Earlier this week I mentioned I was beginning a series “How to with Children.” Before I get into any of the specific task of doing things with children, I decided I should begin at the beginning.
First, my children are NOT perfect by any means! Our family is NOT perfect! We acknowledge this fact, and we make mistakes and try to learn from them. However, if it was not for the training my husband and I give our children, we would not be able to do anything with them! It has not been easy, but it has been worth it!
I also encourage you to begin with training your children to listen, love, respect, and obey you. Choose the method you and your husband feel is best. We have used combinations of disciplinary methods as we have found one method does not work for every child. However, we also try to be fair and just in our discipline with all the children. A child who obeys out of fear will eventually be rebellious and maybe even confused about various aspects in life as an adult when faced with decisions. Work to win the heart of your child.
One thing which helps us get to do things together such as going to the store or to a museum is practice at home! Homeschooling helps tremendously. The children learn to sit quietly while I am reading. The little ones are not always perfectly quiet, but neither are the older ones. However, they all LOVE to be read to and know if I am having trouble reading over their loudness, then we will stop reading., They do not like to stop reading. All of my children from the ten year old down to the 19 month old, love to snuggle with Mommy and Daddy while we are reading to them.
You may say, okay, but you have been doing this all along. My children are far from sitting still or obeying me. Well, I am sorry. My children are not always perfect either. In fact, they still disobey me from time to time. I like to compare myself and feelings about them disobeying me with how God must feel when I personally disobey Him. It is NOT a good feeling! It has taken a lot of work and dedication as a mother to get where we are today, and we have seasons where it seems like no one is ever listening to me outside of school time! It has also taken a wonderful husband who comes home each day from a hard day of work and helps reinforce the things the children and I have been going over all day.
So, for the beginning, LOVE on your children. Do something special with them which they love to do. Then, they will be more inclined to help you out when you are doing things which need to be done or things you want to do. You can read to them, sing with them, play with them, whatever it is they like to do. Reading is popular in our house, but going to the library, playing outside. taking a walk, cooking/baking, are all things they love to do together too. You must tie strings of fellowship and win their hearts.
You may have to make sacrifices for yourself in order to win the hearts of your children, but it is very much worth it. I pray I will win all the hearts of all my children. It is an ongoing battle and there are new challenges each day. There are days when I feel like they really do not appreciate me at all, and there are other days when I feel like they must love me more than anything else in the world. We all go through hard times and struggles. Parenting is not suppose to be easy. Be consistent and love, love, love!
More How to With Children next week!