Featured in the September, 2006 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
We parents are often overwhelmed with the task of raising a youngster because we seem incapable of meeting his numerous needs.
His demands are endless.
Do we fail because we do not supply all his wants? We can gain confidence and be better parents when we understand that he has very few real needs. Here are some of the basic ones.
Parents are the first and the best teachers. We are always teaching but maybe not what we intended. This is not classroom type teaching but a teaching that goes on all through the day as describe in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. As the child looks at us, he learns. As he learns, not only facts but also attitudes and proper actions, he gains confidence in living.
Since every youngster needs to master factual material factual material, every home will have an encyclopedia (World Book), a dictionary (Webster’s Collegiate), an atlas (Rand McNally), and of course, a Bible, for if a child does not learn basic biblical values he will not know what to do with the facts he acquires.
If the child has no limits, then he has no security. Without security he will be an emotional shambles. He must be clearly told how far from home he can go and how long he can be away. If there are no boundaries then there is bedlam.
Limits are part of life and if this is learned earlier it makes life easier. Of course, the youngster is going to worry about what other kids think and say, but it is your business to make sure that he worries more about parent pressure than peer pressure.
It is important that you spend a lot of time listening to your child, even when he does not make sense, and even when you are weary of his rambling. If you don’t listen when he is uninteresting he will not talk when he is. As he grows it is most important that he listens to you, but if you don’t listen to him, he won’t listen to you. Only when he’s talked out will you be tuned in. Sometimes let him talk until he senses how foolish it sounds. Sometimes with probing and questions urge him to carry his ideas “all the way” so he sees the consequences! Every child wants to be heard, the parent should be the primary listener.
Every parent is determined that his child shall not have a life “as rough and hard as he did”. However, if there is not load then there is no growth. Trials are a part of life. At some age the child must learn to put on his own band-aid and wipe his own tears.
At some point he must get himself up when he falls down, fix what he breaks and pay for what he loses. He must have some regular duties, chores and responsibilities around the house. He must learn to solve some little problems so he can handle some bigger ones later on. Little by little he must learn to bear the load of life. Maturity comes with responsibility.
It is important that you love your child because probably nobody else does! Even the grandparents don’t want him all the time. Haven’t you noticed that the neighbors send him home and that the school teacher is glad when the final bell rings! Love is the blanket that protects from the blows of life. Love is the unwavering acceptance that cushions all the rejections. Love gives a reason for living when no other can be found.
Instead of wondering how you can meet the many wants of your youngster, why not concentrate on meeting just a few of the basic needs and then be surprised that the others were not that important.