cheating, lying, stealing.
- Talk about the sermons and Sunday School lesson after church.
- 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.
- Have conversations about using social media wisely. Give some examples of good and bad choices.
- Practice saving, spending wisely, and tithing with allowance or money earned.
- Continue to encourage wise behavior while playing sports. Good sportsmanship.
- More in-depth conversations about wise choices with friends-drinking, drugs, sex.
- 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
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