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What am I teaching my Children? - Issue 153
May 28, 2010
|Hi there! ....
I had the most wonderful treat this week – two long time friends who used to live up here, came back to town for a visit. They phoned to say “Surprise! We’re in town!” It is amazing how quickly ones day can be cleared so I had nothing to do except sit and chat with my friends! There is nothing like catching up with old friends, who are like-hearted.
This week, other than all our social happenings, marked the change in season or focus for us. Our main focus for the coming weeks will be creative projects – getting ready for the local agricultural show in July. This will change our routine. We will do about 1-2 hours of study, reduce as many afternoon commitments as we can, and enjoy making things together. I’ve got some read alouds ear-marked to read as the children create. I am quite looking forward to the next four weeks. (I might even get a applique quilt finished myself!)
Live life with your kids!
If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
What am I teaching my children?
There are times that I have become suddenly aware that my child is not in the place (the heart place) I thought he or she would be. They are not behaving the way I would have expected. Their attitudes are not what I would expect. How did things come to this point?
For a start, rarely do things happen or change in our children suddenly. Changes happen (good changes and the not so good changes) subtly, they creep into our children – the only sudden thing is our awareness of it.
One of the subtleties come when we forget that our children learn not so much from what we say, but from what we do. What are we doing as parents? Regardless if we are intentional, regardless if we are purposeful or consistent, our children will learn from us. So what are we teaching them?
If I turn a blind eye to a wrong behaviour or attitude, because it is all too hard, I am confirming to my child that it isn’t a particularly bad sin (is there good sin and bad sin??)
If I hold a grudge (keep being grumpy) when they have sincerely apologised I am teaching them to hold grudges (instead of forgiveness)
If I change my mind when they offer the slightest argument I am teaching them that my word doesn’t stand.
If I answer them when they whine I am teaching them that whining works and that bad attitudes will be accepted.
If I allow them to yell at me, just because they are tired, I am teaching that getting their own way is of upmost importance and they can do whatever disrespectful thing in order to get it – especially if they are tired.
If I give them choices all the time I am teaching them that life is about being happy instead of yielding to others and doing the right thing.
If I let them have time-extensions on the computer I am teaching them self-constraints aren’t important.
If I “improve” their artwork all the time I am teaching them that their creative abilities are limited.
If I let them decide when they feel like playing with others and when they want to be by themselves I am teaching them that they can relate to others depending on their emotions.
If I only pick up my Bible on Sunday and for homeshool lessons I am teaching them that the Bible is about knowledge, instead of the living Word of God.
If I catch them lying and yet don’t deal with it, I am teaching them the truth can be interpreted various ways.
If I accept a half felt apology even though I don’t see a change in heart or actions I am teaching them to disrespect God’s grace.
If I find their lost shoes for them I am teaching them they don’t have to take personal responsibility.
If I get their books (or hat, or shoes, or bag, or toy) I am teaching them to be lazy.
If I clean up behind them I am teaching them to be domestically blind.
If I answer their cry straight away, regardless of what I’m doing I am teaching them that their requests are the most important thing in the world.
If I allow them to interrupt my conversation (rudely) I am teaching them that they are more important than who I am talking to.
When we start to see these things, the little things we let slide, and the consequence of doing so it certainly makes me be a little more on the ball. I know that I won’t be the ‘perfect’ parent, always consistent, always calm, always on top of things…. But I can begin to guard my life so that I am teaching my children the things that are on my heart to teach them.
When I am honest about my failings, I find myself teaching yet another important lesson to my children – humility, regret, repentance, honesty, and courage.
There is nothing that I do – be it a thought (or attitude), word, or action that does not teach my child something, that will then be a part of who my child becomes. We must be intentional parents!
whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise
dwell on these things.
Phil 4:8 (NAS)
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