Your Child's Head?
Do We Need the Creator?
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Who do we need that is greater than you or me?
We need the Creator. When we come to the end of our rope (and children do too) we need to know that there is One greater than ourselves Who loves us and accepts us as we are. Children who are taught that there is no God don’t know where to turn when they’re at the end of their rope with all of life. (Refer to: I Corinthians. 9:24-27, Galatians. 6:7-10, Philippians. 3:12-14, II Timothy. 2:3-13.)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Morality and Spirituality
Does God need to be in a child’s life? Why or why not?
Children who grow up believing there is no God, later in life also believe that “the buck stops with them”. If such an individual is hanging on his/her “last piece of rope” in life, no counsellor or psych ward can help this person, except to lead them to God.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of watching television?
One advantage of television is children’s programs that increase knowledge and encourage the use of some imagination. Some nature shows and programs like Mr. Dress Up might fill the bill. For children under the age of 7, one hour of TV a day is more than sufficient. Some disadvantages of television are that it deprives you and your child of bonding time. If your child is under seven years old TV may tend to help develop a shorter attention span in children. The TV should not be used as a baby sitter. That deprives you and your child of valuable bonding time.
What do we teach our children when we say, “What you put into your mind and mouth is the total sum of who you become”?
I cannot do and say anything unless it’s first in my brain. My mind input causes me to become who I am psychologically, socially, and spiritually. What I put into my mouth builds me physically and to a lesser degree, socially.
Parenting Depth and Commitment
What are two components of parenting?
Review the story of the hen and pig. The hen participates in providing breakfast and the pig sacrifices. This is much like parenting. To parent you must give yourself to your child’s development. It involves total commitment and sacrifice.
What are some of the basics of parenting?
The basics include:
Keep your cool.
Learn to know each of your children as individuals.
Know how you feel about your child’s behaviour and attitude, and where you would like them to be in the next year or two.
Be open books to your children. Let them know you’re imperfect people. Let them know what you learn from your mistakes. Let them know what you are passionate about, what you dream for them.
What is the value of thinking and planning ahead?
Thinking ahead in a visionary way helps us to keep focused on where we really want to take our children and ourselves. To sit down as a family and ask, “Where do we each want to be in 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?” etc. is a good way to refocus where we are going. And then to ask, “Are we doing today what best gets us to where we are going?” helps children make wiser choices.
Knowing Each Other
Why do we need to know and recognize who our children are?
The more we know about our children, their needs, wants, joys, hobbies, talents, sorrows, weaknesses, strengths, habits -- in other words, his/her inner and outer worlds -- the better. This gives me a greater sense of what to do to be able to help this youngster to become what he/she has the potential to become.
Why do our children need to know our past, our history?
To let others in on your past makes you vulnerable. Vulnerability is very necessary when building relationships. “One-way streets” cause relationships to die; “two-way streets” cause them to thrive. The parent knows his/her child’s total past. That’s “ one way”. Thus, the parent needs to complete the package by giving as much of his/her past as the child is ready for. That completes the “two-way street”. This builds deep relationships.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Is this proverb true? In what way?
The Creator has given each human being a free will, whether we like it or not. A parent can take a four-year-old by the upper arms and sit him down on the outside. Whether the youngster sits down on the inside is entirely up to him. Those children who usually choose to sit down on the inside when they are asked to sit down on the outside will likely follow mom's and dad's value system when they grow up. However, those children who usually do not sit down on the inside when they are asked to sit down on the outside, will find it much more difficult to adopt their mom's and dad's values in their adult lives.
How do you get your child to sit down on the inside when you ask them to sit down on the outside?
Do you realize how ready and willing you are to bend over backwards for your closest friends, even when it's inconvenient to do so? Our children would likely do the same for their best friends. Consistently treat your children as you would treat your closest friends, without being their floor mat, and they will want to please you. (Refer to Galatians 5:22-23 -- nine characteristics that build lasting friendships successfully. Galatians 5:19-21 gives 15 relationship-wrecking characteristics. Two pictures well worth pondering!) That is why we need to develop close friendships with our children. Colossians 3:21 reminds us that “Fathers do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged” (NIV). Compare that with Ephesians 6:4. The key again is to be firm, fair, and friendly in your dealings with the child. If one of these "F" words is missing, you may not get the results you want with your children. Remember children have a free will. As parents we are responsible to guide children and create within them the desire to be obedient. Parents need to be their children’s hero (particularly the Dad) and friend. And since God ordained Dad to be the hero and Mom to be the heartbeat in the home, Dad needs to realize children will follow their hero - - his attitude, actions, mannerisms and way of communicating.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.