I. This generation is full of unusual ideas about how to raise children
A. Many are leftovers of failed experiments that continue to hang around.
1. Don't spank children
a. It is a form of child abuse or could lead to it.
b. It is unnatural to restrict children
2. Ignore children - you have your own life to live
B. God has taught us what children need to grow up properly, we just need to listen.
II. The Need for Love
A. To grow up properly, your child must know you always love them
1. Just as God always loves us - his children
2. You may disapprove of their actions, but they know that they can be accepted back
3. Tit. 2:4 - Wives taught to love their children (husbands too)
B. Children are a gift from God to each parent
1. People in the Bible recognized the gift - Gen. 33:5, 48:9, Isa. 8:18
2. Children are a precious gift
3. God has trusted a soul with you and you must teach him the way of the Lord.
C. Love doesn't mean fulfilling every desire
1. You can't buy a child's love
2. Always aim for the child's ultimate welfare, not temporary pleasures.
D. Love includes punishment - Heb. 2:5-11
1. Pr. 22:15, 29:15
2. We will discuss this more later
E. Love must not be partial between children
1. Consider the problems of Jacob & Joseph
2. Consider the problems of Isaac & Esau
3. Partiality causes jealousy
F. Love must be between parents and children, but it also must exist between the parents
1. Children mimic their parents. This is how they believe people ought to act.
2. If fights occur in the presence of a child
a. Creates confusion and distrust in the child
b. Children will play one parent off of the other
III. The need for instruction and proper example
A. Eph. 6:4 - Nurture them in the Lord
B. Pr. 22:6 - With proper training a child will remain good
C. Remember children mimic their parents
1. Set the proper example
2. Consider the effects of drinking, smoking, drugs
D. Take time for your child. Proper training is more important than personal pleasures
1. Don't become too involved with work or your own interests
2. To instruct, you must be with the child sometime
3. But don't go overboard. Set the example that chores need to be done. Sometimes play must come second.
E. A child who is mature enough to ask an intelligent question is mature enough to receive an intelligent answer
1. We may be afraid to discuss certain subjects for fear seeding the wrong ideas. But if you don't show the right direction, they could pick up the wrong direction from the world.
2. If you don't know the answer, learn with the child. Find an "expert". That in itself is a learning experience.
F. Have solid religious training at home
1. Family Bible studies, daily Bible readings, homework
2. Attend studies with the church
3. Show your child how important the Bible is in your life by the things you do:
a. regular attendance to services and classes
b. an attitude that shows you are eager to learn
c. your own personal bible study
IV. The need for discipline
A. Children need to know that there are limits to what they are permitted to do
1. Gives a sense of security
2. Prevents confusion
B. Show approval of correct behavior and punish incorrect behavior
1. If there is only punishment, then a child will do bad things just to get your attention
2. Praise encourages continual good actions and a satisfaction in their own accomplishments
C. The adminstration of punishments
1. Not to wrath, or embitterment - Eph. 6:4, Col. 3:21
2. Make reasonable demands for a person that age - Phil. 4:8 "whatsoever is just"
a. Expect only what a child is capable of doing
b. Make sure the child knows why he is being punished
3. Administer because a rule is broken, not because they finally pushed you too far
D. Be consistent
1. Between one occasion and the next
2. Between parents
3. Between words and actions
4. Otherwise, they will push to see how far they can get this time.
5. Latter they will be challenging all laws.
E. Every person at different ages need different types and measures of punishment
1. What works with one child may not work with another
2. The challenge to parents is not to over or under punish
F. Learn what a child is capable of doing. Don't expect full adult behavior from a child.
V. The need to develop responsibility
A. A gradual release of strict restraints of early childhood
B. Too much protection doesn't allow assumption of responsibilities
C. Must be able to stand on their own feet when parents are not there - Pr. 22:6
D. A child will develop confidence in himself when his parents are confident in him.
E. Give tasks that they can easily handle. Then assign jobs that stretch them just a little bit.
VI. The need for recreation
A. You are a family, so consider your children in planning your activities.
B. Think of yourselves as a unit. The world spends too much time encouraging us to fend for ourselves.
C. By going with parents and seeing their example, they see proper behavior in various situations.
D. A child not allowed to entertain friends at home will be entertained else where. Is that what you really want?