Train up a child…(Proverbs 22:6)
I don’t know what my parents were thinking when they were raising us back in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, but I think they did a splendid job. Their day-to-day state of being impacted not only how we treated each other at home, but it also extended to how we treated others outside of our family. I believe their faith in God and adhering to the principles set forth in the Word about the husband/wife relationship and parent/child relationship contributed to our relational development as well.
I used to always hear my father say, the best time to instil proper values in a child is before the age of 7, when they can distinguish between right and wrong. I think the age has even been dropped to 5 years. I have also learned by experience that every 7 year period in our lives presents different growth opportunities. What you do with them determines the evolution of your character. What you do with those growth opportunities determine who people will encounter on your journey at point and time.
My father’s theory was that if good values were not encouraged during those formative and highly impressible years (3 mths to 7 years), and when most of their time is spent with you, then it will be difficult to do later on when other influences are present. Check this link out for an informative read. https://babybonus.msf.gov.sg/parentingresources/web/Young-Children/YoungChildrenDevelopment/YoungChildrenBehaviour/Young_Children_Developing_Core_Values?_afrLoop=31061688421678155&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=null#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D31061688421678155%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Diq54j6l0_13
Parents we ought to seize the teachable moments even as our children develop into teenagers and young adults. And they will be more receptive if we teach in love. Sometimes they may appear to not like what you are saying, but it will register. “Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.” (Proverbs 22:6 TPT) What’s most important is that you are preparing them to live with others – a room mate or a life partner.
Over the course of twenty years I discovered things about myself and my husband that I didn’t like. Whenever my son would display some negative trait that I’d experienced or seen before, I would use that moment to begin breaking and utterly destroying those tendencies. I employed that strategy against generational bents and vices as well, backing up our little talks with fervant prayer.
Let me echo what I captioned above and make it personal. Why should my child have to suffer through the nuances, bad habits and negative behaviors of your child just to be in a relationship with her?And some may say that at the end of the day that’s his choice. But my other question to you is, did you think that you were raising her to live with you for the rest of your lives? Hmmm.
Parents, I admonish us all to consider these questions and try to be more conscious as to how we raise our children. Some lessons may stick while others may not. But do your best. Doing our own personal familial homework now, ensures a better chance for our children to enjoy better and more fullfiling relationships in the future. Shalom and much love.