When some people think of education, they think of school-aged children. In reality, education begins when a child is a baby. Education begins at home. Those early lessons a child learns will guide him for the rest of his life. Lessons of respect, obedience, reverence and self-control will help a child become a successful adult. Many mothers are eager to work outside the home, but if at all possible, postpone the job as long as possible. The job of "motherhood" is the most important task ever. Those first five years are critical in a child's development.
It is important for newborns to feel love. Parents should not feel afraid to show affection. A warm and gentle touch communicates love to a baby. If a child lacks that physical affection, his physical, as well as emotional, development will be affected.
Nothing can substitute for a parent's love. Parents need to realize they have a special mission in life. Children who are constantly sent to sitters, placed in front of televisions or computers or encouraged to spend hours playing the latest video games lack a crucial ingredient of a well-balanced life. Children need to feel wanted and loved by their parents. They need time with their parents. They need the positive influences of their parents. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Parents have an awesome responsibility and they should not take it lightly.
Parents want their children to do well in secular subjects. They spend time helping with their math and reading skills but all too often, they fail to spend time helping them grow in other areas. Emotional balance, self-control, altruism . . . all these things are important. They should not be neglected.
Children are curious creatures. Nurture that curiosity but balance it with good judgement. Parents should help their children respect different opinions by setting examples. If parents are tolerant of others' views, children are likely to be also. Yet it is important to teach children to stand up for their beliefs in a non-threatening way.
When teaching children to obey, it is fundamental for parents to do so with love. Make few rules, then enforce them. Be consistent. Also, remember that the punishment should fit the misbehavior.
The promises parents make should be kept. Children have faith in their parents and this trust should not be broken.
Play is an important part of a child's life. She learns social skills and develops physical skills. Outside play lets her experience God's nature. She enjoys the fresh air, the twitter of a blue bird, the wonder of a flower. Parents should be with their children as they experience these things.
Parents should teach their children to be disciplined. They need to be taught good habits. They need to he taught honesty. But most importantly, parents need to share the love of God with their children. They need to show their children the character of God. They need to give their children unconditional love, just as Christ gives them unconditional love.
The education of a child begins at birth and continues throughout life. Parents should take this responsibility seriously and be thankful to God for the opportunity to educate one of His children.