Do you ever wonder how it is that your kids go from these sweet little beings into someone who not only doesn't listen to you, but also fights you along the way? If so, I have an episode that you do not wanna miss. I'm gonna be explaining the importance of influence and how it works and why your children are doing what they're doing.
I'm gonna be talking about how does influence work, and in knowing that you're going to be able to approach parenting in a new way that will help reach your children's hearts and minds and allowing them to willingly choose the right things at the right time in the right way so that you can raise them in the ways of the Lord.
How Does Influence Work?
Now, before I get started, I feel like it's important that I lay the groundwork of what influence really is.
Influence is the ability or the capacity to affect one's character development and behavior.
When we think about how, when our children come to us at first, they're these sweet little beings who just literally soak up every moment they can get with us, and they often demand it from us. We need to realize that in that aspect of a child's life, we are their everything. There comes a point in their life where other people begin to have this influence, this capacity of affecting the character development and behavior of a child.
When we understand that, we can see how our children come to us one way and then begin to change into different behaviors, different characters, different development.
Now that you know that I wanna explain to you how influence works because if you can come into influence in the way that understands how it works, you'll be able to approach parenting in a whole different way that will empower and equip you to do the things that you're called to do.
All right, so let's first talk about how influence works to actually affect the character development and behavior of a person.
Well, first of all, influences are everywhere. We have to recognize that in your home, outside of your home, in your neighborhood, in your community, in your church, in the grocery stores.
There are influences everywhere.
And influences can only work if it captures the attention of the person.
That very first thing, is that in order for it to be captured, they must become aware that it's even there.
When we have children who are very observant, I love how Charlotte Mason, my mentor, has said that observant children should be put in the way of things worth observing. And I don't know about you, but this culture that we're living in right now has me a little concerned about those things that our children are observing and becoming aware of because it is coming under their notice.
When they have their attention captured and they keep that there, the more eager their attention becomes, the more powerful the influence can affect their character development and behavior.
Now, if you have children who are already talking about things that make you cringe on the inside, if you're already thinking, man, I wish my child didn't do this, I wish my child doesn't spend their time doing that, I really wish I could limit some time with this person or that person because when my child comes back, they're acting differently. If you're already having those thoughts in your mind and you are really not sure where to start this, I want you to recognize is the beginning of influence.
This is how our children go from these sweet little beings to becoming what many have described as a thorn in their side or a pain in their butt.
These are the things that I want you to recognize as it doesn't happen quickly, it happens a little bit at a time. And if we can become aware of how influences work, we can better safeguard our children through the influences of this world, while also giving them the tools they need to flourish where they're at, be able to discern those good things and those wrong things and be able to know what things should be influencing us and what things we should avoid. And that is the key.
Now, if you're like me, you may be homeschooling, but you are a Christian and you wanna put your children in as much church related things as possible. So whenever the door is open, you're there. If you're like me in homeschooling or you know, really wanna make sure your children are getting that Christian education,
I highly, highly encourage you to do that quickly because how influences work is by those people we hang out with those thoughts that penetrate our mind. So when we are putting our children in front of public education and they're being told about things that make our spirits inside cringe or have this concern about what our children are learning, and like me, when I first started at homeschooling, I had curriculum plan for my children, but I found that as I taught this, I would then reteach why it wasn't right.
I remember the wisdom of my five year old little girl who says, mommy, if this isn't right, why are you teaching it to me? Now need is to say, I had to look at my husband and say, you know, all that money I spent, that we had an issue about, well, I'm going to have to sell that and I'm going to have to get different things because I can't teach this to our children. I cannot, for the life of me put this into our children right now. Their brains are not ready for it. I need to give them truth. I need to let them know what should form their character development and behavior before I introduce anything that's methodical or mythical or anything that is a little too much for their brains to comprehend and give them the true faith and help them to understand biblically those things that are important to our faith.
Now, if you have your children in public school and you're already being very concerned about those influences, you have the right discernment. There are agendas that are influencing our children. If you have friends that you just adore, but every time you come home, your children's character development and behavior changes, these are the things you need to have a real deep conversation with yourself and say, is it worth it? Is it worth this little bit of joy to have so much that I have to fight for on the way home?
Someone once said to me, why would I let my foolish children hang out with your foolish children? I have enough I'm dealing with, and that put a little spark into my mind in thinking, you know, maybe just maybe I should be a little more concerned with whom my children are with, and help them to be able to develop the discernment to know when influences are good for them and when they should avoid them.
I hope that's helping you to understand a little bit more about how influences work, helping you to understand the influences are everywhere around us, as well as helping us to understand that we as Christian parents need to take time to contemplate the character, the development, and the behavior of our children, and ask ourselves this question, where did that influence come from?
Rather it be good or evil, we need to stop and recognize that even though it may seem harmless right now, just a little thing at this moment, those little harmless things become big thorns and they are harder to weed out than it is when it first begins to get root into a child's mind.
So I'm encouraging you to do the hard things Now.
Do those things where you're asking yourself very, very intentionally, where does this influence come from? And then work to eliminate those influences that are causing your spirit to cringe, causing you to double guess your decisions in certain areas and help gain confidence to safeguard our children against the influences of this world. I hope to see you next time.
Thank you for listening to Influencing Your Kids.
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