Prepare Your Children for the Real World
Help your children grow in independence
Doug Britton, MFT
This study is one of a series of online Bible studies on Christian parenting. It is adapted from Preparing Your Child for Life.
As you study the following outline, score yourself from 0 to 10 on each point.
- “0” means “I really need to improve in this area.”
- “10” means “I’m doing great in this area.”
Discipline in love (Galatians 6:1). My score (0-10): ____
Usually use short-term punishment. My score (0-10): ____
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)
Teach, do not simply punish. My score (0-10): ____
Related: Spanking guidelines
Provide a slowly-loosening structure
Actively train younger children. My score (0-10): ____
Slowly give older children more freedom, but do not give up all your authority. My score (0-10): ____
Do not release all your authority at once. My score (0-10): ____
Allow your children to make choices
(Genesis 2:16-17; Luke 15:11-32).
- Increase the opportunities as your children grow older. My score (0-10): ____
- Become less “authoritative” as your children grow older. My score (0-10): ____
Have your children do chores
(Genesis 2:15). My score (0-10): ____
- Work with your children. My score (0-10): ____
- Do not nag (Proverbs 10:19). My score (0-10): ____
Instead of nagging, set deadlines together with your children, then when the time comes, give consequences (positive or negative).
- Allow older children to help choose chores. My score (0-10): ____
Prepare your children to deal with an ungodly culture
As your children grow older, expose them to the real world. My score (0-10): ____
Provide opportunities for your children to learn how to interact with people outside of your church family. Do not be foolish, but do not be overprotective. Read 1 Samuel 16:11, 17:17-20, and 33-36.
Help interpret the real world to your children.
- Warn about coming challenges. My score (0-10): ____
- Discuss current events. My score (0-10): ____
- Show sorrow, not disgust, for sinners. My score (0-10): ____
Take your children with you when you volunteer to help at church or community events. My score (0-10): ____
Teach your children to be ambassadors for Christ. My score (0-10): ____
We either are influenced by others or are influencers (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20).
Related book: Preparing Your Child for Life
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About Doug Britton, MFT
Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)
Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.