...it's the investment. I cannot tell you how many times this week this topic has come up. It starts with the question how do you get your kids to...? Which is often followed by it must be the age. My response it's not the age, it's the investment.
Training our children is an investment in the future and investments require time. No one suddenly became obedient and respectful simply because they reached a certain age, they became obedient and respectful because someone spent time day after day, year after year training and teaching character qualities to them.
Three things I try to consider when I look at my children's behavior:
1. They are natural born sinners, just like me.
My kids are prone to disobedience and rebellion just as I am, but by His grace and our efforts they can learn self control and respect. Prayerful consideration of sin nature and God's grace are always needed.
2. Most actions are caught rather than taught.
And often that means they caught it from the influences in front of them, i.e. parents, peers, media. Herein it becomes time to look carefully at what is being allowed in the home..this includes my own habits and actions... and make necessary adjustments. If it isn't a good influence I try to teach them why and remove it. Sometimes we have to change ourselves before we can expect changes in others.
3. There is no magic potion.
Training is a life long process; it's never ending. Birth, childhood, youth and adult years are all learning years that build one upon another. As our training becomes habit we build upon it. Sometimes we have to go back and rebuild, but the key is to be building in the first place.
As parents, so much is pulling at our time and attention..getting everything done is just not possible. My heart is burdened for young families facing the struggles of school and home, work and outer influences. Whatever stage of development our children are in, they are worth the investment!