How to Strengthen and Encourage Your Child’s Mind

Your child’s mind is a great place to plant seeds of truth. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, 

Romans 12:2a

I could hear our 14-year-old son mumbling to himself while washing eggs in the laundry room sink. It’s not his favorite chore, but poor kid, with nearly 40 laying hens on our place, it’s a job that falls on him.

But as I leaned in a little closer, I could tell he wasn’t exactly complaining—he was berating himself. Verbally beating himself up.

And it grieved my heart to hear such negative self-talk.

Sure, he’d had a hard morning. It wasn’t even 9 am and he’d already made a number of mistakes and mess-ups. He overslept his alarm, got into a ridiculous argument with his older brother, and, to top it off, dropped nearly a dozen farm fresh eggs onto the tile floor.

So there he was, washing the few eggs left unbroken and feeling like a “loser” (his word, not mine).

Pretending I hadn’t overheard his mutterings, I placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and whispered in his ear, “Son, I truly believe God has big things in your future.”

Then I held my breath and waited for his response.

It felt like a risky move on my part, wondering if he’d laugh it off or possibly pull away.

But he did neither. Instead, this boy of mine, who’s a head taller than me now, slowly turned around and pensively asked, “Really, mom, you think so?”

“Yes, son, I believe it with all my heart.”

No Losers

Then, right there, in the middle of my messy laundry room, we talked about how God wants us to be faithful in the little things (like washing eggs), and yet, this small stuff can lead to much bigger things later in life (Matt. 25:21).

Furthermore, there are no “losers” in God’s kingdom, and that kind of talk has no place in a believer’s life. On the contrary, in the sight of God, he is “chosen and precious” (I Pet. 2:4).

Maybe my son thought his murmurings were harmless, but you and I know otherwise—such self-deprecating talk can be powerful and lasting. And I want him to understand the impact of the words and thoughts we allow into our minds. 

Helping Your Child to Strengthen His Mind

As a parent, do you find yourself wondering what is going on in your child’s head? Do you worry, or even grieve, over the thoughts your child seems to struggle with?

Maybe your kids are very young, and yet they still have you wondering: How did you come up with that? Why would you think (or say) such a thing?

Or perhaps they’re tween-aged or teenaged, and they’ve really got you concerned.

I know that feeling all too well.

So often as a parent, we are told to care for our child’s heart – and so we should! But over the many years of my own parenting, I came to realize we also have this amazing opportunity to help our children with their minds–their thoughts, ideas, and even all those “voices” swirling in their heads.

What a beautiful gift we can give to our children! Not only can we teach them that they can be overcomers when it comes to their thought-life — determining which thoughts they’ll allow in and which thoughts they will not — but that, in Christ, they have what it takes to strengthen and protect their minds.

And we can start with sharing what we find clearly stated in the Word of God!

In His Word

 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… (2 Cor. 10:5)

In Your Life

Help your child learn how to literally “capture” those thoughts which are untrue or unedifying. Most of us don’t realize that we can (and should!)  take charge of our thoughts.  Perhaps you and your child could look up a few of the Bible verses on what God says about our thoughts and mind (e.g., Rom. 8:5-6, Rom. 12:1-2, Isa. 26:3, etc.) and memorize one or two together?

We Recommend

Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you to discover the powerful ways you can build up your children in love with the words you choose every day–words they need to hear.

100 Words of Affirmation Your Son Needs to Hear & 100 Words of Affirmation Your Daughter Needs to Hear offer you 100 things to say to your son or daughter that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire them. Start speaking these words into their lives and watch your children–and your relationship with them–transform before your eyes.

*Recently, Lisa spoke on this topic on the Proverbs 31 Ministries podcast. You can listen to Parenting Your Child’s Mind here!

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