“Teach a child how to follow the right way; even when he is old, he will stay on course.” ~ Prov. 22.6
A short caveat. I am not a parent. I have 2, soon to be 3, good-looking and intelligent nephews (they obviously take after their aunt). However, I work with parents almost daily regarding their children. I have heard parents tell me “my parents were so strict with me, I’m going to give my child anything they want.” Others try to do everything right and go by the book just to find out that their children never read the book. I have had parents that want me to wave a magic want and “fix” the problems. I have had parents so overly engaged that I am unable to do anything productive. All these families have one thing in common. They are at a loss of what to do with their children.
What I know about parenting has come from technical books on how to teach parenting, what is “normal” for child behavior, talking to parents about what they have seen work and what doesn’t, and the Bible. The Proverbs talk about many principles for life, it is one of my favorite books in the Bible. One of the main topics is parenting. Reading Proverbs I don’t know how parents raise children without a connection to God. I believe it to be the hardest job on the planet with the most responsibility. I tip my hat to all you mothers out there.
I want you to know that though you will not be perfect, children are resilient. They are able to weather moves and changes, disappointments and hurts, and even be angry at you, and they are still able to grow into healthy adults. Research shows that having a person that is truly invested in them is what will make a difference in a child’s life. Having a parent that is their cheerleader and an authoritative leader. Having a grandparent that is a stable fixture. Having a teacher that believes they are important, and they can make a difference. I would add, having a relationship with God to hold onto when things get tough, ‘cause they will. This is what makes a difference to a child. You are not raising your 5 year old to be a good 5 year old. You are raising that 5 year old to be a great man or woman. God knows their future and he is on your side to help them get there.