How is Your Kids TRUE North?
Joey and Carla Link
September 13, 2018
Do your kids really know where they are going? Do they know how to stop and think when the Holy Spirit is prompting them to not do something or do they run through the red light telling them to stop and go no further?
Your kids “True North” is where they need to be going and keep going. “True North” points upward. It gives kids direction and guidance. When kids are headed there it indicates they know right from wrong and are willing to do the right thing even if no one else is doing it. It guides them to where they need to go to get back on the right path when they know they got off it or when they got caught doing something wrong.
So how do kids know where their “True North” is?
- They have to be teachable. To be teachable is to be “able and willing to learn.” To be teachable your kids/teens first have to be willing to admit when they are wrong with a willingness to be told or find out what the right thing to do would be.
It is okay to be wrong as no one is right all the time. But to be wrong and stubbornly refuse to admit it is quite another story. Children with the Melancholy temperament struggle to admit when they are wrong because they are perfectionists and in their mind to do so is to admit failure which is unacceptable to them. Stubbornness is a weakness of the Phlegmatic temperament. They don’t make a fuss about not admitting they are wrong, they just dig their heels in a bucket of cement and don’t move to a new way of thinking.
Kids with the Choleric temperament are going to let you know in no uncertain terms that they are never wrong and that is that. Your Sanguine child doesn’t care if he is wrong and will apologize quickly but when confronted with the same choice will have no reason not to go the wrong way again.
- When kids/teens are headed to their True North, they will be willing to apologize when they offend someone without having to be told to do so. We learned to break it down like this for our kids.
- Your child/teen says he was wrong and says exactly what he did that was wrong.
- Repentance is turning around and going in the opposite direction. Your child needs to say what he needs to do to accomplish that.
- Forgiveness is restoring the relationship with the one they offended by asking for forgiveness. We don’t know why it is so hard to say “Will you forgive me?” but it truly is.
- Restitution/Restoration is giving back what they took away. If your child is 6 yrs. and up he needs to figure out how to do this. You can guide him with questions.
What does this look like? Our son forgot to take out the trash. He goes to his dad and says, “Dad, I’m sorry I didn’t once again get the trash out to the alley for trash pick-up. I know it was wrong and I need to figure out a way to remind myself. Will you forgive me for not choosing to remember to get it done? To make it right I will get it out next week and pay for the tag for the extra can.”
This is what admitting you are wrong looks like.
- If at first you don’t succeed try again. Baseball players are doing great if they have a .500 batting average which doesn’t happen very often. This means they hit the ball 50% of the time, which also means they don’t hit it 50% of the time it is pitched to them. Let’s say a player’s batting average is around .120. This isn’t very good. Does he just throw his hands in the air and give up? No, he works extra time at practice with the batting coach to improve his swing.
When kids/teens are headed to their True North, they don’t give up when they don’t make it on their first try. Along the way to a kid’s True North are his/her Bible, you, church, youth leaders, mentors, and so forth. Anyone who points them towards living like God wants them to qualifies. Our grandson recently called his Papa to pray with him to lead him to Jesus because “his Papa was always telling him about God.” On that very special day Joey was his guide to his True North.
How teachable are your kids? Do they know how to overcome the temptation of sin (doing the wrong thing) when their conscience is poking at them to stop? Are they willing to admit they did something or said something wrong to themselves and others? When professional baseball players strike out, they do it in front of thousands of people. Their failure to get on base is a very public thing. But when they get to the dugout, teammates and coaches are quick to encourage them to keep on trying. You, siblings, grandparents, and friends need to be the encouragers to help your kids/teens try and try again.
Being teachable is one of the greatest character qualities you should work on getting into your kids’ hearts. For if they are not teachable to you as their parents, how will they ever learn to be open, honest and teachable with their future spouse one day?