TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
The transmission of values to children is usually a great concern for families that do not want to become dysfunctional.
A very important thing for parents in families to remember is to teach their children how to make good decisions. When children watch their parents making well thought out decisions over the years, they will tend to be good decision makers themselves.
It is a complex topic that perhaps is best explained in this manner:
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POWER OF WORDS AND DEEDS
All aspects of a person’s life – character, sense of responsibility, good and bad habits, ability to cope with difficulties and relationships with others, are shaped primarily during childhood. Words may be spoken, but deeds and lives speak as well.
Children live mainly by impulses and desires in their early stages of dev-elopment. While still young, children assimilate pre-eminently through their feelings. A child’s will and intellect have yet to develop, together with physical growth.
Good upbringing begins by enforcing obedience, not violence. The sooner a child becomes used to following a parent’s or guardian’s requests, the easier it will become later to instruct the child.
At first, some interdictions are necessary, like: “… don’t do that … you must not act like that … this is good.” But as the child grows, positive direction and instruction should follow as well by explaining the reasons why. Here, some difficulties may arise since words alone may not always be sufficient to inculcate in a child the rules of proper living, good behaviour and conduct. Occasionally, one may meet with stubbornness and refusal.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Adults in a strong family set the tone. They are the role models who lead by example. Their actions, their words, become part of who the children are and who they eventually become. They, become you.
A lack of or wrong communication between adults and their children in care can render a family apart and in the process, destroy it. On the other hand, family closeness, flexibility, time spent together, spirituality and the ability of each member within the group to express themselves freely are what create strong and lasting bonds.
A strong family unit creates a safe, positive and supportive place for all mem-bers to thrive. They are able to utilise resources and to live together in a fairly healthy manner that supports and nourishes each member throughout the span of that family’s life together and beyond.
A healthy, happy family benefits the whole of society. Among the children of strong families there is less crime, less divorce, less emotional problems, less dysfunction. They tend to go on and have strong, healthy families of their own, having learned from their own folk’s example.
WHAT YOU SOW, YOU REAP
Making babies is easy but there’s a world of dif-ference between ‘becoming’ a parent and ‘being’ a parent. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs on this planet – it never stops.
There’s a saying that goes,”… children should come with an instruction manual” but there really are no “how-to” guides readily available. Even if that’s the case, these universal rules tend to work well:
Be realistic. Don’t expect too much from your children. Remember that they aren’t small adults; they are kids. They have a lot to learn in life. Your job is to guide them.
Set a good example. Children watch everything their parents do and listen to everything they say. How they behave has much to do with what you, as their parents, say or do.
Be consistent. Consistency is an important part of parenting. When you are inconsistent, your child learns nothing from you.
Respect your children – To get respect, you must give respect. This is true with children too. Respect your child’s feelings, and they will learn to respect yours in return.
Remember, what you sow, is also what you reap.