Because there is so much content and practical information that we want to give you, for the next two episodes of courageous parenting we will be doing a two-part series. This is part one of the series and it is about biblical parenting must-dos with your six to eleven-year-old kids!
As we were thinking and brainstorming topics of discussion for courageous parenting and future episodes God laid it on our hearts to talk about the six to eleven-year-old age category. We have done many episodes on young adults, teenagers, and really little kids but we feel that we have not given you an equal amount of practical tips and biblical wisdom in regards to this particular age category.
We are in the midst of it ourselves. Ethan is our nine years old and he is in the category that we are discussing in the episode. Ethan is the only one of our children that is in this category actually but we have had five kids go through this stage and so we have some tips that we have learned over the last twenty years because we have been in this season of life many times.
This topic is so important and even if your kids are not in this age range yet you’ve got to be thinking about this stuff ahead of time, and if your kids are in this stage already it’s not too late, even if your children are beyond this season of life, the things that we are going to discuss will be of much benefit.
If you get your relationships right with your children and you train your children right in the six to eleven-year-old age range then they will be properly equipped for the teenage years. It is never too late but it is way easier if you do these things early on.
You probably often hear us on social media say that we love our teenagers and we actually like them too, and we don’t just love them because they are our kids. After all, every parent loves their child. We like our kids and desire to be around them and they are cool people. We want this for you guys and are sure that you want it too!
In this series, we have ten parenting must-dos for the six to eleven-year-old age range but in this episode, we will be covering five of them.
5 Tips For Parenting 6-11 Year-Olds Biblically
Disciple + Teach
Responsibility + Contributions
Next week we will be talking about Identity, purity, skills, education and your relationship so be sure to stay tuned for the next episode!
So let’s dive in!
1. Character Development
- So the first biblical parenting must-do is character development. Remember we are talking about age six to eleven ish and we say “ish” because maybe your kid is a little bit less spiritually mature and so this might be a conversation that you have to start with your child at a different age but that is something that you get to decide based upon your knowledge and understanding of where you child is at both on a spiritual level and emotional and mental maturity level. For our kids and what we have seen is that the age range is six to eleven but they are also raised in the Tolpin culture which might be different than the culture you have set in your home.
- The first thing that you need to do is get together with your spouse and write out a list of the things that you would like to see in your kids, and then you evaluate which kids have these things and which don’t. This allows you to discover areas of improvement. Generosity could be one, or kindness, self-control, honesty, work ethic, loyalty. An example of not having loyalty would be ditching your sibling when a friend comes over. Another thing you should desire to see in your kids is having a teachable heart or humility. Another one that is important for this particular age category is contentment. At this particular age in a child’s life, between ages six and eleven you want them to hear you say the word content. You should be teaching your children what being content means and you should be praying for them and with them to have a content heart. You should be praying that they do not allow themselves to fall into the comparison trap.
- Between ages six and eleven girls start paying more attention to how other girls dress and often start comparing themselves to other peers and boys do the same thing! We as parents should not want this heart attitude in our children. We should influence contentment and thankfulness in our children. Our children should be content with what they have and also how they were created.
- Some of you might be skeptical of the word contentment because you have seen it acted out falsely. Some people use contentment as an excuse not to pursue growth. The difference is are you being content which is a good thing or complacent which is not a good thing. You should be content and thankful for what God has given you but you should not be complacent and stagnant in your walk with God and overall growth.
- 2 Peter 1:5-9 says “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
- This is a passage of scripture that you should read to your children and you can use it to help them focus on these specific character qualities that God desires us to have.
- It is vital to instill work ethic in your kids at a very young age otherwise it will be harder when they are older, so find ways to instill that in your children. Instilling a teachable heart is another one of the most important characteristics that you should desire to have in your child, and that also should be happening at a very young age and to do that you need to emphasize to your children that you and your spouse are the most important teachers in their life even if they have other coaches, teachers, etc. if you don’t, then they won’t come to you for wisdom and answers in the teenage years. And if they aren’t coming to you then you better be praying that they are going to someone that is like-minded but odds are that if they aren’t getting advice from you, then they probably aren’t getting advice that you would approve of and if you are having relational tears with your kids that might be why.
- Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
- These are things that you should see in your children if they are truly saved.
2. Disciple + Teach
- As parents, it is our God-given responsibility to teach and discipline our children in the Lord. it can be easy to let time go by and not even realize that you haven’t been teaching your kids anything. You’ve been around them, you’ve been in car rides with them, you’ve taken them to sports events, you may have eaten dinner together and talked to each other but still have been teaching them and discipling them.
- Discipling is teaching, we meet with our children throughout the week and talk about life and teach them things about the bible and God and how they apply to life. Between the age of six and eleven is when you get to start discipling your kids in that way which is exciting! But we are also discipling our kids by the way we live and interact with each other.
- Luke 6:40 says “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
- So, do you want your kids to be like you? This is an interesting question that we get to ask ourselves because it is super convicting! This is a question that we as parents should be asking ourselves regularly because our children will mimic us.
- James 3:1 says “My brothers, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
- As parents, we teach and influence our children by our example and as teachers, we will be held accountable to God for what we teach our children.
- An exercise that we have done with our kids is having them give five-minute sermons. We are to teach our children but we should also be teaching them how to teach because just like us, when they are parents they are going to be held responsible for how they raise their kids and we must prepare them for that.
- The second point under discipline and teaching your children is equipping your kids with scriptural knowledge. You should be reading the bible to your kids when they are under the age of six but a lot of the time children under six have a much harder time sitting still and truly grasping what you are teaching them. As your child gets older the more mature they will get, the longer attention span they will have and the more they will understand and so that is why we have set the age of six and up as the general age where you can begin to equip your children.
- It is between the age of six and eleven when children begin to understand why they believe what they believe and can begin to have their own faith and walk with the Lord, instead of just believing in God because mommy and daddy do.
- Worldview is huge. Between the age of six and eleven is when you need to start introducing conversations about what is going on in the world and the ways of the world, now, obviously you’re not going to go into certain details with younger kids as you would with teenagers. You should be pre-framing things for your kids so that they are properly equipped. What that means is telling them things that are important to know before they are introduced to them in the wrong way. Many parents are overprotective of their children and don’t educate them on certain things and while their heart is in the right place they are causing more harm than they would if they were to properly equip them for the things to come.
- The last thing you should want for your children is for them to be alarmed when they are exposed to certain things because if they are alarmed and don’t know what is happening they will not know how to respond correctly.
- When do you want to train your kids? When they are out of your home or when they are in your home? Well, guess what, you can’t train your kids once they move out. Your kids are going to make their own decisions when they are out of your home. Some parents won’t ever let their kids have social media because they want to protect them. But what happens when they move out and make the decision for themselves? What happens when they discover the evil side of social media? They don’t know what to do because you didn’t prepare them! And that’s not to say that social media is bad, but it can be used wisely or foolishly.
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3. Responsibility + Contributions
- There comes a time when your kids begin to want more responsibility and it is your job to believe in them and give them responsibility. Sometimes when your kids are acting wrong it is just plain your fault, sometimes they just need to be believed in. Everyone wants to feel important and that they contribute but kids don’t know how to articulate that, they don’t have the experience to communicate those kinds of things.
- Between the age of six and eleven, you can start including them in the family team and teaching them to contribute. Chores are a big thing.
4. Disciplined Life
- The fourth thing that we are going to talk about is teaching your children to have a disciplined life. We are not talking about correction or consequences. We are talking about a disciplined life, meaning are your children people of habits and purposefulness. This is so important before the teenage years because if you don’t instill discipline in your kids during these ages then how can you expect them to successfully pick them up in the teenage years? You do not want to be reminding your sixteen-year-old to brush their teeth! Hygiene is a huge thing for kids between the age of six and eleven! By the time they are six, seven years old they should be able to brush their teeth, floss at least twice a day by themselves without having to be reminded!
- Philippians 2:14-25 says “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”
- It is a crooked and perverse generation, a lot of kids are disrespectful and don’t want to listen to their parents. You have a responsibility to teach your kids to do their chores and follow through on their responsibilities without grumbling and complaining. Your child could do their chores and be disciplined but at the same time have a horrible attitude but God cares about the heart.
- One very important and fruitful thing that you should instill in your home and in your kids is the discipline of delayed gratification, and what that means is doing the hard things first so that you can reap the benefit later. Instead of procrastinating on your homework or whatever it may be and indulging in what you want in the moment you choose to do the hard thing so that you can rightly enjoy the benefit of your discipline and wisdom.
- Colossians 3:23 says “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
- So when it comes to a disciplined life we have to remind our kids when they are having a grumpy attitude that in everything they do they need to do it unto the Lord.
- Spiritual disciplines are also very important. Are your kids reading the bible on their own when no one is looking? What are their disciplines with their prayer life and having a real relationship with God? These are the kinds of things that are indicators of whether or not they are growing in relationship with God and developing habits that will continue into their teenage years and their adult life.
- The fifth and final topic that we are covering in this episode is friendships.
- Between the ages of six to eleven is when friendships start having more influence in our children’s lives. We have always recommended that with kids under six years old, you decide who their friends are one hundred percent! Children are super impressionable, easily influenced and don’t know how to make wise decisions. Now, that goes for kids under the age of six. Once your kids are in the age range of six to eleven that is when you start to teach them to make good friendship choices, but you do that by modeling and pursuing like-minded families that have kids you would want your kids to be friends with.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 says “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”
- The bible clearly warns us about being careful with who we choose to hang out with, but as parents when our children are young and still learning how to make wise choices it is our job to look out for them and guide them.
- Some other things that are important to teach your children are ageism, the importance of being able to have the courage to speak up when things are unbiblical, making wise choices, being a peace peacemaker, gossip, selfishness, sharing, hospitality and many more.
- We hope that you are encouraged by this episode and hope that you will stay tuned for next week’s podcast where we will finish our series with part two of 10 tips for parenting 6-11 year-olds biblically!
Scripture In This Episode:
2 Peter 1:5-9 – “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Luke 6:40 – “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
James 3:1 – “My brothers, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
Philippians 2:14-25 – “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”
Colossians 3:23 – “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 – “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”
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