Monthly Archives: October 2016

Coaching Character – Ages 6-12


(Parents) bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
Ephesians 6:4

Ages 6-12
Our Role = Coach

This age & stage of development is all about building character.

A coach corrects, but don’t overdo it. Give them time. Be patient. Let patience have its perfect work in them. Patience in their life and our builds maturity.

Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:4 (NKJV)


Correction should be age appropriate. Don’t ask for the moon if they can’t give it.

Correction should be consistent and predictable. Your children should know what to expect from you. Give a fair warning first. Make certain that they hear you, and understand you. Not repeated and repeated warnings; that undercuts your credibility.

Be firm, but not military strict. Nudge them to do the right thing (a lot). Don’t nag.

Ok. I’m going to address this. Never YELL. Ever. Unless they’re in danger. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve slipped on this one. Just stop. Tell them you’re sorry and that you want to change. Ask them to pray for you. This endears their heart to yours. Children are naturally more forgiving than we are. Allow them to share your weakness in prayer. Just as you want them to win, they want you to win.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
James 5:16 (AMP)

Coach Attitude

Attitude is everything! Help them see that attitude is a choice. They have the ability to learn how to change their minds. Help them see the “how” to do this.

When a bad attitude shows up at breakfast, tell them to go back to bed and start the day over with a good attitude. None of my children liked this, but it worked!

At this stage, it’s important to teach them how to resolve conflict with sibling and peer relationships. This discipline pays big dividends for life! You should help them identify what the conflict is – and then instruct or coach them through it. This area of coaching will take extra work to help them see both sides can benefit with compromise.

Coaching Consequences of Behavior

Just like attitude, behavior is a choice. Life is the sum total of choices made. Help them learn, or even better, to experience that choices have consequences. Coaching consequences of behavior should lead to correction. Not crushing of the spirit.

This is a good time to teach “Jesus would call that a sin.” (Yet, He forgives all sin!)

Obedience brings blessing” is another powerful motto to repeat. A Biblical one too! In the May household, honesty was an important virtue in our home. So much so, our discipline would be less severe IF they told us the truth voluntarily. The truth of what happened. We watched for a repentant attitude. The kids understood that Mike and I placed a high value on honesty and truth.

Coaching is Encouraging Too

Encouragement must always follow discipline. Always. This can be tough because we might be very frustrated with their behavior. We don’t feel like giving encouragement, but we need to follow our own preaching that attitude is a choice. Don’t play emotional games with them. You are the adult. It’s your job to initiate the relationship with correction AND comfort.

Coaching in Choosing Friendships

Bad company corrupts good morals. It’s okay to pick (or veto) your kiddos friends. Ask the Lord to give each child at least one loyal, good, godly friend.

Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)

Ages Our Role
0-5 Caretaker
6-12 Coach
13-17 Counselor
18+ Consultant


Taking Care of Ages 0-5


My last post focused on three little words of parental instruction from Paul in Ephesians 6:4 – “bring them up.”

Fathers (or Mothers), do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4

For the next few weeks, I will share my advice on four stages and ages of development – ages 0-5, 6-12, 13-17, and 18+.

Ages 0-5

Our Role = Caretaker

Your little ones are like wet cement.  What you are teaching (or not) sticks.  Better to pour a proper foundation at this stage of development than to jackhammer it up at a later stage!

You, of course, already know that your caretaker role is meeting needs, lots and lots of basic needs.  Physical needs.  Emotional needs.  And please realize, you can start meeting spiritual needs with simple messages.

Meeting needs equals trust

It’s difficult for a child to have a positive relationship with anyone without trust.  Remember, they are people too.  Just little people.  Meet those needs!

Physical needs

You’ve got this down!  Their many, little demands ensure it.  I know you get weary, but your weariness is a worthy work.  God sees it as worship!  Check out Romans 12:1-2.

Emotional needs

Words!  Give them plenty of encouraging, tender, loving, happy words.  Even though their intellect can’t comprehend, it’s the heart that receives the messages.  It’s the “way” you make them feel that matters most.  You might be thinking it’s not your personality to give encouraging words.  That excuse won’t do.  A lesson learned from my walk with the Lord – “you must will to do it, not feel to do it.”

The Power of Your Words

Did you know your words bear fruit?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:21

Are you listening to what you are saying about your child?  Bless them with your words.  Don’t curse them.  Don’t curse what God has blessed.  Speak life, character, and good things about your children.  Even if you don’t see it, speak it.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
The conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Spiritual needs

Ages 0-5 is when bedtime prayers begin.  Simple prayers such as:

  • “Lord, give them Your Spirit to obey. A spirit of obedience.”
    • Obedience opens the door of their heart to receiving His best. For starters, Jesus!  With my grandbaby Caroline, I say “obedience is saying yes.”
  • “All the days of their life may they follow You”
  • “May they love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength ”
  • “Teach them to love others as You do”
  • “Make them little men and little women of Your Word and prayer”

Charles Spurgeon, the famous British preacher of long ago, said: “a short prayer is long enough.”

Prayer is either everything or nothing (from my dad).  Pray like you believe it’s everything.

A few more practical tips.

  • Read with them and to them. Check out my yummy grandson Michael Kent May choosing his favorite book! (video below)
  • Sing to them. It doesn’t matter if you have a singing voice.  They love your voice (until junior high, ha).
  • Introduce scripture CDs. GT and the Halo Express is one of my favorites!
  • Play with them. YOU are their most favorite thing.
  • Their interest should become your interest.

A few simple truths to teach.

  • “Do the right thing.” (You’ll feel like a broken record saying it, but keep at it.)
  • Say please and thank you. (Mom and dad should say it too.)
  • Demonstrate acts of kindness and generosity.
  • Be willing to say you’re sorry. You are teaching the virtue of humility.  Humility attracts.  Pride repels.

Character will be caught, not just taught.

It begins with you.  There is no message more powerful than a godly life.

Ages Our Role
0-5 Caretaker
6-12 Coach
13-17 Counselor
18+ Consultant



Bringing Children Up to Maturity


Very often, a few small words of Scripture leap off the page.  My pastor, John Meador, was preaching a series on the family from Ephesians 6. It was super! I added to it from a mother’s perspective.

Ephesians 6:4 (AMP)
Fathers (or Mothers), do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
(Read that again. Don’t miss the message of this verse.)

Three small words – bring them up.

It really hit me. Our mom job is to bring them up to maturity. I define maturity as the character of Christ. We pour into our children with all our energy. Physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. Even when we don’t have anything left to give, ladies, keep pushing and pursuing and praying. What you are doing will make a difference 10 years from now, 20 years from, or even tomorrow.

1. It is a relationship journey
• A journey with Christ and them. Together – mom, dad, children, and Jesus. One team.
• They are your first disciples.
• Rules without relationship leads to rebellion. (I will circle back to this in future)

2. You need the right fuel for the journey.
• The fuel is the Word of God.
• Matthew 4:4 – Remember Jesus’ words: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

3. The road ahead.
• Here’s an idea. I heard of a father who had a separate Bible for each child. As his children matured, he would pray certain scripture for each child, highlight it, make a journal note; and then at age 18, he gave the Bible as a special gift.  Can you imagine the treasured gift that would be to a young adult?  What love!

Next week – advice on bringing children up at different ages and stages; starting with ages 0 to 5.