If we are to truly instruct our childrens belief system, their understandings, their decision making processes, their character and their passions we need to be on the job 100% of the time no time outs. We know we need to be aware for our childrens physical safety but what about their inner safety the safety of their heart. (Keep in mind that their heart is their mind, our soul, our emotions, our will, our character and our passions).
Character First defines this trait as Alertness and they have 5 statements that help us understand what Alertness looks like:
- I will keep my eyes and ears open
- I will recognize and heed warning signals
- I will choose to do right before I am tempted
- I will tell others of danger
- I will stay away from unsafe places.
What does being Alert look like for a Parent?
- We need to be forever watching our children watch for actions and attitudes that are not in keeping with family values and address them quickly. Im not talking of being a helicopter parent, hovering over them and restricting them at every turn. An alert parent will be close enough to see and step in when instruction is necessary.
- The thing is our children dont usually just do something wrong there is usually a build up or surrounding circumstances. We need to be aware of what these signals will be in each of our childrens lives. We need to be prepared to lay aside whatever we are doing and act on those signals.
- We are often tempted to deal with our children later especially if we are emotionally engaged in whatever we are doing at the time. An alert parent will put aside that selfish temptation to deal with our children later and understand that they us now. When we see something that needs our attention our instruction or guidance an alert parent will see the inner danger, the threat to their heart, and take the opportunity to address it.
- Our job is to show our children the way tell them of the dangers ahead should they chose to stay in their foolishness. An alert parent will discern what is a danger and what is an opportunity to grow.
- We need to guard and protect our childrens hearts keep them in safe places so they will grow strong. The idea of boundaries is that we keep our children in a place where they will be able to do the right thing (most of the time). An alert parent will have appropriate boundaries around each of their children.
I have never found it, when I have thought the battle was over and the conquest gained, and so let down my watch, the enemy had risen up and done me the greatest injury. David Brainerd
[Tweet “Parenting is a 24/7 thing – always aware of the things about to challenge our children’s hearts.”]
How true this is for our childrens hearts - we cannot let our watch go. We must always be on the alert watching for those things which will challenge our chidren’s beliefs, their understandings, their decision making processes, their character and their passions. We must be there ready to teach and guide them along the way. We must be always ready to give instruction.
Throughout the week I share with other blogs – check out my Link ups and Party page
Thank you for this! I’ve been inspired to start introducing character traits this new year, and we’re beginning with alertness.
Hi Annette – I am excited for your family. Being intentional about teaching character – talking about it, defining it, giving practical application – has made a big impact on our family.
Alertness is such a foundational character for loving one another and serving in the family – if we aren’t alert to the needs around us we will never step up to meet them.
All the best with this new direction for your family
is there a way to follow your blog via email?
Hi RG – as for subscribing via email. I am struggling with the technology side of that but I personally use feedblitz.com for all my subscriptions and you can do that even without a link fromthe actual website. So go to http://www.feedblitz.com and right down the bottom there is a link: subscribe to email for free – follow that link and you will be able to subscribe to this blog (and any other blog you would like to receive in your inbox). Just copy my URL and you are set.
Sorry I can’t make it simpler for you – but this does work – and it is free.