Articles - Parenting

Learn before you teach

Parents can only teach their child what they already know. Therefore it is important for parents to develop their relationship with God and Christ, read the scripture and work on developing self-control and the fruit of the Spirit in their own lives. Prayer and bible reading are the foundations of good parenting. God has told us that He is our Father and will train us as His children if we open our hearts to be trained. He will never leave us nor forsake us and will assist the parenting of our children if we let Him. Invite him into your family and make sure you keep in regular daily communication.

Acknowledge and thank God at the start of all mealtimes. Parents serve as the moral conscience of the child until theirs is fully developed. Example is an important way for children to learn. If a child sees that we are living as we are teaching then they will be more likely to follow our path. Hypocrisy is very obvious to a child and they will pick you up on inconsistency.

Children are the barometers of the family. Even before you know what is happening the child has picked up on your emotions and any tension that may exist in the family. Unconsciously the child will work to make the family more secure. If there is tension between the parents a child may become ill or display naughty behaviour in an unconscious effort to bring the parents together again.

The best gift parents can give to their children is to love each other. You were a family before you had children. Children extended the family. You were lovers before you had children, keep that love burning. If the parental bond is broken, the children's lives fall apart, emotions are damaged and learning is disrupted. The greatest influence you have on the lives of your children is as a husband and wife, not as a mother and father. Children derive much of their security from seeing this husband/ wife relationship functioning smoothly. Knowing that mum and dad love each other allows a child to enjoy being a child.

Work to strengthen and maintain this relationship. Have date nights, pray together, read the bible together, enjoy the fun you had while you were dating. Put your relationship with your spouse above your relationship with your children. Never allow the children to come between you. You can never be a better parent than you are a spouse.

Couch time is a wonderful way for the children to see their parents loving each other and communicating. Spend at least 15 mins per day sitting together in view of your children. Put away your phones, turn off the TV and do not allow your children to interrupt you - show how much you value your spouse by giving him/ her your full attention.
If you are a single parent, make God your partner and show the children that they have a wonderful Father in Him. Spend couch time reading the bible and praying in front of the children. Talk to God as you would to a spouse. He has promised to be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless. Take Him up on His promises and trust.

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