I know when I have rejected even one of my three basic rules of training a child. The child I am training is frustrated. I am frustrated. And their is no one to blame but myself. I am the adult the child is relying on to train them.
It's true! My own children have asked that I exercise my responsibility to provide boundaries as well as encouragement. The students I have worked with in my special education classes have gone after their parents for not being a parent and enforcing boundaries they knew they needed. Aaah, kids. What can you do with them? Why train them of course!
RULE NUMBER ONE - REMEMBER, YOU HAVE A LIFETIME VIEW
A parent has a lot of good advantages available to them as chief trainer of their children. Life experiences is one of them. You need to use those life experiences to help you train them.
Teaching in a multigrade special education class, the older students have at times asked why a younger student behaves the way he does. Having had most of my students for two or more years, I have the opportunity to remind them that they had similar immature behaviors when I first met them. The point being, life usually matures us whether we plan to or not.
Our maturity as adults allows us to guide our children or students towards a safer life with better choices. We know from our life experiences, our mistakes and successes, what will probably happen if you do or don't do this or that.
RULE NUMBER TWO - CHILREN ARE A DIRECT REFLECTION OF YOU
That is as true a statement as I can make. Having the privilage of teaching and being the administrator to families and their children as they went through my schools for eighteen years, I was able to observe the results of the many parenting styles.
The expectations and styles varied. Some parents had clear expectaations, some had none. There were parents who hugged a lot and there were parents who never hugged at all. Positive parents, negative parents, yelling parents, just-a-look parents, involved parents, never saw parents. Each parent is as unique in their training as their students are unique.
The key component to how a student was going to turn out were the parents themselves. What made a parent essentially what they were. The boys turned out like their fathers. And the girls like their mothers.
If the dad was a hard worker or quiet or honest or fair, the son probably was going to reflect those virtues. If he was angry, dishonest, loud or prideful, his son was heading down the same road.
Girls followed similar paths as their mothers. If the mother was a gossip, focused on her looks, lazy or angry, her daughter reflected those traits more noticably because she had not learned to hide them as well yet. But if her mother put others first, reflected God's love to her family and friends, and worked hard, her daughter was likely on the same path.
THERE WILL PROBABLY BE NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD WHO LOOKS OUT FOR YOUR CHILD LIKE YOU DO
If you are really blessed, then maybe someone for a short time in your child's life will look out for your child close to something like what you do. Maybe a teacher, a coach or even a relative will walk the extra mile for him or her. But for the long term of your child's life, you are it.
Think about it. In this short time on earth, you have been given the opportunity to be a parent. Don't waste a day. You can be their advocate or you can just let those precious day flit by.
It doesn't mean you have to be everything to your child. Tiger Woods, his dad, began training him to golf at an earl age. When Tiger surpassed his father's skills, his father hired teachers more skills than he to continue his training.
The basic rules all focus on three things: Your long term view as in the role as your child's trainer. Second, your life is an impotrtant part of training your child. And last, no one cares about your child in the long term like you do.
I am Tim Ihms, the founder, head master, instructor, book keeper, and part time custodian at New Park Street Christian Academy. The blogs on this page are written for the parents of New Park Street students and for those who may be interested in sending their child to the school some day.