Matthew Paul Turner wrote a wonderful piece titled “5 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Shine.” Here are the highlights.
- Remind your children often that they are light. Light is an easy concept for kids to understand. Because they see and experience light in tangible ways, empowering them with the knowledge of spiritual light is something their hearts and minds can more easily grasp. This reminder could be part of a bedtime, daily prayer or mealtime routine.
- Give your children practical ways to shine. Explain to them that “Being God’s light” can be reflected in our attitudes, our demeanors and how we interact with others. It can be shown through looking for ways to help somebody in need. “Shining” amid everyday circumstances can be as simple as doing our very best or embracing an easy-going spirit when things don’t go our way.
- Make your home a place of light. Home should be a safe place where our kids can express their emotions in ways they may not be able to do during the day. Create an environment of light, where everyone is welcome and loved. Treat one another with kindness, show forgiveness and practice gratitude. Take time to celebrate the ordinary and the extraordinary.
- Demonstrate light by admitting wrong. The chaos of everyday life can sometimes get the better of us, causing us to engage our kids with a frustrated or weary spirit or with words that are too harsh. Kids learn far more from what we do than what we say. When we fall short of “shining”, apologizing to our kids is some of the best light we can give them.
- Praise your children for shining. Never take our children’s light for granted. Light encourages more light, way more than frustration and disappointment. A child’s light is a gift from God and should be treated that way.
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16