As first appeared on FORBES.
Parents understand the challenges that come with raising children in this day and age. Living in a world that is opposite all that we want to encourage in our children, we can sometimes feel like it is an uphill battle. But with a plan in place, we can impart our hearts to those we love so they have a legacy to stand on and live out.
Don’t expect the next generation to immediately adopt your mindset and way of thinking. Relate to them where they are. Bridge the gap between their understanding and yours.
Cherish those God has placed in your life. Make sure you know their love language and how best to encourage them.
How we live out your life will leave a bigger impression than just your words. Don’t compromise your values. Live out your values consistently and wholeheartedly so that they become a part of your children’s culture. That makes your values contagious.
Let truth guide your behavior and way of life. Your children need absolutes to hold onto in a relativistic and unstable world.
Pray for your children that they will not be deceived or influenced by the culture, but will have the courage to live out the truths you have imparted.
Value your children as people. Demonstrate this with time just for them. Be intentional about communicating their value to them so they don’t look to the world to meet that need.
Teach your children well. Have safe conversations that create an opportunity for them to express their doubts and fears. Resolve those fears with a certain faith that they choose and that is not forced upon them.
Find ways to stay connected through life. Apps, social media, a phone call. Connection is key to helping a legacy last. Sending messages of the lessons we learn to our children shows them that we are lifelong learners as well, so they do not feel so disconnected from us.
Special Moments & Memories
Create special moments throughout the year where you intentionally spend time with each one. Serve your family by planning times around what they enjoy. Build memories that they will remember and treasure; that will strengthen your relationship with them.
Hear their heart and don’t be too quick to judge. Ask questions to help them come to wise decisions. When they know they are heard, they can hear you and your heart.
More than a to-do list, I hope these ten ideas will be an encouragement and a reminder when life gets busy, to bring you back to what matters most. We pass our legacy to the next generation when they have our hearts, our ears, and our care in daily life.