Summary: Practical parenting advice to help parents prepare their children for the real world. This Christian Bible study covers discipline, structure, responsibility and freedom, with suggestions to help prepare children to live in an ungodly culture.

Summary: Bible study for parents on discipline, structure, responsibility and freedom.

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Prepare Your Children for the Real World

Help your children grow in independence




Doug Britton, MFT

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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 wisely

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

Related book: Parenting Foundations: Nurturing with Insight, Disciplining with Love

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): ____

Teach responsibility

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: Bible studies on how to interact with our culture

Related book: Preparing Your Child for Life

Doug Britton, MFT

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

Copyright © 2022 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Bible verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

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