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Silencing Bad Voices


Get out your parental calculator. You know the device, right? This is the tool where you begin to subtract and add certain people from your childrens lives. This is hard to do, and you have to be intentional and consistent with it. If you wait until your children are teenagers it becomes almost impossible, so begin young so you can teach your children to use the relationship calculator on their own later in life.

Begin with subtracting the relationships that need to go away. I m not advocating the employment of a hit man or secretly packing up your belongings and making a run for the border. However, there are things you can do about the damaging voices in your kid s life. If it s another child that is causing the problem then there are a few things you can do.

Start with limiting the interactions your child has with them. In our family there are a few neighborhood friends that our children cannot play with away from our home. We don’t take away the relationship, but we bring it under our home so that we can listen and see.

For some relationships you may need to follow-up with your children and help them process what they hear. This is especially true of their teachers and coaches at school, because you are not there to hear all the time. Tell your children that everyone in the world has the right to a bad day occasionally, and encourage them to offer forgiveness for hurtful words; but at the same time encourage them to filter what they hear through the truth that you ve established in your home.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.