Children are gifts from God. Parents should welcome their existence and be aware of the challenges they might encounter during their upbringing. They require wisdom. Parents should prepare their tools and arm themselves appropriately. Most of the heartaches gotten from bringing up children are out of misunderstanding, lack of knowledge and non-desire to accommodate each other. The equation should be learned beforehand.
After a fruitful courtship, parents get into an agreement. They agree on raising up children and living happily together after that. Through communication and love, parents can bring up children without too much pressure or emotional strain. Besides, parents should agree on guidelines and, set various rules in their households.
Well, bringing up children can be tasking, but it can be made more comfortable and more accommodating by learning about ideologies that have either worked earlier or gaining information from reliable sources like the internet. Parents learn a lot from their children by and by as they grow up. Every child has his/her design of upbringing, not all are of the same character.
God expects us to take care of our gifts here on earth. He commands parents not to spare the rod. “Don’t spoil them”! He later reminds us that; the rod must be neutral; not to subject the same children into anger. Does this seem complicated? It seems a riddle, Right? The bible is full of contradictory statements; it’s our duty to embrace and enlighten ourselves on them.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
Bringing up children is like an equation, however, let’s discuss it.
1. Love, Care, and Communication with children.
As long as children feel loved and taken care of by their parents, communication becomes more comfortable. “Wherever there is love at home the heart is at peace.”
When they perform well in their studies, applaud them. Start Communicating with your children at an early age. Lay a good foundation; your child will not be swayed away by the challenges encountered during their growth. They might slip, yes, but they will always apply the tricks and methods of fighting problems learned from their parents -inscribed in their lives. “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6
2. Arguments, boundaries, and guidelines.
Whenever more than two people are involved in a collective undertaking, rules and regulations must be introduced and put in place for guidance purposes. Parents are put to task to portray a good picture of their children’s lives. Parents are their role models and therefore should be good examples; they are the cornerstone. Children first learn from parents. They learn the merits and demerits of life through their parents. “How can two walks together unless they both agree” Amos 3:3
When parents say; “You should not watch a certain movie,” “You should not go to hang out with so and so,” or “Let’s go and worship,” “Its study time” parents should mean what they say putting obedience into a trial. Children should be guided at a tender age immediately they land on earth. Boundaries should be known to all the family members.
Arguments might occur but should be “cooled” with love.
Parents should not raise tantrums on each other in the presence of their children — Try to be sober, and learn how to solve conflicts. Children tend to pick, and imitate parents – Parents are gods on earth. Parents are their heroes – A Novel of the Pacific War by Harry Mazer states – Heroes Don’t Run.
3. Recognize different stages of life. (Milestones)
Every day marks a reducing figure in one’s life. Take an example of a jar full of marbles; which allows a drop of one marble per day. These marbles are made of glass and are very fragile. Let us assume that the contents of our jar represent one’s lifespan. We are also considering every marble in this jar represents a particular stage in life – liken it to the process of bringing up children, meaning a marble drop is one stage in our child’s growth.
Once a marble falls from the jar, the amount decreases, they aren’t the same in number, like day one. The marble might roll down and settle in an unknown. Every day the fallen marble loses lustre, it gets into contact with dirt or grit. It is no longer smooth but becomes bruised, dull and, scratches occur. It now requires gentle cleaning which will no longer return to its original state – It must be a kind and cautious cleanup.
Parents should recognise different milestones and act because they are entrusted with the most fragile marbles, why? Not all will be accessible to them; the rest will be free after the foundation has been laid by the parents.
These marbles will not be at parents reach throughout their child’s lifespan. Children will leave and go along with their remaining marbles at some point in their lives. Parents should not let a marble drop without their knowledge. It should not reach the ground before proper counselling, moulding, and scraping. When that marble gets out of the jar, it’s no longer enclosed but now let free to face its challenges.
4. Define every character.
Every child adopts a different character when growing up. The upbringing will definitely differ from child-to-child, i.e., according to one’s weaknesses and strength. Picking one marble in the jar means a stage of life has passed – no reversal. Every milestone is of great value. All the contents in this jar should be taken care of with caution. A child is born today and tomorrow will be the next phase of its life. You will find him taking his first steps of life after a few months, like rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking. He will grow under his parents till he reaches adolescence and now ready to face the challenges; now not enclosed but will be set free “out of reach.” He will find a job, run into courtship and have a family too – ready to start his/her equation once again.
As the scripture says, “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” Ephesians 5:31
It’s an all-round equation.
Parents should instil discipline. Plant the seed early, prune every weed with care as the central plant grows into maturity. Communication will wipe away every fear in children and make them open up to parents. Friendship will always base on love, a good foundation, and trust. Let them know that they have caring and loving parents; it is enough to make them responsible in life.
The misunderstanding may occur, but we should solve it in love. Love your children unconditionally and equally – No favours are allowed here.