August 14, 2011

Child Training

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 14, 2011

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Child discipline and child training are similar, but different. They are similar because the desired outcome for both is a child with a heart for God and love for people. The end goal for each is a Christ-like character. But there are some real differences between the discipline and training of your child. Discipline is more reactive; training is proactive. Discipline many times is a consequence of negative behavior, while training seeks to develop positive behavior. Training educates the child on the “why” behind the “what.”

Discipline is more concerned with the “what.” Training is motivated by teaching the child “how to fish,” not just “giving them a fish.” Discipline in some ways is easier and takes less time. Training is more involved and takes hands-on effort from both parents. Discipline is focused more on the short term, while training looks toward the long term. They both overlap and both are vital to the healthy upbringing of your child.

Ultimately, you are training your child to be a responsible and God-fearing adult. Think of the training as on-the-job. You can tell your child to do something, and they may forget. You can show them how to do it, and they will probably remember. However, when they experience it for themselves in hands-on fashion, there is a much better chance of follow through. This is at the heart of training.

You help your child experience life under your apprenticeship. You are there to teach them, encourage them and mentor them. Yes, they will fail along the way, but you will be there to help pick them up. It takes parental wisdom, because you do not want to rescue them prematurely either. God may be in the process of teaching them a valuable lesson.

Take driving an automobile, for instance. This is freedom for the teenager and fear for the parents. The grown-up child can finally spread his wings in two tons of steel going 55 miles per hour. His peripheral vision is blurred and it’s hard for him to remember the speed limit. In the meantime, the parents’ prayer life is escalating to new levels of intensity along with the price of their insurance premiums.

Learning to drive a car can be a great training time. This can become quality time for the dad and the child. Yes, have the teenager take a defensive driving class, but it is just as important to have them take a daddy driving class. Perhaps you buy them a mechanically sound, used “practice car.” Instruct them in the basics of proper yielding and how much a speeding ticket costs. Let them experience the responsibility of paying for the insurance. This is great training in the realities of life.

Lastly, train them to “stand alone.” Standing alone means they have the confidence in themselves and the trust in God to do the right thing even when their friends don’t. Give them leadership responsibilities around the home like chores, care for animals and planning trips. Teach them how to think. Let the Word of God be their training manual. Reward them for applying its principles. Help them discover their passion and what they do best. Encourage them to follow God’s calling, even when it makes you uncomfortable. Take the time to train your child today and they will be trained for a lifetime. Train well!

Taken from Dose 63 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.

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