In our various countries, I suppose that we have one or two days which is dedicated to the celebration of our children. If so be, it is important to know that intentionally or unintentionally, these celebrations are ways of reminding parents of their great responsibilities towards the proper upbringing of their children. We see that we live in a society that has decayed, both physically, socially, spiritually and otherwise. Yet, all these decays are pointers to the fact that we need to train our children before we loose them to the decayed societies. If we do not train them, we stand the risk of suffering greatly.
Mind you, every untrained child is a pollution to the society. The Bible instructs us in Proverbs.22:6 to “Train up our child in the way he should go so that when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I want to point out 14 things that we ought to do in order to train our children right. Perhaps, this article could go a long way in recovering the prodigal children.
1) Live by example
Every child is born into the family before the child begins to interact with the outside world, He/she grows up to know the parents. Therefore, it means that the parents are the first point of contact your children will have. Therefore, be whatever you want your children to be. Do not just train your children with endless lines of instructions. Instead, live the life and let them imitate you. The process of training a child is not as easy as a lot of people think. But this is the secret: your children will learn from you. Therefore live by example. If your instructions and teachings are contrary to your lifestyle, there will be a big gap which might not be easily filled. Therefore, do as you say.
2) Obey God
Next is that as a father or mother, you must seek to obey God. Every tree is identified by the fruit it bear. If your children seem to be disobedient, check up your own life to see if you are also disobedient before you begin punishing your children. Note that in Paul’s letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy.1:5, he said the same faith was in Lois and Eunice (His mother and grandmother) and in turn was transferred to him. Therefore, check up your life and watch against disobeying God’s instruction
3) Obey your spouse
You must also learn to obey your spouse. Husband love your wife. Wife be submissive to your husband. Both love and submission has to do with obedience. If you disobey your spouse and your children finds out, you tend to lose their respect. In a neighborhood where I once lived, I was told that the children of my neighbors had no respect. The younger talks to the elder anyhow. But on a closer look, I discovered that their mother had no respect for her husband. Then, my question is this, where are the children supposed to learn the respect from. You must respect your spouse if you want to win the respect of your children.
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4) Start early
If you want to achieve success in child training, you must start early in this process of child training. Go into the life of child before the devil and the society comes in. A woman was asked her secret in the successful training of her children and she said, “I came before the devil”. It is never too early to start, but I assure you, it could be too late to start someday. Chasten the child while there is hope.
5) Discipline when necessary
If you want your child to give you joy in the future, then do not spare the rod. Discipline them when necessary. But make you’re your explain to them the reason for the discipline. We are in a generation where by using canes are no longer allowed. Teachers no longer flog students and pupils. Parents no longer flog their children. No wonder the society grows from bad to worse. If you love you child, once again, do not spare the rod.
6) Commend when necessary
As much as you discipline them for their wrong actions, commend and encourage them for their good actions. If possible, when they do good, take them to places, buy things for them, commend them, clap for them etc. These you must do in a bid to encourage them.
7) Show equal love
It is common in families that parents prefer some of the children to others for unjustifiable reasons best known to them. But this we must know that for us to train our children well, we must make sure we do it, showing equal love to all our children. If a child discovers that he is not loved like the other, he tends to be discouraged. Almost everything you do to him will appear as though you hate him. As such, show equal love to all your children.
8) Be prayerful
A prayerless christian is a powerless christian as we all know. You must be prayerful. Sometimes, you do all you know you can do and yet there is no impart in the life of your child. Do not give up, use the weapon of prayer. If he escapes your instruction and discipline, he cannot escape your prayer. Why? Because there is nothing impossible for God to do.
9) No carnal comparison
Some parents make the mistake of comparing their children with others. Or the compare between one child and the other. If that makes sense to you, then your sense is simply foolishness. If you are used to doing it, then truth be told, you are not training your children in the right way. Make them know they are unique, wonderfully and fearfully made. They can never be another person. They can only be themselves. Therefore quit every comparison, whether necessary or unnecessary.
10) Teach, guide and instruct them
This point is important as well. You must teach them. You must instruct them. You must guide them. It’s your utmost responsibility to teach your children with the words of your mouth. Make sure that the words of your mouth are never misleading to your children. Instruct and teach them in godliness.
11) Know their friends
Bad companies corrupt good morals. If you do not check the kind of friends your children keep, you might be at risk at the end. Their bad friends will corrupt all the good virtues and values you have been trying to inculcate into your children. Therefore, know there friends. As much as possible, ask them to bring their friend home. By so doing, you will be able to check mate your children. Also, they will also know that you are interested in their total life.
12) Build up their confidence in you
Work hard, put in much effort to make sure you build up their confidence in you. It will be very bad and disastrous if your children lose confidence in you. They will no longer be able to confide in you. Thus, you lose them to the vices and bad advisers.
13) Be their friend
Strive to be their friend. Not just their friend, but their best friend. Build up a relationship with your children. Not just father to son or mother to daughter. But friend to friend. With this the relationship in the family will be enhanced. Though you must make sure to set boundaries, lest they abuse the friendship
14) Play your role in the family
Endeavor play your own role. Do you want your children to play their own role in the family? Then you must be the first to play your own role. As a father, what are your responsibilities? As a mother, what are your responsibilities? Make sure you play your own roles effectively before you expect your children to play their own roles.
At this point, let me conclude by saying that any child not trained will end up disgracing the family. If they commit a crime in the society, it will end up spoiling the name of the family. Eventually, if you do not train your children aright, you are at risk. Because it is on you and the family that most of their bad attitudes will be executed. With God, all things are possible. Therefore, strive to do your best and God will come in.