It saddens my heart every time I turn on the news or look around in my community and see our children being hurt, abused and drawn away by negative peer pressure. My heart bleeds and I ask where are the parents and why don’t I see the fruits of effective parenting. The world needs the parental role, there should be no substitute.
Where did we go wrong?
Some might argue I make the child but I can’t make their mind. I agree, but we have been entrusted with an individual for whom we should be an example. I try to be the perfect example for my son and also encourage his father to be the same. Our children are a representation of us their parents and the attention we give to them is very important. As parents we have the authority to tell our children who they are, to show them love and to teach them good Godly values. Children often times learn how to/ or how not to live, love, talk, pray, from us. We have to start building their self and God esteem daily. Don’t call them stupid or any names that can hurt their feelings (yes they have feelings too), encourage their intelligence, and innovative ideas, help them in the things they love to do, be interested in their hobbies. Teach them about God tell them Jesus loves them.
At the age of three (3) my son loves to go the church with me, he knows it’s part of our routine now. I watch him observe me in prayer and praise and reading my bible and singing, till one day I heard him singing a song I usually do. In my mind I said Hummm… he is observing me. Children do learn from our actions no matter what we say. So now I try to be conscious of what I say and do around him, even the movies I watch, especially as he is like a sponge. One night I sat down to watch a movie, I usually will tell him, “Joe I don’t want you watching any fighting thing.” Well the movie I was watching had monsters fighting so he was like, “mummy you watching fighting thing?” I responded, “yes but I am changing it now.” I had to fast forward all the fighting scenes of the movie, impressionable aren’t they? If I tell him not to say certain words or do certain things, he should also not hear or see me saying or doing them. What would you demonstrate so that they would learn?
What does God say about parenting?
God desires that we always be examples for our children and by extension our household and sphere of influence. When we learn what Gods word says we are charged to teach our children, ensure that the word of God and what he desires of them are presented in every possible way. Take a look at Deuteronomy 6:6-9 it says “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Our children must without a doubt first see the Christ in and through us, it is through our lives that they first experience Jesus and his love for them. I believe that once we as parents do what we are required then no matter what they go through, there is hope for our children.
Our children old or young are searching, searching for love and acceptance. We as parents tend to downcast them and even sometimes encourage the wrong things. For example children are suppose to honor those in authority but some parents do not demonstrate honor by the way they treat their own parents, husbands, loved ones and by extension the teachers. How do we then expect that child to show honor? Our children are also getting into relationships at a young age, falling in with the norms of the world. Parents, we now have to monitor and constantly pray for our children know their friends, sit with them when they are doing school work sometimes. Listen to their conversations with their peers if you can. We get to know who they are outside of the home by the conversations they carry out or sometimes by the friends they keep. Also don’t let things slide because if you do they will believe that what they did is correct and accepted.
Encourage your children.
No matter how young we can begin to positively influence our children. Begin to tell them that they are loved by God, say I love you often, let them see their parents affectionate towards each other, take them out on dates with the family. This way we set the precedence in our home, when a child is already accustomed to certain things they don’t get drawn away when the wrong influence come. “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV.
Parents, know that children are meant to be just that, children. Yes we can give them household chores and responsibilities but we as parents need to ensure that we provide for our children, especially financially, don’t want them seeking help from other influences what we ought to provide. Be the parent that you were chosen to be whether that child was planned or not, God ordained them to be here. Help them to carry out their God given purpose while being respectable contributors to society as Ephesians 6:4 NKJV says “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
What parenting strategy do you use, and what will you do differently? Leave us a comment below.