I want to stress that I am not a parent. I absolutely admit that parenting goes beyond what people who don’t have children actually perceive.
The following points are simply some of the most important things I have learned by merely watching the successes and mistakes of other parents. You may or may not share the same views that I have on these topics, but I believe each of them may prove to be a good reminder down the road, be of some use for my future family, and might even give you some fresh ideas, if you are parents.
You may already be doing some of these, or you might realize you are doing the opposites. For some people, not all these things are the perfect way to parent. Or, if you are single like me, even married but don’t have children yet, I hope these points come in handy for future references.
The things I have to say are strictly from a single point of view, but it comes from someone who has had to deal with younger siblings, as well as many trying babysitting experiences.
I am going to be supporting my ideas with a verse of Scripture, from a Christian view. I do not claim to have all the advice below perfected! I repeat, I DO NOT HAVE PARENTING EXPERIENCE! I am just learning, as everyone is.
#1. Read the Bible and Pray EVERY DAY! Besides improving your child’s reading and comprehensive skills, this practice gives them a firm foundation in the Lord. It strengthens family bonds, raises your faith in God, allows you to grow spiritually, and gives room for healthy discussion of a variety of Biblical topics. We all know memorization is good for everyone, so memorizing Scripture has a dual benefit, since you can apply God’s Promises to your everyday life, too!
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”)
#2. Show Each Child How Special They are to You. For any individual, feeling wanted and appreciated is vital. Children are tender, and feel things very deeply. They may not always express it verbally, but they struggle with it deep down. Little ones have more wisdom and insight than we realize, though they might not understand these feelings on an adult level. A child who does not feel like they are important will most likely experience loneliness, which has been the cause of many traumatic ordeals that are so common throughout the entire world. These lives are starving for true, Godly Love, but since they don’t receive the proper TLC, they resort to worldly and wicked influences. Many lives have been ruined by suicide, drugs, depression, murder, alcohol, and so many other evil things.
(1 John 2:10-11 “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” Your children are your brothers and sisters in Christ! If you show God’s Love to them, you won’t make them stumble.)
#3. Never let the Child Control You. When a child throws a tantrum, it is because they are not getting their way. If you give into their fit, they will realize, even at a very young age, they can get whatever they want by screaming and crying. Therefore, the fits will become more frequent, and you will have a spoiled child on your hands. You are the parent, and you have the authority. The child is still in the stage of learning, so they need to be lead, must be taught cause and effect from the very beginning. I do not mean you should ever be cruel to any child, no matter what they have done! Children do not deserve to be abused!!! However, discipline should be applied so the children realize what they have done was wrong, and an explanation should be given so they can understand that there is a better and more civil way to act and react to the problems of life.
(Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
Also in Hebrews 12:5-11, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” God tests us through trials to “beat the dross out of the gold.”)
#4. Never Make a Statement You Don’t Intend to Keep. “If you do that one more time, you’re going to sit in time-out!” They do it again. You scold the child again, but do not put them in time-out. I have seen this done many times. If you don’t follow through with what you say, the child quickly learns to ignore and disregard such statements, because he/she knows they can get away with disobeying. On the other side of the coin, keeping your word will show children the importance of integrity and morality. You also show them that you are trustworthy. Another point is gaining respect from others, as well as having respect for yourself.
(Proverbs 4:24 “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.”)
#5. Judge Fairly. Most children have their moments of arguments and scruples. They come to you to mediate the situation, hoping you judge in their favor and get their sibling in trouble. That’s just the way most people are- they don’t want to be in trouble, even if they “started it.” It is so important to get both sides of the story! Though one sibling was the instigator, usually the other has a part in continuing to fuel the fire. Point out where each of them may have been at fault, and show them how important repentance and forgiveness are! After all, that is what Salvation and Jesus dying on the cross are all about!
Now, please realize, I do not mean you should nit-pick at every little mistake your children make! Absolutely not! Each and every one of us struggle with our own failures all the time. We certainly cannot expect children to be perfect. Sometimes, children, sensitive as they are, may feel that if you seem to give more grace and favor toward the other child, you don’t like them as much. It may cause them to develop a complex. so my warning is, treat all your children equally, and have a balance.
(Proverbs 16:11a “A just weight and balance are the Lord’s…”
Also John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.”)
#6. Yelling is Most Likely Unnecessary. As mentioned a couple times in previous paragraphs, children are sensitive, and yelling may only cause their delicate heart-strings to become more taut. If you are so angry at your child, that you yell and chew their heads off all the time, you are also at fault. People get disoriented when they have anger boiling inside them. I think the best way to deal with this kind of situation, is to let yourself cool off. You can think more clearly how to handle the problem when you aren’t fuming. The child may not have considered the consequences of his/her actions, and now feel very sorry for what they have done. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of what happened; it just means that you will have a greater chance of not making a rash decision.
(Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up strife.”
Proverbs 16:22 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”)
#7. Keep All Electronics to a Minimum. Although I think this is a great rule of thumb for everyone, I believe the youngsters are the most vulnerable to fall into this trap. This certainly doesn’t mean I look down upon you for having electronic devices in your home! After all, I am using a computer to type this post 🙂 However, in this day and age, when it is deemed as necessary to have these things, it seems that everybody is concerned about the latest on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and so many other social medias and internet entertainments!
I will be the first to admit that I even have an issue with wasting precious time on these silly devices. I can certainly understand the dire need to find that dinner recipe on Pinterest ASAP, and many people use these electronics for business. I need them for such things as texting, email, music, and, yes, among other things, recipes and such on Pinterest! But sometimes we waste entirely too much time on unimportant things that don’t further the Kingdom of God. I think there are much more productive things we could be doing. Like quality family time. Playing together. Sharing our ups and downs of the day. Devotions.
Ever since Smartphones, Tablets, Nooks, Kindles, Nintendo products, and the rest of these things have invaded homes, families have lost connection. Hardly anyone actually talks to another face-to-face anymore. Don’t you think this is really sad? Whatever happened to God in all of this? Doesn’t He deserve first place? Surely if we have time to play Candy Crush or some other game for two hours, we certainly have the time to study God’s Word. So many children I know are addicted to having their faces in a screen nearly all day long. Any spare second they find is being flooded with movies and games that don’t even make sense 95% of the time!
Two big statements I hear quite a bit, are, “It keeps them entertained, so they stay out of trouble.” “It calms them down, so they aren’t so rowdy.” I can see that once in awhile. But every day, every spare moment? Once again, I think there are some encouraging movies out there, and games are certainly fun. But honestly, how is defeating Bowser and his fellow partners-in-crime on Mario Brothers ever going to help you draw closer to the Lord? I certainly don’t mean to sound preachy. I just want to warn everyone of the dangerous waters I see ahead. Hopefully you get the gist of what I mean here.
(Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”)
#8. Give Your Children Something Worthwhile to be Occupied With. Instead of the afore-mentioned electronic devices that are so prevalent to our world, let your children feed on things that will teach them necessary skills (wide vocabulary, counting, science, handiwork, et cetera), build their characters, and raise their faith in the Lord. Books with stories of Bible Heroes, playing outside and learning about God’s creations of nature, useful hobbies, such as knitting, whittling, music, and more of this nature!
(Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.”
Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”)
#9. Homeschooling. Whoa, wait a minute, here. This can be a pretty touchy subject. Let me just say, homeschooling is not for everyone! You don’t have to feel obligated to pull your kids out of public/private school just because I made mention of that topic!
I have been in the best of both worlds. I started my education in a private school. Four years I attended a nearby Christian Academy. I still remember what non-homeschooling life was like.
My homeschooling journey began in the third grade. I didn’t like it at first, because it was all new. But now, as I look back over my school years, I learned to really appreciate the values homeschooling gives the family. I am so blessed to have been schooled at home! So many people look down upon home education, but why? Because they are misinformed.
Questions like, “How do homeschoolers even master social skills?” Or, the famous, “Homeschoolers can’t be very smart compared to kids that go to a real school.” How about, “Do homeschoolers even do school, or do they sit around all day?” I have heard these questions and statements before.
Here are the answers.
Answer One: Yes, homeschoolers learn plenty of social skills! Many have Learning Groups that get together and do different projects. Some, like my family, have a church with awesome youth. My family goes to BYC (read about it in my last post!) where we have met numerous amounts of friends. In fact, I have friends across the States, and even some friends from other countries.
Answer Two: All the homeschoolers I know, are smart as can be. In fact, several were even allowed to skip grades. Besides, doesn’t homeschooling give a better and safer environment for you children to learn? They get more hands-on, individual attention, instead of being stuck in a classroom with 25+ other children who also depend on the teacher’s help. The kids I know that go to an actual school are smart, too. But they deal with much more stress, and have TONS of homework. They hardly have time to do anything else! I feel so sorry for them. If you homeschool, you get to stay at home, work at your own pace, get done with school at noon instead of three o’ clock, and eliminate the unnecessary homework. Homeschooling also gives you a very flexible schedule.
Answer Three: Yes! We definitely do school. When I was in school, especially the last two or three years, I spent a lot of time racking up my credits for graduation! You see, before we can even graduate, our credits have to be evaluated, and approved.
There is no Scripture is the Bible that says you must homeschool. Many folks just believe it to be a better atmosphere for their children, and, hey, what’s NOT to love about that flexible schedule? As for myself, I definitely see many more benefits through homeschooling than not. Maybe it doesn’t work for you. And that’s just fine.
(Proverbs 1:2-9 “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”)
#10. Chores can be Your Best Friends. Yikes, this is a complicated one, especially for me! Yes, chores, duties, responsibilities, whatever you wish to call them, can be one of the best tools used in parenting. They teach good work ethics, responsibility, build trust and confidence, and they can be fun, if you show your children how to do it efficiently and in a timely manner. A stopwatch in many chores will be a necessity so your little ones can have fun trying to beat each other’s records. Teamwork can also bring enjoyment. Listening to stories or audiobooks, whatever you have that your children love to listen to, can also be a great motivator. The pluses are, your home is staying on the cleaner side, and you and your children are having fun doing it together!
(Proverbs 6:6-8 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”)
There are more things I have learned about parenting my future children, but these are the top ten. If you have any other tips you’d like to share with me and the other readers, please feel free! I must add, that I realize some of these are sensitive topics, and I am not looking for arguments. Just ways to help the future parents, or even if someone is still parenting that needs a few good tips. If you don’t agree, please agree to disagree agreeably. I certainly don’t mind comments that oppose the ideas I have, just as long as comments from both sides of the bridge are worded respectful to the other view. Hope this post helped some of you readers! May God bless you!