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Teach Your Children Younger and Love Them Well

by Sim Lee  
9/13/2018 / Parenting

"Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life." Proverbs 22:5 Good News Translation

There have been many studies upon childhood development and they all point to one thing: time. How they spent their time growing up and of how much time you spent with them.

By the time children are two-years old, they should know at least 25 words and have put at least two words together in responding to a question.  This is not a major expectation, but rather a natural progression of the brain function of a child who has been surrounded by parental language (reading to them), songs (singing to them and play acting with them) and thoughts (always having conservation with them about what it is that you are doing together).  As time goes on and they grow older, the intent to expose them to as much knowledge and responsibility as you can is the same: to develop their intellect and to foster an honest and trustworthy character.

Regarding the aspect of time and attention, a two-year-old will give you about 80-percent of the attention that it gave you as a new-born. By the time they are 12, they will give you about 40-percent of their attention because their peers have already gained the remaining 60-percent.  Again, this is natural because by the time they are 12, 90-percent of their adult personality has already been formed and it is highly unlikely they will ever normally change.  Even later in time, when they are in college, you will have about 5-percent of their attention and their peers will have the other 95-percent.

So, the earlier you can bring a child to a good understanding of who God and Jesus are, and about being honest, trustworthy and accountable, the better the child will keep those values in the face of detrimental peer pressure. It is no longer true that most peer pressure is constructive.  A simple look at the explosive increase in the percentage of young people with STDs shows as much to be true. The current American Generation Z is probably the best example of the results of a lack of caring parents and peers producing the worst, most irreligious generation ever produced in American history in terms of lack of morality, connection, expectations and patriotism.

Your children are only yours for a moment and then they belong to the world. How well you raised them will decide how well they will do in the world and of how well it receives them.  Raise them in the ways of Christ and theirs will be a pleasant eternity as well. Tragically, this is not going to be so for the many young among who are spiritually lost today.  Lost for the lack of a caring Christian parent, grand-parent, teacher, peer or loving caregiver.

So teach them young and love them well and know they will always keep that part of youself that you have given to them.

Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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