Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
One of the hardest things to do in our parenting is to be honest… with ourselves. Because it’s so easy to become convinced that the way we are parenting is right, and to justify the ways we are parenting that are wrong.
I explain this in greater detail in the article called Every Parent is Deceived (most of them just don’t know it yet). I’d strongly encourage you to read it if you haven’t.
In an effort to get honest with ourselves, we’ve got to be willing to evaluate our parenting, as well as ask and answer some tough questions about where our kids are mentally, spiritually, relationally, and behaviorally.
This list of questions below will help you to do just that.
Take this Childhood Observation Analysis of who and where your kids are in these 4 key areas: (take into consideration the ages and maturity level of your children and how that should impact your answers)
Answer based on three age categories (using the included free pdf) – K down, elementary, and teen, checking off the boxes only next to the questions you can answer with a positive response in order to find out their “good” grade. (Don’t be too hard on yourself or them, just be honest. Kindergarten and down is the hardest category to judge, but you’ll get the idea.)
MENTALLY / Biblical Knowledge
- Can my child name many of the character traits (attributes) of God, other than love?
- If they are saved, can they clearly explain to someone the good news of salvation?
- Can they identify key qualities that should make a Christian different from someone who is not one?
- Can they explain why Jesus is the only person who could die for sin, and raise back from the dead?
- Can they identify or locate key books or verses of the Bible?
- Do they understand the principle of tithing and know how to practice it?
- Can they explain God’s purpose for the church in the world, and the two ordinances He gave to it?
- Are they able to clearly articulate what they learned in church after a given Sunday?
SPIRITUALLY / Character
- Are they currently reading their Bible on their own with any consistency?
- Are they striving to demonstrate any of the fruit of the Sprit?
- Do they show any concern for reaching others who are without Christ?
- Do they receive correction with a teachable spirit?
- Do they show compassion towards others who are poor, disabled, or underprivileged?
- Are they polite, courteous, and respectful in their dealings with adults?
- Are they dependable and reliable to keep their commitments?
- Do they seem to show any interest or passion in spiritual things now at their current age? (If not, what causes us to believe that will change as they get older, unless some type of course corrections are made?)
RELATIONALLY / Social
- Are you pleased with their attitude and respect towards authority in general?
- Do they seem to get along well with others, willing at times to give in to others for the greater good?
- Do they gravitate towards the right crowd of their peers?
- Are their attitudes towards people of the opposite sex healthy and respectful?
- Are they able to carry on healthy conversation with others when they don’t have something else to occupy their mind?
- Is their social life and ability to interact with others unaffected by their media use?
- Is the way they interact with their siblings a sign of potentially healthy future relationships?
- Do they have a good reputation in their class at school, their neighborhood at home, or their small group at church?
- Are they obeying the first time they are told without hesitation?
- Do they obey willingly with an attitude of honor towards you and/or others?
- When they are confronted with wrongdoing, are they repentant?
- Do they avoid manipulating situations and people for their personal benefit?
- Do they avoid complaining that your family’s rules are too hard or harder than others’?
- Do they look for ways to serve others rather than primarily for what only serves themselves?
- Do they carry out routine chores or responsibilities without being hounded?
- Does the way they talk and respond to you now give you hope for the future?
The easiest way to get your child’s score is to use this free pdf file to track your answer totals.
Now… total the scores based upon your child’s age:
- K down – if their score is 8-12+… you’re on the right track!
- Elementary – 12-20+… Keep up the great work!
- Teen – 20-32… You rock! You’re doing awesome.
Upon asking yourself these honest questions, take a moment to write down some specific ideas for the areas that need improvement, as well as the game plan for how you will make those improvements become reality.
Whether your child’s score reflects what you want it to or not, take heart! God has give your children to you “for such a time as this” to prepare them for life and eternity. We believe in you, and so does He. Now go get after it! And please share this so other parents can benefit as well.