Lo, children are a heritage of The Lord and the fruit of the womb is His reward(psalms 127:3). Children are beautiful gifts from God wrapped up in fragility. We all, no matter how old and mature we are now, were once Children, innocent and simple-minded boys and girls wrapped in swaddling clothing. As we grew older, however, we learnt certain things and ways of life from our immediate families and the environment around us. We are all products of how we were either raised, or how we allowed God to raise us, or the impacts we allowed the community and people around us have on our lives. How we were corrected, chastised or rebuked had and sometimes continue to have such huge influences on our lives and how we react or respond to situations. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘correction’ as change that makes something/someone right, true or accurate. Corrections when done in love and care, with the right dose or discipline help raise healthy and balanced children ready to take on life as adults.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. How a child is raised and corrected goes a long way to determine what type of adult he/she will become. We have too many adults who suffer from either low self-esteem issues, panic attacks or heart-rending pain that they have to consciously heal from, because of wounds inflicted on them by their parents or guardians while they were in their formative and impressionable years. In Africa, many parents sadly correct children more out of anger or frustration, than a genuine desire to see the child change or get better. Is it true that children can pick up weird habits and do things that can almost frustrate a parent?, yes but is it also important to note that how that child is corrected when they do wrong will either make or Mar them? Yes. The words that we speak are life-giving spirits and we must be careful what type of words proceed from our mouths towards our children. They were given to us by God to nurture and raise, not to put down or destabilize.
When a child does wrong, say wrong things or throw tantrums, one of the most effective ways to correct him/her will be to sit with the child and calmly yet firmly explain the repercussions and effects of the behaviour or actions he/she is expressing will have on his/her future life and personality if not nipped in the bud. More often than not, children take their cue from us. If you genuinely want your children to be God-fearing, kind, calm, respectful and responsible children and adults, you should ensure you live the kind of lives they can easily emulate. It is important to know that If you say one thing and do a different thing, not only will you confuse the children, you will also teach them that to be double-minded or act in two different ways is the way to live. If a child likes to always get his/her way or tends to be disrespectful, conscious emphasis should be laid on who has a direct influence on the child, be it the biological parents, teachers or friends. It could also mean that the child has over time been allowed to always get what they want.in such cases, the access the child has to certain things should be reduced and the reason why it is so should be explained. This will not only help such a child adjust, but it would also help them understand that he/she cannot behave in certain manners and get away with it.
Hurling insults, name-calling, abusive and derogatory words should never proceed out of our mouths towards our children. They always do more harm than good, always. If a child is doing badly at school or not responding to good and loving counsel, it is important to try to understand the root cause of the issue. A lot of children act up or do wrong sometimes to simply get the attention of the parents or guardians. Taking children on road trips, for picnics, family bonding time can in many ways help parents understand what goes on in the minds of their children which will, in turn, help them know how to help and correct them where necessary. Patience is an extremely important virtue in the raising of a child. Prayer and a conscious reminder that this child is of the Lord and should be treated special and with care will help parents channel their words and actions in the right manner. As we all differ in our appearances, backgrounds and mannerisms, children also differ in how they respond to words and conversations. It is important to understand the uniqueness of every child and never attempt to compare their growth with any other child’s growth and progress. Nothing hampers a child’s growth and development like the way Comparison does. Praise your children when they do right, correct in love when they do wrong and watch the beautiful gifts bestowed upon you by God blossom into the most amazing adults. We can change the status quo, we can choose to raise wholesome, sane and healthy children, nothing was broken, nothing missing.