Christian Counseling and Parenting – Part 2

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Before reading this information about Christian counseling and parenting, consider the following:

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”      Proverbs 22:6
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52

What Is Statue?

In the Luke passage we find that “Jesus grew in stature.” This category encompasses almost everything that pertains to the growth and physical development of a child. I typically focus on four main areas for helping parents manage and nurture “stature” in the home. These include: 

  1. The physical health and growth of a child: Early on, parents have the full responsibility to clothe, feed, and help a baby get needed rest. As the child grows, promoting good health is a cooperative effort. This is why guidance in these basic areas must be encouraged by the parent. Having a schedule for bedtimes, bath times, proper seasonal clothing, and meal time, as well as encouraging healthy snacks, must be made clear to the child.
  1. The safety of children: Another area of physical development is learning and maintaining of good safety procedures. Teaching children how to walk up and down stairs, to avoid slamming doors, and handling breakable items such as dishes and glasses also falls into this category, as well as s the proper use of other things, such the use of knives, tools, bicycling, skateboarding, snowboarding (and wearing helmets for these), crossing the streets, walking in a park or mall, etc. must all be taught and reinforced with children.Children also need to learn how to play safely together. Children can be known to “rough-house” and wrestle, but there needs to be consideration and boundaries for treating oneself and others in a safe way. 
  1. Caring for physical things: Whether at home, at school, visiting others, or out in the community it is important for a child to understand and treat things in a responsible way. Here are three:

a. House rules – every home needs to have clear procedures and “rules” for how objects are to be treated. Examples include some of these:

1) Where is food allowed to be eaten? In the kitchen only, or can meals and snakes be eaten in a TV room, living room or bedroom? If yes, all food items or just certain types? And, if there are dishes, when, where and how are these to be handled if used in the other room? When the family runs of silverware? When mom or dad asks? Or is there a butler there who does the cleaning?

2) Similar to the above, what happens if a spill occurs, toys left out, papers are spread out or projects of any kind fill up a table area? Who is responsiblie to clean up and pick-up, and when?

3) What if there is only one TV, game console or computer? Who gets to choose when and how long these can be used? Is there a sigh up time or first come first serve? And what can anything be viewed, or are there standards of viewing?

4) How about where toys, shoes, coats, backpacks, etc. are to be placed? Anywhere? Or is there a clear place and procedure for how these (and other items) are to be stored?

These are a few of many areas families must clarify, write down, and monitor for the physical functioning and “safe use” of the home.

b. Chores – every home has work to do. I always ask that assignments be clear, age-appropriate, and written down. For example, meal prepping, dish washing (and other kitchen activities), grass mowing, raking, snow shoveling (and other outdoor activities), dusting, vacuuming, cloth washing, etc. All are routine items that treat the physical property of a house and learn properly, and offer a way to fairly divide up chores so that all may benefit in living in the home together.

c. Other areas: Here are some additional areas parents may consider in helping a child and teenage grow and maintain things physically.

– Caring for pets
– Babysitting siblings when parents are away
– Car privileges – the safe use, expenses, driving range and curfew
– Operating tools, sewing machines, kitchen mixers, etc. 

  1. Extracurricular activities for physical development: There are many activities that promote the development and coordination of a child’s physical growth. For example, sports, scouts, hobbies, and music. While these were also mentioned in the first section under “wisdom,” both there and here meaningful physical growth should be encouraged. The exposure and benefit of these may provide immediate help for physical coordination and an appreciate for these activities, as well as discovery abilities, interests and strengths in the long-term.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: parenting is one of the hardest jobs possible, and one for which there’s no training except on the job training! As you can see, there are many areas where parents must help a child grow in stature.

In my next post, I’ll share with you ideas for reinforcing “stature” development and more. It’s not just about teaching a concept; it is also about reinforcing it through positive learning so that the expression of good behavior becomes innate. 

Christian counselor Dr. Douglas Frey believes in Biblical principles and bringing forth God’s grace in meetings and sessions. Call or email Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789). He is a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in Eden Prairie and nearby Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minneapolis, Edina, Minnetonka and other Twin Cities Western Suburbs.

 

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