Monday, February 29, 2016

AUTHENTIC PARENTING 2

...Continued
See, child psychologists have said that the first four to five years are the most crucial in a child's life. According to them, by the time a child is four to five years old, half of that child's character traits have been established for life! So, here's the truth: if we fail to train, correct, guide and discipline our children in the first few years of their lives, insisting on right behavior in a firm but loving manner, we miss the prime opportunity to mould their character while we can.

By waiting until they 'grow up' to understand what we are doing, we lose the opportunity of putting our efforts at child raising where it matters most! By the time they grow up, they have become set in their foibles and we, unfortunately, are thrown into ‘damage control’ mode. Please, understand that our focus of training should be the real person - the spirit man, which HAS NO AGE! There are no two year old or twenty year old spirits so to speak! Spirits are spirits because they are in the likeness of the ageless Ancient of Days. Only our bodies, in which our spirits are packaged, age noticeably.  Remember the story of the two cousins, Elizabeth and Mary, the mother of Jesus. They were both pregnant in Luke 1:39-44. As soon as the baby in Elizabeth's womb heard the voice of Mary, he leapt for joy and his mum was filled with the Holy Ghost immediately! 


Please, stop underestimating little children and the power their spirits carry. Their spirits actually carry the potential of responding to the Word of God, as well as, our own instructions. Therefore, the best time to sow the seeds of the mighty harvest of good behaviour and godliness we expect to see tomorrow is when they are babies and young children. It gets late as they grow older, and like the proverbial yam tendrils, redirecting and shaping them will be akin to attempting to bend dried fish! So, start when they are in the womb! Speak the Word of God to them. Prophesy to them. Declare that they will be great, obedient, God-fearing and fulfill destiny. Continue this after they are born. Remember, you are speaking to their spirit and sowing the incorruptible seed where it matters most, even though, they may stare at you, wondering what you are saying. The seeds you are sowing will take deep roots as you continue to water them in prayer and continued positive confessions and will surely yield a harvest of great adults tomorrow.

When they do wrong, don't look the other way simply because they can't talk or appear like they don’t understand what's going on! Don't let them have their way all the time simply because they cry and yell! It is better that they cry today than you crying in regret tomorrow when they get out of hand. A good place to begin is training them to obey instructions. Make the instructions simple, age-appropriate and clear. Explain what needs to be done and why. Insist on right behaviour by speaking directly to their spirits and guiding them in the right path. For example, don't let them have another child's toy simply because they are crying louder than the rightful owner. Gently, but firmly, return the toy to the owner and teach your child (his or her spirit that is) that it is not right to deprive someone else of what is rightfully theirs! 
Pray for them.
Love them.

But whatever you do, please, don't let them get away with misbehavior without correcting them and insisting on the right conduct. Also, don't wait till they do wrong before you give them attention. Applaud and commend them when they do right and keep making use of opportunities to sow seeds of the behaviour you expect from them.
Be pro-active.

Read the bible to them, especially stories. Let your children have their own bibles even before they can read. It could be a pictorial bible but let them possess one, take it to church and read them during times of prayer and family devotion at home. Let them get used to the bible from as early as they can recognize anything. Tell them what is expected of them and teach them the right things REPEATEDLY! You don’t need to scream or bark out threats to do that! Remember, the devil is ruthless and relentless in sowing wrong seeds into our children's malleable hearts through TV, the Internet, schools, other children, adults etc. therefore, focus on capturing their spirits early for the Lord. For the avoidance of doubt, I'd like to make it crystal clear that I am in no way advocating child abuse or stifling children from being children. Kids will have to be kids and like we all know, childish irresponsibility comes with the territory of growing up. Children must be allowed to be themselves as they try to find their feet in life. They must be loved unconditionally and allowed to enjoy being children. What I am talking about is the conscious, deliberate steering of our children in the right path when it matters the most, to avoid regrets tomorrow.


I will be posting a few more articles on different aspects of raising children, as a sequel to this foundational one. So watch this space! 
Shalom

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