Several years ago, I had a religious instructor who I dearly love. He was a Christ like example to me in just about everything. He is the one who taught me how to be a good parent.
When I got married, he gave me a book of essays that he had edited along with another author. For a little background, this instructor has a Ph.D. in marriage and family relations, was an associate professor at the Utah State University, and is now a Professor and Family Life Specialist with the University of Arkansas Coorperativer Extension Service. You can check out his website here at DrWally.org (we called him Uncle Wally).
In this book, one of the biggest things that spoke to me was when Dr Wally mentioned that often, as parents, we “erroneously assign motives to our children.” How often have you thought that your child wanted to make your life miserable, or wanted to spite you, and that was why they were throwing that tantrum in the middle of the grocery store?
Dr Wally says that “as adults we credit children with the manipulative and devious motives that we see in ourselves and most other[s]…” The problem with this is that we know that babies are born innocent into this world. Some religions may teach that infants are fallen and need to be baptized, but I think that most of the Christian and religious world (and even the secular world) believes that babies, by their very nature, are innocent.
Children are precious, innocent, little angels that have been placed in our care – and we have a very serious, very important responsibility to love, protect, and teach these children.
Dr Wally reminds us that “when we get past our judgments and assumptions about our children and when we approach them humbly, we are able to love and bless them.”
And my favorite quote from him: “Our automatic reactions in [this] world are almost always wrong.”
This brings me back to my post last week about not saying “no” to your children. How are you doing? This week, try to stop when you feel your “automatic reaction” to your children’s behavior. Because whatever that auto-response is, it is probably wrong. Let’s remember that our children are precious and it is our responsibility to teach them and “train them up.”