There is no replacement for your role as the leader in your home. However, studies have shown the importance of surrounding your kids with other like-minded, caring adults. As parents, we have a responsibility to know who our kids spend time with. So we schedule preschool play dates and park meet-ups so our kids can hang with their friends.
But how often do we consider which adults we want around our kids? There are good reasons to be intentional about the other adults in your kids’ lives. Here are 4 types of adults your kids should spend time with.
1. The DreamerPlacing our kids around adults who have worked hard and made their dreams come true is a powerful tool.
Dreamers can open your kids’ eyes to something they may not otherwise see. I have a friend who’s an assistant coach in the NBA. He once dreamed of being in the NBA. Watching that dream come true has inspired me. When we allow our kids to dream and be around dreamers, it gives them the freedom to think about the future in new and exciting ways. The balance here is to let them dream but not become consumed in something they may never achieve. Placing our kids around adults who have worked hard and made their dreams come true is a powerful tool.
2. The Fixer
Having friends who can fix stuff has two benefits. One, they can help you fix what’s broken. Two, they can help your kids learn new skills. Find someone who is patient enough not only to help you but also to teach your kids at the same time. The reason I know how to trim hedges is because when I was a kid, one of my dad’s friends asked me to help him do some landscaping. He patiently showed me how to shape up hedges like a pro. Surround your kids with people who are skilled and willing to share their skills.
3. The Encourager
I often find myself intentionally encouraging my friends’ kids. As an encourager, I genuinely want to encourage great things I see in people—especially in my kids and their friends. It’s fun to brag about how awesome kids are in front of their parents. One day, while my kids were playing at the park, a few of the boys were not getting along. I watched one of them reconcile the situation. I went over to the boy who was the peacemaker and complimented him for his great work in resolving the conflict. Then, I told his dad about his ability to help everyone get along. Both he and his dad were encouraged. I want to surround my kids with other adults who’ll do that for them—encouraging adults who see traits in them that I might miss.
4. The Storyteller
Typically, the storyteller is a little older and more experienced. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways we share life and pass on legacies. I’ve made it a point to ask that all my kids’ grandparents and church “grandparents” share stories of past experiences. It’s a joy to hear my kids retell the stories they heard from long ago about how things used to be. This gives them a wider perspective of the world and an appreciation for what they have. Want an easy win? Bring your kids to an event for seniors and help them mingle among wise adults full of stories.
Sound off: What other types of adults should we have around our kids?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the greatest compliment you have ever received?”