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What Parents Learn

Watch this video to see one and a half minute clips of every session in the video series.

Each video has approximately 35 minutes of running time. With the discussion questions each lesson can last from an hour to an hour and a half. Here’s a summary of each session.

Session 1
Moving from External Prompters to the Heart
The heart prompts children from the inside but most kids rely on parental prompters to get things done in life. God has designed the heart to contain two things that will provide internal motivation for a child, the conscience and the Holy Spirit. The conscience works in four areas, do what’s right, deal with wrongs, be honest, and care about others. There is a way to parent that trains the conscience and makes it a useful tool in a child’s life. The word conscience is used over 30 times in the New Testament illustrating its importance and the need for parents to consider it. The first of 21 parenting strategies is revealed entitled “Tighten Your Action Point.” An action point is the point, when giving instructions, where they stop talking and take action. Children who are allowed to ignore a parent’s instruction learn to ignore the internal promptings of the conscience as well. Parenting needs to focus on the heart and not on simple behavior modification.

Session 2
Internal Prompters and the Conscience
The Holy Spirit and the conscience are two different things. The Holy Spirit is a person and provides power for transformation. The conscience is an indicator and prompts children internally. The biblical basis for four parts of the conscience is developed further and parents are encouraged to incorporate conscience development in their parenting. In particular, what parents say and how they say it is important for conscience development. Furthermore, building a spiritual relationship with children helps kids realize that God is real and a very important part of everyday life. A focus on the conscience in parenting can produce significant results.

Session 3
Doing What’s Right Starts with Convictions
Children already have convictions but many of those inner beliefs are wrong and need adjustment. For example, some children believe that when Mom gives an instruction, they ought to be able to get to the next level in the video game before responding. Parents have the God-given responsibility to help their children develop godly convictions. That often happens by teaching children about the convictions behind family rules. The rules may change over time but the convictions remain the same. Children also need to see that the Bible is exciting and relevant for their lives. Parents are the primary spiritual trainers of their own children and can do this part of their job most effectively by using activity to teach spiritual truths. This session focuses specifically on helping children do what’s right.

Session 4
A Strong Conscience Helps Children Care About Others
Jesus’ compassion often led him to take initiative to care for others. Many children tend to be self-focused and some work in the compassion area can get them thinking outside themselves. One of the areas of the conscience is caring about others and it’s prompted by the emotion of compassion. In this session parents learn practical ways to help their children move from selfishness to unselfishness. Honor is an important quality and God teaches that honor is learned in the home. When children learn honor they treat others as special and they learn to do more than what’s expected. In this session parents learn how to help their children take initiative instead of relying on parental prompters to care about others. Developing a heart of compassion in a child can be a challenge so several practical suggestions are provided for parents.

Session 5
The Conscience is a Tool for Clearing Up Offenses
Many children don’t have a plan for dealing with offenses and resort to blaming, rationalizing, or deflecting fault. Guilt is a God-given emotion that prompts a child toward repentance, but the process usually starts with correction. Helping children value correction is an important parenting strategy. Of course, that process needs to start with parents, who often view correction as an interruption to their lives instead of seeing the opportunities it provides. Furthermore, parents can help their children with a way to think rightly about offenses and how to make wrongs right. Three questions and a statement are offered as a technique that embodies a biblical concept of repentance that can be used at the end of every correction time. The fact is that all have sinned and need a clear conscience. The Bible teaches in Hebrews 9:14 that the blood of Christ ultimately cleanses the conscience. Parents who haven’t yet committed themselves to Christ are encouraged to do so in this lesson.

Session 6
Honesty is Foundational to Relationships
One of the areas of the conscience has to do with honesty. Beginning this session with a lie detector test, parents learn that honesty can be complicated at times. If that’s true for parents then it is certainly true for children as well. Several practical strategies are provided for parents to help children value integrity and it starts with some teaching about how to be truthful in challenging situations. Children who are dishonest need more accountability. Four benefits of the integrity package raise its value level in the minds of children. Dishonesty always occurs under pressure and children who are dishonest are weak on the inside requiring a multi-faceted approach for training. Honesty is foundational for all relationships including our relationship with God because honesty breeds trust. Teaching honesty is an essential part of parenting and this session provides several practical tools for developing it in a child’s life.

Session 7
The Power of a Clear Conscience
There is a way to parent that increases the effectiveness of the conscience in children. Of course, accepting God’s forgiveness through salvation is the greatest gift for any conscience, but obtaining a clear conscience doesn’t stop with salvation. Paul says, “I strive to keep my conscience clear before God and man,” revealing the work necessary for all people to protect their own consciences. Parents can do a lot to help their children experience a clear conscience. By ending instructions times well children can feel a sense of accomplishment. By ending correction times well children can feel a sense of forgiveness. By caring about others children can feel the satisfaction of contributing. All of these positive feelings are the conscience in action. But feelings come and go and aren’t the basis for action. Instead, doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do is important whether one feels good about it or not. Many of those positive feelings are the natural result of being obedient to God. When children have a clear conscience they are more useful as God’s servants. God uses ordinary people to do great things. Our job, and the responsibility of our children, is to be available and obedient to him.

Session 8
A 30-Day Plan for Change
Many children are challenging and need extra love and guidance. When children have Attention Deficit Disorder or some other neurological behavioral challenge for example, they need hope to face life every day. Providing that hope is a parent’s job and God has a specific prescription for hope found in Romans 5:3-4, “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” This session helps parents develop a plan to help their children deal with the suffering of life and produce the character necessary to face that suffering. Many children need to raise the character threshold in their lives in order to handle the challenges they face every day. Using a five-part plan, parents can put into practice the strategies they’ve learned in this series in a way that produces significant change in their children. It’s never too late to start fresh and new. God is at work in the lives of your children. Your job is to equip them with the tools necessary to face life. This session shows you how to develop the plan.

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