For those of you who read my blogs or my books, you know that I’m passionate about encouraging parents to apply themselves to learning how to parent. Parenting is not merely intuitive and it’s not only bad parents who need parenting books and courses, it’s all parents.
If you asked me to determine if a certain couple were great parents or not, I wouldn’t look first at the results but at the efforts they were making to learn and grow in the art of parenting. If you know how to get the right information and effectively and humbly apply it, the results will eventually follow. If you think you’re getting by but you’re not learning, then you’ll eventually come up against a problem that you don’t know how to solve properly and that will mess up your results.
I advocate parenting books, classes and courses but actually those resources should be mere booster shots that come along and support God’s original parent training program. When God spoke to Abraham and called him to teach his children after him to follow the Lord, in context (Genesis 18:18, 19), he wasn’t talking about just Abraham’s immediate children but generations of children. When God had Moses tell the Israelites to make sure that they taught their children to follow the Lord (Deuteronomy 6), again the context was that each generation pass it on to the next.
As an example of how to pass something from generation to generation, let’s look at farming. For centuries, farmers have passed the farm down to their children. How does that happen successfully? What if one generation farmed and got the kids to help from time to time and then one day they just handed them the keys to everything and moved to Florida. Either the farm would be sold or it would probably go under. In order for the farm to be passed on successfully, the parents must not only farm well but also teach their children everything they know about farming as they grow up, gradually preparing them for the task. God’s original parent training program is simply this, parents need to do everything they can to bring their children up well AND they need to all the while be teaching their children how to parent properly themselves.
That’s why I say that parenting books and courses should be booster shots. It’s our job as parents to teach our children how to do one of the most important tasks they’ll ever undertake, raising children. Yes, we train by example but that’s not enough. We need to understand what we teach our children and why we’re teaching it to them. We need to understand the discipline, instruction and training process and explain it to our children as we go. For those of you who are feeling that this sounds daunting it’s not, it actually makes the job easier. I’ll explain how in my next blog.
For more practical and Biblical Christian Parenting ideas we recommend the Christian resource, “The Seven Mistakes Parents of Toddlers Make”
(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)
Dr. Mark Holder, a psychology professor at The University of British Columbia, led a study to determine what factors have the greatest influence on a child’s happiness. He and his team surveyed more than 300 children ages 9 to 12. The researchers also asked the parents and teachers of the children to rate their happiness.
The result? In Dr. Holder’s own words, “The more spiritual the children were, the happier they were.”
Perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s great. We take our children to church and read Bible stories to them”. Yes, that is helpful but it’s not what the survey was focused on. In fact, the Doctor said that religious activities such as going to church didn’t seem to make a difference in a child’s happiness level.
This little family road trip question has become so iconic, that it’s become common fodder for comic routines and movie scripts. I would imagine that this travel question has been around as long as families have been traveling. It’s probably a good thing that all of Noah’s sons were full-grown, or Mr. and Mrs. Noah may have ended up sinking the boat.
Think about the Israelite’s trek through the wilderness. After crossing the Red Sea, they got to the edge of the Promised Land quite quickly, but because they didn’t trust God and refused to go in, God sent them on a forty-year road trip. The idea was that all of the adults who refused to believe, were to die before their children would be allowed in. Can you imagine the conversation, “Are we there yet? Am I dead yet?”