Two Tiaras and a Sword

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Raise a Societal Menace: Part 3

And here are the final three.  Hopefully you've been reminded of something you already knew, and have just been a little slack on lately.  Or maybe you have learned something new.  But my prayer is that through this little series, you have been inspired to dig in and be a parent that raises godly children that stand out in a crowd because of their character and strength.

7. Proclaim, in front of them, that they are right, by always taking their side against the authority figures in their lives, even if your child is wrong. They should never be told they are wrong, or corrected for wrong doing, because that is terrible for their self esteem. This way they learn that they can do ANYTHING, and you will be there to help them out of the consequences of their actions.

*Or, you could teach them that there will come a day, when you won't be able to help, and your child will have to face the consequences of their behavior. How much better for them to learn by facing small consequences for small wrongs, than by facing a judge to find out the consequences for their big wrongs. You could also take this opportunity to teach them that EVERYONE is wrong sometimes. And when we are wrong, we show strength of character by admitting we were wrong, and facing the consequences. This settles the matter and allows your child to move on without guilt. Maybe your child was right, and the authority figure was wrong (because EVERYONE is wrong sometimes), you help your child know that you understand that what happened may not have been fair, but they can still learn and grow and become stronger through the experience. This will not be the only time they are ever wronged in their lifetime. Do not allow this to make them bitter, but use it as a great opportunity to teach true forgiveness.

8. Make everything as easy as possible for them. Do not let anyone challenge them, or push them to try to achieve higher goals. They might not be able reach those goals, and this too would damage their self esteem. Why make them work for and earn self esteem, when it can be handed to them on a silver platter?

*Or, you can teach them that "even a child is known by his doings". And people, no matter what they say, know if your child is worthy of the praise given them or not. Others see and know just how hard our children work, or don't work.  And if we allow our children to be challenged and pushed, yes, there are times they will fail.  Dealing with failure is an important part of life.  But they will also succeed at times and learn that they can actually achieve far more than maybe they even dreamed.   As a parent, it is your responsibility to recognize both the strengths and weaknesses of your child. Then help them capitalize on their strengths, and work on their weaknesses. If you don't help them work on their weaknesses in the security of your home, know that their peers will point out their weakness, and they won't be nearly as kind as you would be. So much better for your child to learn from your loving caring prospective. 

9. Let them have their fill of whatever they want to watch on television, or at the movies. Let the play whatever video games they want to play, for as long as they want. Let them listen to any radio station they choose, especially through headphones, so you don't know what they are listening to. Let them read any book or magazine they can get their hands on no matter the content, because after all, reading is good for them isn't it? But don't push them to read their Bibles or pray, because it is important that they choose to make religion their own. Not just accept it because you told them to.

*Or, realize that Satan capitalizes on every chance he gets to worm into the minds and hearts of our children through their eye and ear gates: what they see and hear. What may seem like an innocent modern day movie of an old classic fairy tale, could actually be Satan's way of introducing your teen to the occult and witchcraft. Those games your child is playing where he shoots people, and then comes to the dinner table and eats dinner with the family, may be Satan's way of desensitizing him to violence. The songs your child listens to, fill their head with Satan's agendas like, sex, violence, murder, vengeance, anger, and hatred. The books your daughter is reading, may be Satan's way of teaching her she is nothing if she doesn't date, and give herself away to the most popular high school jock. She may be getting way more information from those innocent books than you ever imagined. So you could be an active parent. Watch what they watch. Play what they play. Listen to what they listen to. Read what they read. Discuss these things with them in the light of Phil. 4:8.  Teach your children to be discerning. If you don't teach them discernment,it is like sending them into battle each day totally unarmed. Would you allow your children to join the army if they were told they would be given no defensive weapons? No, that would be crazy. Yet we daily send our children into a much more dangerous spiritual battle with absolutely no way of defending themselves. If it doesn't please the Lord, maybe they should not watch, listen to, play, or read it. Replace these things with media that is pleasing to the Lord. This is possible, but it takes time and effort. Use media as a way to teach your kids right and wrong. Hit the pause button, and ask your kids questions. Make them actively think about what they are watching, hearing, playing, not just sit passively and allow themselves to be indoctrinated by the enemy. I LOVE it when one of mine says, "I don't think we should watch this..." They are thinking for themselves about how what they are watching is affecting them!!! They are listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in their heart!! They are acting on those promptings from the Holy Spirit!! They are getting it!! This is huge!! This thrills my heart!! But most importantly, DO encourage them to read the Bible and pray daily. Far from pushing this on them, it is what will draw them to Him, and make "religion" change from just a "religion" into a "relationship." How can you not have a relationship with someone that you talk to daily? How you can learn more and more about the God who love us unconditionally, and not be drawn to Him, and into the circle of that unconditional, everlasting love?
That they have their own personal relationship with the Lord, above and beyond just salvation is our goal. We want them to be saved, absolutely, but we do not want it to stop there. We want them to daily seek Him on their own. We want them to actively pursue, and deeply value their relationship with the God who created the universe, yet loves each one of us beyond our comprehension.

So, just a different way to discuss a heavy subject. Let's face it, being a parent is hard. And often what "feels" right to do is often wrong for our child. Bathe each day in prayer. Step back and pray for guidance in the middle of circumstances. Read Bible verses, and Biblically based books on parenting. Pick the brains of older wiser parents (if they have godly children) who have been there, done that, and can give you Biblically sound advice. Strive daily to raise godly kids, and God will be with you each step of the way.

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