You are quietly doing your shopping at your favorite store and all of a sudden you are startled by screaming and crying. You try to find where the scream is coming from because it is quite loud and it has disrupted your peace. No one is hurt, so what is the reason for such ruckus? Alas, it is a tiny human begging for a toy. The child is confused as to why they cannot get what they want. Many parents seem to be confused as to why their child is behaving this way. Even if you are not an expert in agriculture, you know that it is easier to bend a plant as it’s growing. Have you tried to bend a tree when it is fully grown? The tree has developed strong branches and its roots are embedded into the earth. If the tree is crooked, it would be too late to try to straighten it. Take this illustration and apply it to training a child. Self-control should be taught when children are at a stage when their minds are still malleable. They learn habits, good and bad ones, from a young age. The person responsible for the shaping of the character is the parent, so when the child is misbehaving, is the child truly at fault?
Many parents are afraid of refusing a request from their child. They say that they are just children and one should provide for their needs, but doing this is taking the road to damaging the child’s character. The child begins to believe that they have the right to obtain anything they desire and if things are not done their way, they can manipulate anyone with unpleasant behavior. In the future, children who grow up with this mindset begin to disrespect not only their parents but also those in authority. A selfish behavior is developed but because the parents failed to correct such behavior, the young individual is absorbed in self and focuses only on fulfilling their own wishes. Such lifestyle hurts them and it ends up hurting those around him or her.
Keep in mind that when the child is still developing, their behaviors often mirror the parent’s behavior, so if you want to teach your child good habits, then you must be the mirror. Teach them self-control through your habits. Even the smallest acts show how much power or how little power you have when you are under certain circumstances. Wouldn’t you want your child to grow as a self-disciplined, strong, and gentle individual? Skills are developed over time and values are learned over time as well. The power has been bestowed upon you to raise brilliant minds. This training begins at home. The light you are igniting begins at home so that one day your child can grow up to be a light to others wherever they go.
So how does this training work? I am not a parent, but there are some observations I have made from watching a family member’s interactions with their child. For example, I have seen the child ask Mom for some junk food. Mom refuses to give the child what he’s asking for but the child knows the perfect trick to get what he wants at that exact moment. Let the crying begin. Tears start streaming and the adorable little body starts screaming. Mom is desperate and the only way the child will stop the tantrum is to give in. And so, the story repeats itself again and again. Mom has unfortunately created this path without knowing. But how come the child does not recreate this scene with Dad? Dad is kind, but he is also firm. When Dad says “no” the child knows he means business. The child no longer can pull the tantrum card. It is interesting to see this observation but despite their young age, children learn who is strong and who isn’t.
It is important to train them while they are young, not only physically but also spiritually. It is no surprise King David advises the young to remember their creator in the days of their youth because the day may come when they will no longer desire to seek their Creator. Molding a human mind is a responsibility but Mom, Dad, don’t stress. He who created you has promised to give you wisdom to train these brilliant minds capable of bringing joy to the world.
Written By Teresa Alberto
High school teacher at a private school located in Michigan
Droolees LLC Education Blog Contributor