LIFE IS SCHOOL, and if you have a child, you are their primary teacher, like it or not.The truth is that your children are watching you, and paying attention to you even if you are not watching and paying attention to them. Most lessons a child learns are not learned within the walls of a classroom, but from you, in the daily grind of life. This is the real classroom. Parenting is the most awesome responsibility this side of Eden. When you make the most of who you are, you improve the odds that your child will positively follow in your footsteps.
The public vs. homeschool debate is, in some ways, a mute point because every child is being homeschooled. Children watch how you interact with people – and from your interactions they will develop their own approach to mingling, conflict resolution, how to have a conversation and more. Your child watches how you handle stress – and by watching you they will develop their stress management (or mismanagement) skills. Your child observes how you use your time, money, and every other resource God puts into your hands. In other words, you are teaching your child how to live, for better or worse.
The fundamental question in child-rearing is this: Are you paying attention to your child, being intentional about how you are living so that what they learn by observing you is worthwhile and God-glorifying? If it isn’t, don’t blame your child. Start making changes with yourself, and you must may find that your child follows your lead.
You have already begun to teach your child about the following, and so much more:
- The importance of the virtual world compared to the real world right before their eyes. How is your use of your smart phone, tablet, computer and television influencing your child? Do you look your child in the eye when talking, and when he/she is talking to you, or are you distracted by something else?
- The value of money. Do you save, invest, spend carelessly? In watching you, what is your child learning about money? Does it grow on trees or come as a result of hard work? What are you teaching them about debt and freedom?
- The irreplaceable value of time. What are you teaching your child about the most precious resource they will have, their time? Do you waste it or value it? Do you plan for meaningful times together, use a calendar and show them that time, once it is gone, never comes back?
- Forgiveness and reconciliation. One of the biggest obstacles in all of life is created when we refuse to forgive people and pursue reconciliation. Are you a forgiving person, or given to bitterness? This one thing will be responsible for much of their happiness, or grief, in all of life. Do you want your child to be happy or miserable? Carefully consider, then, what you are modeling for your child about forgiveness and reconciliation.
The truth is that you child is watching you all the time. What are they learning? Even when you don’t realize it, they are watching you, developing their outlook on life, communication skills, financial strategy and just about everything — by watching you. Are you giving them good things to watch, so that you set your child up for success?
WHAT ONE OR TWO THINGS CAN YOU SIT DOWN AND FOCUS ON THIS WEEK IN YOUR OWN LIFE, START GETTING IN ORDER, AND IMPROVING? DOING THIS WILL NOT ONLY HELP YOUR OWN LIFE – IT MAY VERY WELL SAVE YOUR CHILD FROM A LIFETIME OF HARDSHIP. Remember, your child is watching you, and learning.
ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.
My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.