How do you raise wise children? That is not a question I hear often. But I’m guessing most parents would love to have their kids grow up with a certain degree of wisdom…wouldn’t you?
Raise Wise Children: it’s a nurturing thing
There’s a part of me that wants to argue that wisdom is something that is not taught, like you’d teach math or English or science. There’s no set formula that will result in gaining wisdom. Wisdom is what happens when you let life teach you important lessons.
I do believe, however, that you can nurture wisdom in your kids by providing an environment in which wisdom can flourish. Here are 4 ways you can nurture wisdom in your children.
Let them catch it. Things like wisdom are caught more often than they are taught. You already know that your children are watching every move you make, and those observations will show them important skills like how to handle conflict, how to love, how to deal with difficult people. We all can gain wisdom by observing others. Your kids are doing this every day.
Let them learn from mistakes. Unfortunately, one of the most painful ways to learn wisdom is after the fact; after the mistake, after the bad choice. We never want to see our kids have to learn this way, but I’m convinced that beauty can come from ashes. If you resist the temptation to bail out your kids at every turn and let them learn the hard stuff from their mistakes and choices, they can learn invaluable nuggets of wisdom.
Let them learn to think. Show them how to be problem solvers, give them opportunities to be stretched; they don’t need for you to spell everything out for them all the time. Let them learn to figure things out. That’s one of the pieces of wisdom.
Ask “What’s the Wise Thing to Do?” Sometimes the choices that face us are not always clearly right and wrong; sometimes they are good and better, or better and best. I loved how Sarah put it in her talk on wisdom when she said that instead of saying “what’s the right thing to do?”, we should ask, “what’s the wise thing to do?” In light of our past and present circumstances, and keeping in mind our future hopes and dreams, what is the wise choice to make?
When you have conversations with your kids, help them sort between what’s right and wrong, and what’s better and best. This sorting skill will grow in them as you help them exercise it and as it grows, so will their wisdom.
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16
Get one of my other Sportsparenting Survival Guides: Volleyball Mom’s Survival Guide, Football Mom’s Survival Guide, Softball Mom’s Survival Guide, Basketball Mom’s Survival Guide, Coach’s Wife Survival Guide.
Get my free new report: Sportsparents’ Guide: 55 time & money-saving tips guaranteed to make your life easier. You’ll also get regular sports parenting tips each week and a weekly parenting tip. Sign up here.