Answer these questions with honesty, humility, and dependence on God’s power.
By Janel Breitenstein
Feeling passionate about parenting? If you’d genuinely like a shot in the arm for your parenting, perhaps these questions can get you started. But remember: Their effectiveness is proportionate to your level of honesty, humility, and most of all, dependence on God’s power to make His presence a reality in your children’s lives.
- What are the most significant cravings of each of my kids’ hearts?
- How am I doing at building a relational bridge with my children? Do I “have their hearts”? Do they feel connected with and encouraged by me? Do I feel connected with them?
- When I’m honest, what top five values do I feel most compelled to instill in my children? Would those line up with the top five values God would want my children to have?
- What are each of my children’s greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses?
- Am I being faithful to pray diligently, deeply, and watchfully for my kids?
- Which child in our family is most likely to be overlooked, and why?
- Which child tends to receive most of my attention? Why?
- How do I believe other people see each of my children? How do I feel about that? What portion of others’ opinions could I learn from, and what should I set aside?
- Are my children developing more into givers than takers?
- What life skills would I like my children to develop this year?
- What are the events on the timeline of my children’s lives that have the most impact?
- In what ways have my children exceeded my expectations?
- Do I have any expectations of my children that have become demands that I clutch out of fear, rather than hopes that I seek from God by faith?
- In what ways do I feel disappointed by my children? What can I learn from this? (For example, about what is valuable to me, about how God has made my children, about loving as God loves, etc.) What should I do about this in the future?
- What is my greatest area of weakness as a parent? My greatest strength? What are my spouse’s?
- In what ways are my children totally unlike me?
- What did my parents do particularly well? In what ways do I hope to be different? (Is there any forgiveness that needs to happen there?)
- What events from my childhood are important for me to shield my own children from? Are there ways that this has led to excessive control?
- In what areas are my children most vulnerable?
- What do I love about my kids? About being a parent?
- How well do my spouse and I work as a team in our parenting?
- How am I doing on preparing my children to be “launched” as thriving servants for God in the real world?
- What can I do to equip my children to love well? To be wise? For successful relationships?
- How is my children’s understanding of the Bible? How would I describe each of their relationships and walks with God?
- Who are the other influential people in my kids’ lives? As I think of my children’s friends, teachers, coaches, etc., how can I best pray that they will complement my parenting and my kids’ needs?
- Am I replenishing myself and taking adequate rests, so that my children see the gospel work of grace, patience, and peace in my home?
- What are each of my kids passionate about? How can I spur on and develop their God-given passions?
- How am I doing on teaching them biblical conflict resolution? Am I teaching them to be true peace-makers … or peace-fakers, or peace-breakers?
- How authentically do I speak with my kids? Am I building a bridge of trust and security through my honesty and openness with them?
- Am I striking a good balance between protecting my kids and equipping them for whatever they may encounter when they step outside of my home, now and in the future?
- What great memories have I recently made with my kids?
Copyright © 2015 by Janel Breitenstein. Used with permission. This article originally appeared on MomLife Today®, FamilyLife’s blog for moms.
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