Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On Raising Children

We have eight out of eleven children still at home - of those eight, the older four are in their "teen" years. The youngest two are three and five years old respectively. And when you look at the eight children: our oldest child is an eighteen year old daughter, our youngest is a three year old daughter. In between those two roses, we have six boys. To say that each day is a challenge is an understatement.
As a homeschooling family, we are very close. We find the mistaken notion that a homeschool child is not adept at social interaction a rather humorous thought. We have learned this: if a child can learn to interact with his siblings in the give and take of a large household, he or she will be quite capable in knowing how to get along with other people outside the home.
As parents, we have also learned from the wisdom given in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

In the Hebrew language, the verse reads like this: "Train up a child in its own unique way..."

No two children are alike. Yes, absolutes should be taught to all the children, but they should not be taught in the same way to each child. That would be a mistake. The challenge of parenting is to discover the uniqueness of each child. Once that is discovered, the important things of life can be taught the child in a wonderfully personal way. Each child will learn best when what is being taught is uniquely crafted to their own individual character.

How do we, as parents, accomplish such a foreboding assignment? It takes alot of time given over to each child in the following areas:
1. observing the child
2. listening to the child
3. playing (interacting) with the child
4. being a good example to the child, and finally
5. matching our life example with verbal training to the child in the area you, as a parent, are seeking to develop.

Sure, it sounds like a big list - and it is, but they are worth it!

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