Over the next few months I will be blogging about some amazing material & information I gained from attending the Think Orange Conference last month in Atlanta, Georgia. We have used their curriculum for five years now, and this was the first conference I’ve attended. Below is the first topic from the book, “Don’t Miss It — Parent Every Week Like it Counts.” For more info, check out the Think Orange Phase Project.
The issue is time — we have just 936 weeks from birth until graduation! Remind yourself each week, “This is a phase, and I don’t want to miss it.” We often want to just get through a stage in our child’s life that may be difficult, but remember: your child will only be two years old for 52 weeks… or your child will only be 13 one time!
If we bear in mind that time is limited, we can stay focused in such a way that makes every week matter. What you do every week adds up to “collective” momentum in a child’s life. Kids only see/experience the “now,” while we as parents see the past, present, and future. By being present in their lives now, you are making each moment count. This is earning “credit” in a kid’s life. When what you do this week is repeated next week, and the next, we are earning the opportunity to speak into their lives. Obviously, we have that right being their parents, but from their point of view, it is something that we “earn” through consistency.
The best way to shape a child’s faith and character is through small intentional “deposits.” There is no such thing as an instant return on character or faith. We want immediate results, but that is not how life works. We often cannot see emotional or spiritual growth because it is gradual, not instant. That’s why being consistent every week matters. God gave us time to spend with our kids because certain things only can be accomplished or learned over time. Determination, forgiveness, grace, and love are learned and experienced… over time.
Create a rhythm in your family that leverages regular times to influence your child each week. If you want your child to grow up with a healthy sense of direction, worth, perspective, and connection, then we need to be intentional about what we do over time.
Kids don’t experience worth because of being shown affection once but by consistent unconditional love.
Kids are not motivated to change a lifestyle issue by one phrase or “demand” from mom or dad, but by consistent words and encouragement over time.
Kids don’t find significance because of a special invitation or moment, but by being a part of a “tribe” over time.
We can’t rewind our children’s lives to re-teach them something. But we can pause at significant moments and celebrate them. We can understand who they are now so that we can shape their futures. If we don’t miss out on their lives now, then they won’t miss out on experiencing important things about life.
Paul said in Ephesians 5:15-16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.” If we are wise, we will be intentional with our children, living in the moments with them so that we cultivate influence and intimacy.