Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Child Training Tuesdays

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it" Proverbs 22:6

I think most of us if we are Christians are familiar with this verse about training our children. However, how many of us have really sat down and thought about what it means. Is it talking about grounding, spanking, taking toys away, lecturing? Does it really mean that if you are a good parent that your children will grow up to be wonderful adults?
For anyone who reads my homeschool blog, you will know that one of the things on my heart recently in regards to organization has been child training! It is something that in the past we feel we have done well on, but it has slipped away from us in the last year due to many extenuating circumstances (or crises) in our family. In thinking about this, and working to renew my own vision for training my children, I decided that I would very much like to spend time on Tuesdays talking about the training of our children.
First things first....what is training? Many people think that training means discipline(punishment), however this is not the case. To train is to change. To train is to be proactive, where punishment is reactive! When we are training, we working towards the goal of building habits within our children. These can be good habits, or these can be bad habits, but whether we realize it or not, we are always training. Discipline is a part of training.
I read something funny in a book a long time ago, that said something to the effect of how it is funny that when we have our first child, and then have more children, we can often go from having a positive vision to basic survival skills. I think I've reached a point of basic survival skills. Can I just get through the day without anyone doing anything too horrible....But, this was not what God was talking about when he spoke to us through Solomon about child training. We need to be purposeful in the training of our children.
Where should we begin. Well, let's start by thinking about goals. What is the goal for training our children. Well, I think our verse spells that out pretty quickly.....so that when they are old they will not depart from it. We want to raise Godly children, who come to know Christ as their saviour, and have everything they do in their lives flow out of that. It's really not as much about manners, or good outward behavior. Our main focus should always be their hearts, when we are training. Now, of course, it's valuable to train their outward behavior, but let's not think that it's enough!! This is a dangerous road. Good manners are only valuable if the heart is trained. A child who is well behaved, but full of pride and arrogance on the inside will be worthless to others and displeasing to God! So, let us always focus on the heart first, and the "behaviors" second. This is something easy to forget in our daily struggles as mothers. We want good behavior, it's easier for us, if our children behave well, dress appropriately, talk the right way around other people, but where will this get us, if our children are seething with rebellion on the inside?
So one of the most important aspects of child training then should be to make sure that you have your child's heart first. If you don't have their heart, then it will be very difficult to lead their heart towards the Lord. If you have a child's heart, then they want to please you, which will in turn make them want to please the Lord. We want to see them come to us, so that, in turn we can give them over to our Lord.
Now, does this mean that if we have their hearts and we do all the right things in training them that there is no chance that they will turn from God. I don't believe so. I think that our children still have a free will. Of Jesus' twelve disciples, there was still one who had the same training and discipleship from the Lord himself, and still chose the wrong path. This is where prayer comes in. Child training and prayer must ALWAYS go hand in hand. However, if you do train a child in the way they should go, there is most certainly a much better chance that they will never turn from it, and don't we always want what is best for our children.
These are my initial thoughts this week on child training. I have many more things that I want to share about it, and ask about it, and pray about it. I want to lift up all the other mothers and families out there who are seeking to properly train their children. I want to share resources that have been helpful, stories about training successes or failures! Let's be transparent with one another. Lets share our burdens and our joys in regards to this awesome responsibility that God has given us. Please leave me a comment, or write a post on child training in your own blog, and send me the link so that I can enjoy it also.
I need to figure out how to do the mister linky thing, and I also need advice on how to make one of those cute little banners that others have made, but please don't let my informality keep you from sharing you heart, your ideas, your stories, your resources with me and others.
The first resource that I want to recommend for this week for child training......the Bible. Take a read through Proverbs, hopefully it will help you all with your vision!


  1. I found out about your Training Tuesdays on Our Lifestyle of Learning. I have several posts on my blogs about our adventure last year of reading through the Old Testament with our children. We saw so much fruit born in their lives through it. Here's a link to one of the posts:

  2. I'll be excited to read those posts Molly. I also read through and studied the Old Testament with my children (it's been two years ago now). I wasn't blogging then, so it isn't documented here, but my kids have big notebooks full of their studies on the books of the Bible. It doesn't get any better than that for child training! Thanks for sharing this with me!

  3. Sounds good. Looking forward to this. Joelle@homeschoolblogger.com/joelle

  4. Sounds great! I know with pregnancy and a new baby things tend to slip around here. I need to start getting back into training! Just to let you know, though, my FIL was very impressed with your boys when they went to the game with him!

  5. Looking forward to reading more from a "seasoned" mom.

  6. Sounds like a great series! Looking forward to it!