I recently ran across some notes I scribbled down several years ago before doing a presentation. These were done when my children were growing up and also coincidentally when I was in public education. All of these thoughts are applicable to child rearing. Some are short, others a little longer and all worthy of expanding into full discussions. I share my thoughts in hopes they are of benefit to someone. Rather than reading the entire list of 20 at once, take one at a time and think about how you feel about the item.
1. There is a critical period early in life when attitudes are formed. Kindness, being appreciative, respect, etc. are traits learned and taught. They are NOT inherent in the child.
2. You must earn respect. But you also must expect or demand it.
3. All of this is not for the purpose of satisfying the ego of the parents but rather to teach the child the attitude he will have later toward all authority. This includes government but ultimately the Final Authority.
4. Severe punishment or anger should be reserved for severe offenses such as challenges to parental authority. When this challenge is issued by the child it must be met sternly and decisively by the parent.
5. Preserve the child’s dignity when disciplining, never in public or as an outbreak of emotion. Rather it should be a well thought out means of teaching the child acceptable behavior.
6. The child will naturally challenge authority periodically to make sure the bounds are still in place.
7. The best opportunity to communicate comes after the punishment.
8. Don’t deprive the child of wanting and wishing. Appreciation is taught through planning. Prizes cheaply won are of little value.
9. The Law of Reinforcement states the rewards must come immediately. The rewards need not be materialistic. Words of praise must be earned or they will become of no effect.
10. Never belittle a child.
11. Don’t back the child into a corner. Be firm but be fair. Allow the child to keep his dignity.
12. Around middle adolescence a child begins to resent being told exactly what to believe. You must begin to allow
autonomy. Of course this means the parents must seize the window early in life to indoctrinate the children to GOD and His teachings. Parents must lead by example.
13. The wise parent will know what to expect from the child as he approaches each developmental stage. This is especially true as the child progresses through adolescence.
14. Don’t deal with problems late at night. Things are always clearer in the morning.
15. Be kind but firm. Children need someone to look up to – not another friend. Occasionally this may mean they dislike you. Remember this is not a popularity contest.
16. Be consistent.
17. Be Fair. This doesn’t mean treating everyone the same but treating everyone fairly.
18. Don’t have bionic eyes and ears. The wise parent will discern what things should be seen and heard.
19. Don’t back yourself into a corner by making idle threats.
20. Teach GOD’S moral laws are just as sure as the physical laws.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.