I think the instruction manual was lost in the births of my two children. They both came into this world without a handbook on good parenting.
Pregnancy was difficult enough…now I’ve got to know what to do with these little ones? WHAT?!?!?!
How in the world am I supposed to know how to train, teach, tutor and lead these two completely different human beings safely into adulthood? In addition, I think the mom-gene was left out of my DNA. It just doesn’t come naturally for me.
To make matters worse, there is a big, bad world waiting to snatch these precious boys and mold them into selfish, self-centered, ego maniacs. ARGH!
What is a parent to do? Especially since I would like to raise strong, productive, loving, caring, Christian men!
Wait a minute!!! There is a manual…the BIBLE! Clearly, I’m gonna have to read it in order to get the instructions needed to raise children who love the Lord! Easier said than done – considering it took me 37 years to get into the habit of reading God’s Word daily and I still miss a day or two every now and again! Yikes!
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24
I do not want to get into a spanking debate, but it’s obvious from the above scripture that my job as a parent is to teach my children right from wrong – and it’s critical I take my job seriously.
But where is that manual for the abnormally, hard-headed, stubborn and cute little fellows? Because I’ve got two!! Plus, where is the step-by-step guide? I really need the details here!!!
Thankfully, I am surrounded by women who have traveled this road before me. These dear moms, sisters and friends have shared their wisdom and encourage me daily to stay on task and win the competition of WHO my children HEAR.
My favorite tip is from my sister, Heather. She calls it ‘teaching moments’.
Basically, every time a situation arises when the wrong choice was made, she asks the child what could have been done differently. Then they discuss the options, the choices and the outcomes of each scenario. This allows the child to logically see a cause and effect relationship to the choices they make. Yep, she’s got the patience of a saint!
The other tip I received from Heather (she’s awesome by the way!) is to engage in a ‘what if’ conversation whenever the opportunity arises.
- What if someone asks you to help them find their lost pet? – Well, you run as fast as you can back home.
- What if someone offers you ice cream? – Well, you run as fast as you can back home.
- What if someone says they think you’re ugly? – Well, you remember that Jesus made you and He (along with mom & dad) think you’re beautiful on the inside and out.
And the list goes on and on, no matter what age….
Essentially, you can put any circumstance into a ‘what if’ conversation to teach the right way to handle them. It’s an awesome technique to teach our children without going through the dreaded lecture. It serves as an open dialogue in which everyone has input.
And let’s not forget the 10 commandments.
You shall teach them (God’s commands) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:7
God cares about what we teach our children and how they respond. In fact, the honor your mother and father commandment comes with a promise – so that life will go well for you (see Ephesians 6:1-3).
Parenting is hard and it can wear us down. However, if we don’t teach our children – WHO WILL?
Please pray for all the parents you know! God understands we all could use a little help!!!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.