One of our top goals as we teach and train our kids is to bring them to maturity, but how can we tell if we are reaching that goal? What are some signs of maturity in your kids that you can look for?
One of the most important commands that God gives to parents is found in Ephesians 6:4 where we are told to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The Greek word for “bring them up” means to rear to maturity.
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So very clearly, God is telling us that this needs to be a priority of intentional Biblical parenting.
Keep in mind that all of our kids mature at different ages and stages, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see signs of maturity as soon as you’d like to in some of your kids! They may be mature in some areas, but still growing in others. That’s okay. The key is to keep teaching and training them.
That’s why God gave us our kids for at least 18 years — so we could continue to raise them to maturity.
I was thinking about the maturity I had noticed in one of my kids recently, and started thinking about the areas they had grown in, and what signs there are for maturity.
There are many, but these are the ones that stand out to me, as important things to work on while raising our kids. Basically, it comes down to training them in character!
SIX SIGNS OF MATURITY IN YOUR CHILDREN
1. Appreciation and respect for parents
Our kids have always been respectful to us for the most part, because that’s how they were raised to be. However, appreciation wasn’t always there!
I noticed that as they got older and had to assume more responsibilities on their own, they started being appreciative. At that point they realized how much time and energy we had poured into their lives through teaching, training, giving support, etc.
You know your kids have matured to this level when they no long have the “entitlement mentality,” but rather are grateful for what you give them, or do for them.
Need some ideas for this? Here are some simple ways to teach respect to your children.
2. Awareness about finances
Kids often don’t realize the importance of being wise with money until they begin paying for things with their own money. Suddenly they start to think before they spend, because its THEIR money now. They realize that they need to budget their money, and spend it carefully.
It’s wise to help your kids learn how to use money at a fairly young age, by letting them save for something and see how long it takes to earn the money for it. Showing them your family budget and bills for the month also gives them an awareness of the importance of being wise stewards when it comes to finances.
This is probably one of the biggest keys, because without self-control they are going to struggle in other areas of maturity. When they have self-control they are able to discipline themselves to do what is right and best, regardless of whether they feel like it or not, and even when they don’t want to. Self-control enables them to do the right thing, rather than living by their emotions.
To help you here are 7 Tips For Teaching Chilren Self-Control.
4. Diligence in work
We worked very hard to teach our kids the importance of working hard, and being responsible and diligent in their work. We saw this pay off with each of them, when they got their first job.
Their employers appreciated them, and often it didn’t take long before they were given more responsibility and trust with their job, and given promotions.
It took time on our part to train them, but they often thank us for teaching them to work hard, and do their best.
5. Responsibility in taking care of things
When kids are young, they tend to leave toys all over the floor, bikes in the driveway, and clothes scattered throughout the house. Part of maturity involves learning to be responsible and careful with things; putting toys or tools away when they’re done with them, putting clothes where they belong, and so on.
Again, as they get older and start paying for some of their own things, often they suddenly become very careful with those items, and the teaching they have been given takes root.
We taught our kids to have initiative from the time they were young, and they did to a certain extent — some more than others. As they matured though, there was a huge difference in this area.
I would notice that they would see a need in the house, and take care of it. (Yes, even my BOYS! )
I remember more than one of them cleaning up the kitchen for me while I was out running some errands. Other times they would vacuum or pick up when things were messy, and I was busy with convention season.
They learned that if they saw a need, they should take care of it without being asked.
Here is a Practical Way To Teach Initiative.
It’s common to think that maturity is something that will just happen for our kids with age, but as parents we need to do OUR part to bring them up to maturity.
All kids WILL grow older, but they won’t all attain maturity unless we start early and help them grow in these areas of character. Start when they are young, and train them in these different areas.
As parents, make it your goal to work intentionally to help your children grow to maturity.