Point your kids in the right direction, when they're old they won't be lost. Proverbs 22v6 (The Message)
Sometimes it is easy to forget that children have just arrived on the earth, and we expect far too much, far too soon. We become impatient, urging them to learn it all, learn it all quickly, to know it all and “act their age”, whatever that may mean.
Although it is true that children learn quickly about life through observation, it is unrealistic to expect them to be on top of it all and always get things right. I am the proud owner of two teenagers who, despite their size, both love to crawl into my lap and be hugged and rocked like they were when they were little. This is when I realise that at times my expectations for my children are unrealistic, when my ‘big girls’ still want to be ‘little girls’ – and have every right to be treated so as they have only been on this earth 13 and 15 years respectively. (They may be, physically, almost as big as me, but they are still young and have a lot to learn about life – come to think of it so do I!)
In your parenting how often do you find yourself beginning each sentence with “Don’t”. Have you asked yourself “Have I explained what I do want? Have I showed him/her how to close the door quietly? How I explained how to get my attention when I am busy?”. Explaining the dos works much better than constantly harping on the don’ts. Try explaining things to them, share information three times in three different ways.
One of my friends caught her three year old son playing roughly with their new kitten. After yelling at him numerous times to be gentler with the kitten she realised that she had never shown him how to hold a kitten properly. So she stopped and showed him. She let him practise with her helping him, she showed him a few more times and after a while he got the hang of it.
Give your children lots of practice time for whatever they’re learning, and remind yourself that, after all, they’ve been here a very short time.
Father God, you are the greatest teacher and perfect Father, please guide us in how to be good parents to our children. Show us how to model your unconditional love. Thank you for blessing us with them and may we in turn be a blessing to them. Amen