Wednesday, March 9, 2016

AUTHENTIC PARENTING 3b

...Continued, Children are different
Raising children therefore entails first studying each child to know what kind of child they are. This can be done most effectively in two ways:
i. By asking God directly what kind of child you have and what their direction in life is. Note that this is not a one-off thing. You must pray this prayer of inquiry repeatedly, consistently and tirelessly.
ii. By observation. Study your child like a book! Pay attention to them. Listen to them. Watch them when they are alone and also when they have company. How do they relate to you, others etc? What moves them? What hurts them? What comes to them naturally? What do they find difficult to do? And so forth.

Like plants, the conditions that apply to one plant may not apply to another, if it is to thrive and do well. With my little knowledge of Agriculture for example, I am aware that the conditions that apply to growing yams differ from the conditions that apply to growing tomatoes. Even their handling differs. So also, different 'conditions' must apply in raising different children. I must be quick to point out at this point that I am not referring to partial treatment of our children at all. There is the temptation to treat our easy-going, obedient children better than we treat our not-so-obedient and difficult-to-get-along-with kids. Unconsciously, our 'good' children get our attention, our praise and practically anything they want without any qualms from us, while our 'difficult' children are reminded at every opportunity that they do not deserve much from us.


Despite not applying the same method in raising our children, there are some requisite things that must be the same for them all. By all means, at all cost ALL children must have from us:
i. Equal unconditional love. 
ii. Equal exposure and opportunities
iii. Equal access to us
iv. Equal provision and care
v. Equal spiritual input, especially prayer.
vi. Equal guidance and direction from us.
Children should be raised differently but they should be treated the same way!
Avoid preferential treatment by all means. 

And please avoid comparing your children with each other. Don't say things like 'why can't you be like your brother or sister'? 'Can't you see how your brother/sister is behaving'?  Etc. This usually births sibling rivalry which can degenerate to bitter rifts and deep-seated bitterness where siblings (and even their own children ) hardly see eye to eye later in life. Some of these go on for even generations. I challenge you therefore to go on an adventure of studying the peculiarities of your children with the aim of better understanding them and how to raise them well. Study about temperaments; yours, your children's and even your spouse's. Study about the peculiarities of raising boys as opposed to the peculiarities of raising girls. Learn about the distinguishing characteristics of first borns, middle children, last borns, only children, children from previous marriages etc. Don't assume anything. 

You will agree with me that everything I have talked about in this write-up can be summed up in one major requirement: TIME.
That never sufficient, scarce resource! In order to make this work, you need time. Plenty of it. Unfortunately, there is no app or software for this time-consuming but potentially rewarding chore!  You need to devote time to this. It takes grit to get it done. Begin therefore to look at each of your children differently with the intention of understanding their peculiarity, needs and what makes them tick. This will enable you relate with them in the best way that will ensure they respond positively to your training.

Finally, we must not overlook the place of prayer. Praying for our children is a must, if we want them to fulfill destiny. No matter their temperament or disposition, they must be prayed out of the devil's will and into God's will. Their precious destinies need to be prayerfully monitored at every stage of their lives.
Lamentations 2:19 puts it this way:
19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

I came across a quote years back that fired me up to pray for my children like never before. It says " If your children's success depends on your prayer for them, how successful would they be?" Indeed that is a question we need to keep asking ourselves. The answer should motivate us to tirelessly carry our children to the altar of prayer. Pray for their weaknesses, their temptations, fears, studies, careers, relationships, health, walk with God and so on. It is in prayer that we point our children in the right direction in life, despite their obvious ways. After learning of the importance of praying for my children, from when they were very young, I developed the habit of going to their rooms at night when they were asleep to pray over each one of them. I also did the same thing when they were not around by sitting on or kneeling by their beds and praying intensely for them, especially in the Spirit. 

No matter their peculiarities and bents, all our children will benefit tremendously from our spiritual engagement in prayer on their behalf.
I hope you find this useful.
Our children shall indeed be great, each one of them!

Shalom

3 comments:

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  2. This is very useful ma, especially with the spiritual engagement aspect. I have learnt important factors in an effective preparation as a single.

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    1. Thank you Eben. Blessed are your 'single ears' for hearing these truths now.

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