4 Ways to Launch Your Child’s Future
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
You’ve probably heard this at some point in your life. I believe it to be true, and have seen it play out in my own life and personal experiences.
But today’s “friendships” are more complicated than mine were growing up. Many friendships are formed online, and out of shared social habits, not the same English class. Physical interaction is no longer required to form a friendship.
Influence doesn’t stop when they get off the bus or drive home from soccer practice. This means that our children’s friendships have a much greater influence on their lives and future because they’re constantly being influenced by them. So perhaps a better way to say it today would be “show me your Instagram feed, and I’ll show you your future”.
Therefore, our parental responsibility to prepare our children to live on their own, and to make wise financial decisions is all the more necessary. They must know who they are in Christ and why we desire to be faithful stewards.
The good news is no one knows your child like you do.
There is no one better equipped to speak into their lives and influence their decisions with biblical wisdom. In an age where culture will tell our children to take the path most traveled, we as parents have an even greater opportunity to point them down the narrow one.
Know Your Child’s Friends
So, encourage your children to find good friendships and then get to know their families.
Proverbs says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
And Paul told the Corinthians, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.”
You have several decades of wisdom and experience to offer your children when it comes to choosing friends. That may look differently today than it did 40 years ago, but its importance has not diminished.
Teach them what valuable, godly friendship look like – online and offline. Ask questions about their friends, not to interrogate them, but to show interest and practice discernment. Model what godly friendships look like by exposing them to your own. Talk about what a blessing your church community, life group, or mentors are in your life.
Know Your Child’s Design
You know whether your child is mechanically inclined, outgoing, loves to serve, is skilled in leadership, and so on. Notice and affirm these skills in them as they develop. They are God-given, and designed to fulfill the plan He has for their lives.
I like this rhyme from Dr Seuss:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
It’s a motivating reminder to choose the right path for our lives.
Crown’s Career Direct assessment can help you and your child discover their talents and speak the same language about their skillset. It’s more than a personality profile because it examines their personality, skills, interests, and values to explain how God uniquely designed them. It may give you the right words to explain things you’ve seen in them all along, and help your child connect their interests with an actual career path. I couldn’t encourage you strongly enough to have your child take the assessment.
Know Your Child’s Opportunities
Once you understand their unique design, encourage them to refine their skills, and give them opportunities to do so. Talk to friends that may have opportunities in related fields that offer an internship or apprenticeship. There are a plethora of online resources that can add immense value and experience prior to entering the workforce.
I’m not suggesting you force your child into one career path or another. But you can help them eliminate options that aren’t the right fit, and find excitement in the ones that are.
Know Your Child’s Communication Style
Communication is critical. Affirm your child’s design and celebrate the unique qualities God has given them. Their results may not be what they think is “cool” or what they expected to find.
Children crave your approval and guidance in a world that offers more choices than ever.
Remind them that Jesus was a carpenter, Matthew was a tax collector, Peter was a fisherman, and Luke was a doctor. The heroes of the bible came from all different kinds of professional backgrounds and socioeconomic standings. But God used them all for His Kingdom.
Pray that your children choose to not conform to this world, but are transformed by the renewal of their minds. Be confident in your role as a parent to speak truth and love into their lives and decisions.
Prepare them well for the challenges of the world, love them, and talk with them frequently.
Psalm 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” You are the bow, not the quiver, so prepare them to go great distances for the Kingdom.