We all have morning rituals that we go through with our families. Some parents simply hug and wave their children bye while others just say “Have a good day” to their kids.
I used to do something similar until I changed things up a little. I realized that I didn’t just want my kids to have a good day. I also wanted them to achieve and remember certain things. I wanted to find a way to not only improve communication with them but to also inspire and motivate them. I came across this short catchphrase that embodied my hopes for my kid’s day:
“Be Good. Learn Lots. Do Your Best. Have Fun.”
It was simple enough for my children to memorize and I prayed they internalized the message and meaning behind it.
So what values and goals did I hope to convey with my goodbye catchphrase?
By telling my kids this, I’m reminding them to be obedient to those in authority and to adhere to their teachers’ instructions throughout the day. But more than that, I want them to allow God to use them as a force for good—after all, goodness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
I want them to embody goodness in all they do as they go about their day, so that they may be a blessing to others. The world has its own definitions of what good is, but I’ve taught my kids what the Bible defines as good. So I remind them to be kind, respectful, caring, humble, disciplined and to strive to always do what’s right.
Any parent will tell you that kids are naturally curious. They absorb information fast and have an almost unlimited capacity to learn. By asking my kids to learn lots, I’m reminding them to nurture and feed their curiosity. To ask important questions and search for answers. I want them to apply themselves to gaining as much knowledge as they can in school so that they can have a better chance of improving their lives in the future.
However, learning doesn’t end at school. I firmly believe that every situation that God brings our way is an opportunity to learn something and I want my kids to remember that. This way, they’ll remain open to discovering God’s plan for their lives as they learn more about this beautiful world and their place in it.
Do Your Best
I want my kids to know that I’ll always be proud of them as long as they put their hearts fully into whatever they do, regardless of the outcome. In fact, this message can be found in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” and also in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men…”
Both of these verses ask us to put sincere effort into things that matter, without worrying about the outcome and that’s a message I want my children to carry as they go about their day. I teach them that sometimes things don’t work out as we want them to and we end up failing. That doesn’t mean that our best wasn’t good enough. It just means that we have something more to learn before we can succeed. These words encourage my kids by reminding them that they should always be proud of showing up, trying hard and doing their very best.
Childhood is fleeting, and I want my children to have fun and enjoy it as much as they can. Of course, people have different ideas of what fun is, and I worry about my kids making poor choices as they grow up. That’s why I take care to give them the guidance they need to make good choices that are in line with their Christian upbringing.
Additionally, this last part also reminds me to ease pack on my expectations and not to put too much pressure on my kids. We parents can sometimes get so caught up in molding our children to be the very best that the pressure we pile on them ends up doing more harm than good. Our kids need the freedom to grow into who they’re meant to be. It reminds me to step back and allow God to reveal his plan for their lives in His own good time.
My kids know these words by heart, and I feel glad knowing that they’ll remember them when I’m not around to guide their behavior or decisions.
© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
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