UCB Word For Today

Raising great kids in a troubled world (1)

Raising great kids in a troubled world (1)

11 May 2024
‘Teach children in a way that fits their needs.’

If you’re a parent, do you ever wish for a parenting do-over – a second chance to raise your kids? With hindsight and insight, you think you would do it right this time! Parenting is both rewarding and guilt inducing. It’s rewarding because we love our children and they bring us joy. It’s guilt inducing because we blame ourselves for their shortcomings and misfortunes. ‘Where did I go wrong as a parent?’ There is no perfect parent, and there is no universal blueprint because every child is born unique.

Psychologists told us our children were born a ‘blank slate’, waiting for us to write life instructions on them. Not so! Babies are miniature people, ‘born in sin and shapen in iniquity’ (see Psalm 51:5). They are given to us to figure out as we try to mould them spiritually, morally, socially, and intellectually. By age seven, they have learned about 75 per cent of everything they will ever know.

But although there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success, there are God-given principles that work whether you’re a new parent or a grandparent, or someone who works with children. ‘Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path’ (Proverbs 22:6 ERV). Notice some keywords here. ‘Teach’, which implies imparting information in a consistent, understandable way. Toddlers learn better with pictures. Older kids need us to use contemporary language. If they don’t ‘get it’, we probably didn’t teach it well enough! ‘Children’ means old enough to understand. ‘A way that fits their needs’ implies knowing their personality and abilities and tailoring your teaching to fit them. When God’s principles fit the child’s unique characteristics, they’re more likely to adopt and follow them.

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Copyright © Bob and Debby Gass. Used by permission.