It probably should be noticed that there is an overlap in how the Bible talks about parenting and coaching. Parenting is, in reality, a form of “divine coaching” and one of the most important kinds of discipleship.
So what kind of parent/coach are you? Chuck Swindoll, in a recent message talked about a coach who told Chuck that he needed to “coach his congregation up.” That’s how he coached a winning team. He “coached them up.” His coaching was not all negative and pointing out their flaws; it was sprinkled with kind words, encouragement and an attitude that helped them grow up into the coach’s expectations of them.
Some coaches “coach down.” They focus entirely on the negative, giving words of praise and encouragement only sparingly. They believe to do otherwise would ruin the team. But instead of growing up into the coaches’ expectations, they focused on growing down to them.
We are the same with our children. The biblical admonitions to “train up” our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) and to “train them up” in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4) help us to see the importance of an upward direction in our parenting.
Fathers are told not to “exasperate” their children (or as one little guy recited it in Bible drills, “exaggerate” their children.) As fathers, they are to be upward coaching. Your kids inevitably will grow up… or down to your persistent expectations of them. If you have “exaggerated” your child’s ability beyond reality, you will discourage them. If you label them early on; “learning disabled,” or “learning challenged” or “hopeless” then they will struggle grow up beyond those powerful labels.
Watch your language. Your children are listening… and internalizing the words you use.
And they are growing up into them…
FOR MEMORIZATION: But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
FOR REFLECTION: If you are a parent, evaluate the majority of words you are using to discipline, correct and train your child. Which direction are they pointing?