Big Picture
honor parents

Teaching Kids to Honor Parents on Mother’s and Father’s Day

May 13, 2024 | Teach Kids Articles

Teaching kids to honor parents isn’t just something that should be done for the sake of a parent, it’s something that should be done for the sake of children. God promises kids that if they honor their parents, God will give them a special blessing in life, while showing honor to our parents can be a reflection of how we should show honor to God as our Father, too. Luckily, celebrating Mother’s or Father’s Day serves as the perfect excuse to start teaching kids to honor parents early on. Here are 3 ways to start teaching kids to honor parents, along with some helpful advice.

Before You Begin Teaching Kids to Honor Parents

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can hold all kinds of emotions for us. For some, it’s a joyful day where we give loving sentiments to our parents and receive them from our children. For others, it’s a hard day because a relationship with a child or parent is difficult, or we’ve lost a child or parent. Even a mention of the day can pour salt into a wound or make an underappreciated parent feel worse. Be sure to do these two things before you begin teaching kids to honor parents.

Examine Your Feelings

Before you start teaching kids to honor parents, you must first examine whether you’re the right person to instruct them right now. Take a moment to process your own feelings about the day before the throne of grace and talk with God about your experiences. Before you go out to “do the right thing” or fall apart when you least expect it this Mother’s or Father’s Day, take time to talk to God about what you’re feeling and receive His comfort and direction. Even if you expect it to be a good day, you’ll still want to receive His counsel on how to give or receive honor, and specifically how to teach kids to honor parents.

Enlist Help

The second thing you should do is plan how and who will be instructing the children in your life regarding this day. If you’re married and past Mother’s or Father’s Days have been disappointing or made you feel overlooked, kindly ask your spouse to help with teaching the kids to honor parents—returning the favor when it’s their turn to be celebrated. If you are not married, you might want to ask a friend or family member to encourage your children to make this year special.

If you don’t have children of your own, look around and notice your single parent friends, and be the person to help their children know what to do by teaching kids to honor parents. Some parents are going to be completely forgotten on these upcoming Mother’s and Father’s Day Sundays. They’ll tire themselves out getting the kids to church, while not having had any recognition that morning. Those parents could receive much-needed encouragement from their children if you were to help them emerge from children’s church with something in hand, like a thank-you card or a special drawing. Perhaps you can be that needed encouragement by teaching their kids to notice when it’s Mother’s or Father’s Day and to honor their parents.

Regardless of your situation, here are three easy ways you can start teaching kids to honor parents this Mother’s and Father’s Day.

1. Teach Kids About Mother’s and Father’s Day

Kids need instruction in every area of life, including showing honor. As the foundation to teaching kids to honor parents, spend time reading verses in the Bible where God talks about children honoring their parents, and then explain the concept of Mother’s and Father’s Day as a day to thank parents for all that they do for us. Teach them that words of encouragement are the best gift to parents on days like this, so encourage kids to make a handmade card the day before as a special gift for mom or dad that would be really treasured.

While kids might have already heard of the day or be aware it’s coming up, they are still children and often forget, so they might need help from the other parent or friend to be prepared. Be sure to remind kids what day it is first thing in the morning, and get kids excited to celebrate their parents with a little extra joy and chaos for that special day and parent. Remember: words of encouragement are key!

2. Use Gratitude and Affirmation

When teaching kids to honor parents, help them to use their words of encouragement with the most effect by teaching kids to focus on two things: gratitude and affirmation. Gratitude is the easier one because kids should be able to think of all the things their parent does for them, list as many as possible, and thank the parent for doing them. This could be the perfect addition to a Mother’s or Father’s Day card to help parents not feel like their hard work goes unnoticed!

After pondering all these things that the parent does for them, the second part, affirmation, becomes easier. Help kids think about what kind of character qualities a person would have in order to do all those things, such as “patient”, “selfless”, or “kind”. Then, help them say “thank you” to parents for exhibiting those specific character qualities, while paying special homage to character traits about their parents that kids especially enjoy. This is a really important step. Although no mom would be disappointed to hear that her child thinks she’s pretty and gives good gifts, affirmation should be focused on one’s character. A strong, moral character is the result of godly choices and we all need to learn to affirm the godly character we see in others—even children!

3. Teach Kids to Honor Parents by Your Example

As a parent, it can feel awkward to tell a child, “honor me, because God commands you to do it.” After all, we want to demonstrate humility, not set an example of someone who seeks or demands honor. Which is why this third and final way to start teaching kids to honor parents is to lead by example by letting children see you honoring YOUR parents. Mother’s and Father’s Day or not, tell them what you are doing, and why you choose to honor God by honoring your parents. If the children are old enough, you could even add information about why it might be hard for you to do this, but that you are still choosing to act in obedience to God’s command and in faith to God’s promise. Explain that, while no parent on this earth is perfect, they should be honored anyway, as this sets an example of grace and follows God’s perfect design.

Even in situations where a parent is so very unhealthy there has to be extreme boundaries within your relationship, you can still find ways to show honor and explain to your children what you are doing; like praying for your parents to find peace, happiness, and to know God, or committing to forgive them for their failures, even as you uphold healthy boundaries.

Even in hard situations, these special days are an opportunity to focus on teaching kids to honor parents well—a joy that, ultimately, honors God too. Don’t let Mother’s and Father’s Day pass this year without teaching kids to honor parents in these three ways.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

Stay Connected with CEF

Subscribe to our email lists to receive updates, news, and stories based on your needs and interests.