Teach Your Children
By Dorothy Ward-Winters
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV)
Our duty as parents is to train our child to be a responsible adult, just as our parents trained us. Why did we think they could only be happy if we gave them their heart’s desires?
I had it rough when I was small, and I wanted my children to have an easier life. Easier and happier. Happier meant stuffed animals, tricycles, bicycles, (I balked at motorcycles), designer clothes, cell phones, computers, I-Pods, and so on, things I did not have. No matter how hard I tried to satisfy her, there was always something new she craved. I never could make her understand that money does not grow on trees.
I took care of her physical needs. Food, clothing, shelter. I admit food was a challenge. I wanted her to like the food I prepared, but dinner conversation too often went like this:
“I don’t like this meat.” “You don’t like the roast? Try the potatoes. No? Well, you can skip the meat and veggies and go straight to desert. I know you like my pumpkin pie”“Not tonight, Mama. I wanna’ go with my friends to the pizza parlor.”“ It’s a school night. You can’t go out. But, I’ll call the pizza delivery service.”
To whom was I speaking? King Child? Just who is the parent in this family? Who is the leader, the person responsible for training the child to be a mature adult? It wasn’t I. My husband had resigned from these arguments many years ago; he couldn’t compete with both of us.
I would like to report that things changed around my house. Husband and I became a team, trained this child in the way she should go, worked together, and taught her to be responsible for herself in every way. Yes, I would like to report that, but it would be a lie. Child is in prison for killing a young boy who stood in her path as she ran from police after robbing a liquor store. We never did teach her to accept responsibility for her actions. We learned our lesson too late, and she is learning her lesson the hard way.
How much kinder it would have been if we had not catered to her every whim. Teach a child to obey when young will establish a foundation on which to teach valuable lessons.
Teach your toddlers to put away the toys. When they are refreshed from a bath or a game with you, help them put away the toys. Do not do it for them. They must be a part of the process.
Children learn by example. Do you and your spouse bicker frequently, or do you show love for each other? Children are great imitators. Your children will judge you by your actions. If you quarrel, they will feel the tension and become irritable. If you show affection to each other, they will feel the love in the air, and respond the same way.