WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 — Raising your child in America in the 21st century can seem like a challenging task with many of the negative and threatening influences parents of faith deal with regularly. Yet, there is no reason for Christian parents to give up or give in. In fact, by using many biblical principles you can guide your child to pursue excellence and grow into a well-adjusted adult.
The first step begins when your child is a baby or at the latest a young toddler. The journey for your child is also a journey of discovery or even rediscovery for parents as well. The Bible is very clear about the role and responsibility that parents have in guiding and raising children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Training a baby or a toddler means more than simply talking to your young one and hoping that something will catch on. A parent is a teacher, comforter, confider and, when necessary, a disciplinarian. Babies learn from watching as much as from what they are being told. Excellence is planned and it means setting goals, which also means setting behavior measurements for parental conduct as well.
Teaching your child on how to set goals is critical. Do you remember how much fun it may have been for you to spend time playing with toy blocks or even coloring books as a child? The activity was fun and also helped you to learn organization and patience. This is just as important for your child’s development as well.
Teaching your child to place alphabet blocks on the floor together to form small words requires patience. Your child learns patience and discernment from watching you, so remember not to become angry or frustrated in your words or in facial expressions. Be positive and constructive in your comments. You will be amazed how well your child will perform when he is not admonished for not performing to your immediate demands.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4.
Excellence is acquired with each moment your child is learning to color inside the lines or circles in his coloring book. A child who learns to have fun and to make mistakes with encouragement from parents is a child who will learn to complete a task and not be frustrated or angered by it.
When your child takes that next step into pre-K or kindergarten, there will be a good deal of interaction with other children. This means also facing competition. Competition is good for the child. From the moment the child learns failure and eventual success based upon your teaching of patience, the child will not become angry when faced with coming in second, third or even last in a school lesson or in playtime activities.
Instead, the child will already have the training, encouragement and inspiration you provided which are now core values instilled within. This is very, very different from children whose parents use false praise or try to diminish the abilities and skills of other children in order to make their child feel better. Being kind and showing grace are as important in becoming excellent inside as your child learns to become excellent on the outside.
“But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you—make sure that you excel in this act of kindness too.” 2 Corinthians 8:7.
Parents have an opportunity to utilize an arsenal of love and kindness, rewarding accomplishment with praise and setbacks with encouragement. You can keep your child motivated by remembering each moment you interact with your child, he or she is learning how high or low the bar for excellence is being set by you.
So engage in daily family routines by being a role model for excellence for your child and use biblical instruction as a regular guide and tool and then be prepared for excellence.
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:19.