What is the first thing you ask your son when you pick them up from school?
I often tell parents that question is a very good indicator as to what they value. It also leads your son to think that this is what you are focusing on with them. We make a huge mistake as parents when our first question is focused on performance. I think we often ask about grade and homework before we ask questions of the heart.
Performance based questions immediately put our boys on the defensive. Think about it from his perspective. He has been through a great, normal, or terrible day and the first thing he is asked about is the very thing he just spent an entire day focusing on. What are we saying to our boys if we are asking performance based questions. We are saying his performance is more important than his heart. We are parenting towards the wrong report card.
Fathers, we need to make sure we are parenting by the right report card. How would our parenting change if we graded our boys on the following standards?
- Are our boys growing in Christ and spiritual maturity?
- Are our boys discovering, developing, and using their gifts for the glory of God?
- Are our boys pursuing a God-centered vision of life?
- Are our boys engaging in worship, study, prayer, and ministry?
- Do our boys have a clear vision for godly manhood?
- Are our boys living courageously in a culture that pressures them to conform?
- Are our boys engaging the culture for the sake of the gospel?
These are the questions that we need to be asking ourselves and the questions that frame how we talk to them after school. I pray that these questions will motivate you to think about the strategic parenting plan you have for raising your boys. Our world needs a generation of fathers who are willing to parent their boys by God’s standards and not their own.
Are you asking the right questions? Are you focused on performance or matters of the heart? What does your son think is the most important thing to you? How we frame our questions speaks volumes about what we value.