Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shaping Christian Character In Young Children

Shaping Christian Character In Young Children

Part 1 of this months series

July 2014

We've all heard or seen at least once a good 'to spank or not to spank' debate online or on television these days. We grew up being spanked, when I say 'we' I mean my generation of 30+ and some of us now apparently disagree with this form of discipline. But that isn't the form I want to tackle today. I'll save those views for another day. TODAY I want to talk about this pin I saw on Pinterest. Yes I am a bit addicted to that site, you can find me easily and follow my boards if you'd like by clicking HERE !

My response to this woman's article and image above:

 I do not believe in this at all. I feel we are called to 'train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he shall not depart from it". Therefore when better to train a child then when they are upset? Train them with Love, compassion, and listening ears. Teaching them that they can talk and use WORDS to communicate their feelings rather than throwing a fit. Teaching them to validate their feelings but that they do not have to 'sin in their anger'.

While you did cover some of that in this article and nothing I read is any different than what I do at my own home, the image itself I disagree with.

Just shutting up is not teaching the child that they can talk to you, or that you will in fact listen to the small issues, and if you won't listen to the small issues in their life then that will teach them you surely won't listen to the big issues they have, thus they will seek out advice of others that may not be as wise as that of a concerned and loving parent.

We are the ones that God has given the precious gift and task of raising a child, so I believe it is upon us to shape their character early on in life.

For instance, when my almost 3 year old is tired and doesn't want to take a nap. He insists on laying on the couch instead of the bed, and runs away from me so I cannot put him in bed. When I do catch him however he will start screaming and kicking his legs.

Okay I can deal with that, and this is what I do. I sit him on the counter and tell him, "Baby mommy can see you are sad, and tired, but lets talk about it instead of screaming because mommy can't understand you when you scream'. Now that is just one example, pretty vague also, but the point is I do this consistently in all times he gets upset or sad, I do it with both my children. I let them know I see their feelings, I understand them, and I am wanting to talk about those feelings with them. Even though my son is too young to comprehend a conversation to discuss the feelings, he is being raised with this action on my part that he will grow to learn and understand, and use. Also, he sees it played out more with his sister.

She is 6 years old. She is very gifted and smart for her age. She is also very tender, kind hearted, and can get her feelings hurt very easily. Now we are a Christian family and we are raising our children biblicaly, so I teach her things that will help her in her future when she gets to the age of eventually courtship and then marriage. Things such as honesty, making her bed, tidiness, doing dishes, baking, and other things she is interested in to further her life and ambitions such as photography for instance. (We also home school so we get to add those to our 'school curriculum' by the way) But the point here is, that my daughter for instance will get upset at the easiest things, she will then lately backtalk us even though she knows that she will get in trouble.

When she back talks I have her come stand right in front of me and I do the same as I do with my son. I tell her "Honey I understand you are upset right now, but you are a Godly young lady and you don't backtalk you parents, you obey them because you love the Lord and you know that is what he wants you to do. You know you are not allowed to backtalk, I understand you are angry but what are some better ways that you could have handled your anger?" Then she will tell me a few of them, (she is already calming down because I have given her my ATTENTION and focus to let her know that I do care when she is upset) and we will talk about some better ways to handle the situation in the future.

What I am doing when I tell her what and who she is I am shaping the character for who she is going to BECOME in the future and training her, guiding her into becoming that Godly young lady that does not 'talk' that way.
I think it is so important that we really listen to our children, really really listen to them and take time out of our busy lives to not only comfort them when they are upset, but also to just spend time getting to know them, being their friends, while still always ensuring they still know who the 'boss' is of the home.

I did like your article very much, but the image is what I disagree with and believe as parents we should not just stop at validating a childs feelings, but we should also help to shape their future characters based on how they act right now.

Each day we have a new opportunity to help enrich our childrens lives, to guide and direct them, and to lead them to a future that is bright and filled with endless possibilities, so I pray each parent takes that precious time to do so!

Be Blessed and Be Inspired!



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