Master Strokes for Good Parenting
Author: Helen Man
Translator: Kim Ng
Some criminals defend themselves as victims of child abuse that molds them into executors of violence.
Here are some observations of child psychologists:
- Children who grow up in a hostile family become hostile adults.
- Children who have been bullied very often end up having low self-esteem.
- Growing up in a mean family will cultivate a mean and overbearing person.
- A violent and formidable family often raises children of violence or fear.
- If a child grows up in a family of jealousy, gossiping, and arguments, he will most likely become jealous, doubtful, and scheming.
- Growing up with parents who are kind, loving, reasonable, and trustworthy, children will become caring, peaceful, and honest.
- When a child is encouraged and loved, he will grow up with confidence and cheerfulness.
- A merciful, benevolent, and righteous family will help a child grow up with a kind heart to help others.
- The quality of thrift, integrity, and fear of God will help children grow up as thrifty, honorable, loving, and God-fearing adults.
Children are definitely influenced by their environments. Even their future marriage life might be damaged. However, there are many ways to help children grow happily:
When parents love and respect each other, they create a loving, cozy, secure home for their children.
One Christmas, my daughter from college asked me if I could let her schoolmate stay in our house for the holiday because her parents had fights at home very often. This girl became so upset that one day she growled to her parents, “Why don’t you two just get a divorce!”
Give your best to your children: To help them trust Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have their sins forgiven.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) Teach them the Bible for the assurance of salvation, the truths, values of life and money, morality, and human relationships. They will be blessed for a lifetime.
Expand your children’s intellectual realm and discover their potential.
Cultivate their love of reading in the library. Build up physical and mental health by exposing them to musical events, performances, musical instruments, drawing, sports, and home language.
Encouragement is more effective than admonishment. Sarcasm and belittling brings negative results. Some parents want to make their own dreams come true by coercing their children to work beyond their abilities in order to get into Ivy League schools. Not only do these parents snatch their children’s happiness, but also ruin their spirits.
Our great inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was ordered to be discharged as a mentally retarded student after his first three months of school. He told his mother the questions he had asked his teacher:
“Why is 2+2=4?”
“Why don’t the stars fall from the sky?”
Edison’s mother recognized those questions as a matter of curiosity and took it upon herself to encourage him to carry out his experiments while Edison worked part time to earn his own funds. As a result, Edison later became the “King of Inventors” for inventing over 2,000 useful items and holding 1328 patents. Some of his inventions are: the incandescent light bulb, phonograph, movie camera, direct current electrical system, and the wax printing cylinder.
Set a good example.
It’s true that“the apple doesn’t fall far away from the tree.” We need to practice what we expect our children to do. For example, we have to respect our own parents and our in-laws if we want the children to respect us.
As Confucius said, “Honor other elderly people as we do our own aged parents; care for others’ children as one’s own.” This is similar to Christianity: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
We can help our children develop the heart of mercy by encouraging them to be volunteers in nursing homes, hospitals, or welfare centers.
Watch out for the bad influence of violence from the media.
As parents, protect your children from the perverted values from TV, harmful websites, and video games.
Invest quality time on your children.
Get involved with their school activities and talk to them as friends. Be a good listener with a sense of humor. You should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Be patient and listen to their views before you tell them your opinions to let them choose what to do. If they are having severe issues such as drug abuses, you must warn them yet gently about the consequences. Pray earnestly for their rehabilitation. Talk about happy things with your children.
Remember that children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him (paraphrased from Psalm 127:3). We are only faithful stewards of God to raise our children. May God help them grow in happiness and be pleasing to God.