How to train up a child…
I have attended countless parenting seminars and read more than 25 books on the subject, and an impressive amount of articles YET none of this would matter if my heart wasn’t sold out for Christ and I didn’t take the time to study the # 1 book every parent should sleep with…the BIBLE. I have several biblical counseling courses from Liberty University under my belt as this happens to be my passion and call. I am going to try to point parents in the direction they should take when training their children in order to raise young adults well equipped to handle bullying, disappointments and anything that may come their way. We will go over statistics later on in this article, for now I want to focus on the questions we are all asking.
How did we get to a generation who is training their parents? Why? And what we can do to change it!
Let’s begin with the how. How do we get to the point that the children are the one’s training the parents (especially teens)? I have been researching the subject of teen suicide and most of these teens feel worthless,hopeless, alone, out of place (they don’t belong)…etc. It all begins in the raising of your children, parents. Parenting is the most difficult task you will ever undertake (after marriage of course). It all starts when your child is little. We must teach them respect,self-control, morals and values from a young age. But most of all we must teach our children that they are wonderfully made (Psalm 139). That they are NO accident! They did not come from an ape or a random molecular concoction. God, the creator of all things took the time to make them in their mom’s womb. They have a purpose in life. We must teach them that they are precious to God. We must teach them the meaning of repentance, sin and God’s holiness from a very young age. Parents I can’t encourage you enough to monitor what they watch. I will be bold enough to say DO NOT have cable at your home. If you do, set a time limit of 30 minutes per day, do not hand them the remote. Set the TV to whatever it is they want to watch for those 30 minutes (age appropriate, not according to the world’s standard but to God’s word). The bible states in Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” This is a huge problem with our children today. We are not monitoring what they watch, furthermore we fail to teach them how to guard their own eyes. Listen friends, the whole idea of training up a child is that little by little you are able to release them until’ they are teens and go off to college and are able to shift the dependency from you to God. You are not trying to raise INDEPENDENT children! That is were we as parents go wrong. We must train them up to be fully dependent on the Lord. That way when they have to make their own choices, you would have taught them to fear God, to hate sin, to guard his/hers eyes and to trust in God. What a blessing that is parents! Now let’s move on to music. Do most of you know what is in your child’s ipod, mp3 player or computer? My suggestion, check it regularly. Delete what is inappropriate and please do NOT tell a teen “it’s because I said so”. Ummm that’s good for a little kid. Talk to them about why it is inappropriate. Lead them to scripture. And give them an alternative in music. If they like rock (most teens do) buy them a kutless cd…etc. There are many alternatives to worldly music. TALK TALK TALK to your children! Even when they are teens, take one night a week and go on a date with them. Go to a coffee shop and just sit and listen to them…something a simple as “how are you doing? is there anything going on in school? how are your friends?” with most teens you are going to have to dig. They are just figuring out how they feel and how to communicate it. They may not be able to tell you off the bat how they feel and why, so you must be very patient with them and teach them by asking probing questions to get to the heart of the matter. Parents I can’t stress enough how critical it is for you to spend time with your child. Even when they are teens, tuck them in every night. Sit on their bed and just talk to them even if it’s about nothing! 🙂 This will ensure to leave the communication lines open between you two. They will learn that you care about the non-essentials in life and will come to you for the bigger things as well. When you invest time into your child’s life, you are sending the message “I love you, you are important and I care”. Please DO NOT miss the most important moments in their lives! Like a football game, a dance recital…etc. It may not matter to you, but for your child it is the world. You have to work? If it’s a rare occasion, explain that to them and arrange for someone else to be there if you will not be. If it’s your habit because of your job. Get A NEW ONE! The message you are sending to your child is,”my job is more important than you”.
How about privacy issues?
I want to encourage you on a subject I have come across on this matter. There are parents who get frustrated because their teen tells them they are invading their privacy by looking through their stuff. Let me say this. Do they live under your roof? Do they eat the food you buy? Do they wear the clothes you buy? Do they use the utilities you pay for? Then guess what? They are DEPENDENTS! And as dependents parents, listen carefully!!!! YOU are legally responsible for that child! When they become Independent, meaning they can hold a job and FULLY provide for themselves, then they can make their own choices. Even if your child is a college student, who pays for their food? tuition? books? car? gas? ins? phone?…that again makes them dependents! If your child is defying your authority, cut them off. If they are BIG enough according to them to make their own decisions then by all means they are big enough to pay for them as well. All that to say it is your right as a parent to look through their room, music, computer and anything that needs to be checked if you have suspicion that your child may be into things that will get them into trouble.
Moving on, as your child grows teach them to choose wise friends.1 Cor 15:3 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” In the time we live in it is so important that we TEACH our children to choose their friends wisely. Parents are so afraid to make their child “unhappy” they give in to their whining, threats and manipulation. Your job parents is not to raise HAPPY children but to raise HOLY children. We are supposed to train up a child in the way he should go, how do we train? If you hire a trainer to train you, what does he do? He comes right alongside of you and teaches you what to do and what NOT to do. As parents that is out call. How effective would a trainer be if you come for your session and he says do machine 5-10 times and 2-12 times and he stays at the front desk, then comes around to check on you and yells at you for not having the right form? That is exactly what we do as parents! We expect our children to know, and we are here to correct them when they have already messed up! That is so backwards! Children are growing up hopeless and feeling worthless, why? Where are we going wrong as parents? And why am I addressing parents? Well, it is YOUR duty to raise these children and if they are thinking of killing themselves, you have failed somehow! In your communication skills, in training them up as the Bible calls us to and as a parent. Now I also know that there are mental illnesses that trigger such behavior. But we can not blame the mental illness for most of the suicides because it will be simply inaccurate information. They feel like no-one cares, do you think a child that has been raised by parents who talk to him everyday, tuck them in every night, go to their school activities, teach them what God says about them in His word would want to commit suicide when they face the most uncertain and difficult time in their lives? No they wont, they would have solid foundation through the storm. That doesn’t mean storms will not come. It does mean that they will be equipped to handle them adequately along with their family standing right by them.
Teach your child responsibility. Give them weekly chores age appropriate and do NOT pay them for it. This will teach your child the meaning of hard work and being responsible. They don’t grow up thinking everything will be handed to them, a common problem our teens face today. Everything is given to them, so when life get’s a little difficult they do not know how to handle it so their turn to despair and give into their pain. Teach your child to suffer well. Allow them to go through the trials necessary to teach them to suffer well. Do not bail them out! Instead, teach them where they can turn for help when they are hurting. Most of teen suicides are because they wanted to escape the pain, they did not necessarily want to die but they were not equipped to handle pain well. We live in a society who wants happy kids and when they are not happy, hell breaks lose. Our homes are run by kids, not adults. Whatever the kids wants, there is mom and dad to make it happen, or bail them out as long as he/she is “happy”. What a mistake! This is exactly why they can’t handle disappointment. Allow those disappointments to come into their lives since they are little, and guide them through it. When they are little it may look like not getting to play the video game they want because it is not appropriate, so they throw a tantrum and cry. What do you do? Sadly, the average parent has been WELL TRAINED by their children. They give in. So they teach their kids that if they whine enough they get what they want. They do not have any self-control. Why? Because we fail to teach them, you do not get what you want when you want it and some times you don’t get what you want at all. Why? Because it is not good for you.Prov 22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” Children are not born knowing, they are actually little sinners since the time of conception. Our mindset should not be “children are born innocent and we must keep them from sinning”…our mindset should be “they are born sinners, separated from God and we must disciple them that they may become holy”.
Parenting is exhausting, it takes consistency, sacrifice and alot of selflessness! In the society we live in this is rare to find in any individual, let along a parent who is trying to raise a child without the proper tools. It comes down to this parents, you train your children by example. The saying “do as I say not as I do” does not work, it never has and never will. That’s why we have so many teens walking away from the faith because their parents are hypocrites. They never saw their parents exercise true faith thus they think christianity is a lie and for hypocrites. We are called to set an example in speech and conduct, not only to the unbelievers but to the very people God has entrusted us to raise for Him.
With that said, I am going to go into the statistics.
Some eye opening information on teen suicide statistics, suicide prevention, and warning signs to help avoid teenage and adolescent suicide attempts. Teen suicide statistics can help you understand more about teen depression and how it affects teenage suicides.
Teen suicide is a major cause of death among teens, though many do not recognize suicide as a serious threat to a teenager’s well being.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers. According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), about 8 out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in 2000. For every teen suicide death, experts estimate there are 10 other teen suicide attempts.
In a survey of high school students, the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center found that almost 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, about 1 in 6 teens had made plans for suicide, and more than 1 in 12 teens had attempted suicide in the last year. As many as 8 out of 10 teens who commit suicide try to ask for help in some way before committing suicide, such as by seeing a doctor shortly before the suicide attempt.
Teen girls and boys are both at risk for suicide. Teen girls are more likely to attempt suicide, but teenage boys are four to five times more likely to die by suicide. Over half of teen suicide deaths are inflicted by guns.
One of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers is suicide. The Centers for Disease control report that it is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14.
Teen suicide is a very real issue today in the United States. It is important to recognize the fact that the suicide rate amongst teenagers is on the rise. In order to prevent teen suicide, it is vital to recognize what leads to it, and then treat the causes.
If you raise your child in a manner in which they did not learn self-control when they are older, you will have a train wreck in your home. There is no reason a child should grow up feeling worthless and hopeless and on the other hand, no child should ever grow up in control of what they do and say because of a parents lack of commitment in raising them properly. We must start taking responsibility as parents to make sure we do our job and go to the only resource that is timeless, the Word of God to equip us in the journey. If you have problems with your children, little or teen and need some advice please feel free to contact me at LightnerCrew@hotmail.com. I would love to help you.
Posted on August 6, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.