First Things Your Kids Must Learn from You
The Full Context of "NO" and "That's Wrong"
Make it easier by letting children understand (at an early age) what and why certain actions, behavior, and viewpoints are not right or allowed. It's not proper for kids to grow constantly depending on to you to tell them what's right and wrong, and what's proper or not. Teach them independent and right value formation early on. First off, they need to be convinced about 2 things:
- No means no. There is no bending or going around this.
- Wrong is wrong. This is not relative nor subject to one's personal opinion.
When children grow up seeing a clear line between right and wrong, and when they grow understanding that "no" to wrong things should be a consistent way of life, they grow up better prepared to withstand unhealthy cultural and societal influences. They won't give in easily. They will more than likely choose the path of integrity rather than the path of 'popular demand', which varies.
This is a most important quality to train your kids for. The need for proper consideration presents on a daily basis. Here, your kid is to learn:
- to take careful thought and do so over a period of time
- to take into account facts and motive when deciding or judging something
- to exercise thoughtfulness and sensitivity toward others
- to understand and properly assess cause and effect in the area of rewards, payments, and consequences
When kids grow up seeing a clear need and method to proper consideration, they will be able to make better decisions. Well-thought plans and actions will be more common and rash, irresponsible ones will be less. They will be more qualified in deciding study and work options.
They will be level-headed even when deciding about love and relational matters. They will hurt themselves and other people less. They will avoid bringing harm on themselves and others. They will be responsible with their speech and actions. They will think more unselfish thoughts and goals in life.
They will afford others what is fair and just and they won't fall victims to scams and other unfair treatment. They will understand the full causality and effect of things and so, they will rightly make remuneration or appreciation for services to be rendered to them, for inconveniences they would cause to others. For grievances others would cause them, they will make right and fair demands.
Kids make a lot of sense...
Contentment versus Laxity
Some see a thin line between these 2 but the differences are very clear.
Contentment is having cheerfulness and satisfaction in life, being fulfilled in what you have reached, accomplished, and acquired. Contentment comes from knowing that you've done your part and that you've done your best in order to achieve a desired end. It is having confidence and no regrets in your performance. It is peacefully accepting the end results after taking all possible means, measures, and recourse.
Laxity is having indifference and resignation in life, being unfulfilled in what you have reached, accomplished, and acquired. Laxity comes from knowing that you haven't done enough and avoiding to deal with that knowledge. There is no confidence, only boredom or unsettledness. It is loosely accepting the end results after failing to exercise care, attention, control, and strength onto personal or work goals.
At times, even the most accomplished person can go into periods of laxity. When fueled by wrong or misplaced motives, a person fails to appreciate all he's accomplished. Hence, he is able to simply throw those achievements away, failing to guard or sustain the "high" points of life.
The value of teaching Contentment to Children:
- Children who grow up content are not covetous. They don't obsess on what they don't have.
- Children who grow up content are not stealers. They value hard work and they value possessions. They respect the ownership and achievements of others.
- Children who grow up content are not "people impressers" nor hypocrites. There is comfortability in who they are and how far they've come and aren't afraid to mingle as they are.
Stewardship: Keeping a Trust
A steward is one entrusted and stewardship is the careful planning, management, and proper use of resources entrusted to one's care. Children must learn faithful stewardship in 3 key aspects:
Time. Time spent should be balanced. Kids must grow up applying enough time to study, to work, to family and friends, and to hobbies. These must all be equally important and time allotment must be equal as well. At times, one area of his life will need more attention than others. However, a child growing up with good time management and prioritization sense will bounce back to a balanced lifestyle.
- Time for work and study is important, a child grows responsible with tasks and duties.
- Time for family and friends is important, a child grows in a loving and secure environment.
- Time for personal hobbies and pursuits is important, a child grows centered, satisfied, and happy.
Talents. Skills and giftings should be discovered and developed. A child is to grow up appreciating what he can do and making himself better at those things. Teach a child to value his God-given talents and help him learn the value these bring into family and society. Assist your child in discovering where he is best at and to focus on those.
Body. We will not be forever young. We won't always have abounding strength and time on our hands. A child is to grow up appreciating every stage of his life and picking up what he can at every stage of learning and growth. It is important for a person to be in good, optimum physical condition as it affects every part of his life.
On a lighter note...
Moderation is something you have to train a child for, and it's most important to accomplish that early on. It is not healthy nor effective for the parents to keep assigning themselves as their children's thermostat or metronome, the former setting the temperature or intensity, the latter setting the speed and mood.
Children must learn early on to avoid excess or extremes in thoughts, feelings, behavior, speech, and actions. A child is to learn self-restraint, or self-control, or self-discipline.
Temperance is needed for a balanced life. Children who learn this early grow up knowing how to balance family and work life. He knows when to keep working and when to take a break. He knows how much seriousness to put into life and tasks, and he knows when there is a need to slacken, to relax, to take it easy, and not take things so hard. He knows how much play time to give himself. He knows how much material possessions are enough for one's happiness and fulfillment.
This is one aspect of character that must be modeled. You cannot teach your child reliability without influencing him towards it. Reliability has to do with consistency, dependability, and verity. Model and teach reliability in:
- maximizing your use of time
- performing as promised, when promised, for as long as promised
- delivering performance equivalent to your ability and resources at your disposal
- staying connected especially during most crucial times
- not wavering in your principles
Reliability has to do with maintaining steadiness in your commitment, communication, task, quality, truth, time, and values.
A short advertisement before the final one...
The Truth About Love
It is interesting to note that a specific passage in the Bible talks about the most important qualities that signify true love. It is found in 1 Corinthians 13.
- Love endures with patience and serenity.
- Love is kind and thoughtful.
- Love is not jealous or envious.
- Love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
- Love is not rude.
- Love is not self-seeking.
- Love is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered].
- Love does not take into account a wrong endured.
- Love does not rejoice at injustice.
- Love rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].
- Love bears all things [regardless of what comes].
- Love believes all things [looking for the best in each one].
- Love hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times].
- Love endures all things [without weakening].
- Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].
This passage encourages us to love right. Indeed, we cannot love perfectly but we can try and keep trying. It is sad that the kind of love being peddled today is very much opposite to what this passage describes. Yet, if you take a closer look, relationships will last, relationships will satisfy, there will be less heartache, there will be no deception only honesty, there will be more intimate, fulfilling and enduring relationships (whether family or romantic relationships), only if each one would try to love others this way.