[Day 5] Survival Education
It is important to teach children how to do things independently as it is beneficial to help them develop their motor, analytical, and problem solving skills. It trains their brain to think logically and sharpens their senses. As a result, when a child is asked to solve a problem, they would learn to proceed in a logical manner – how to do things in a proper order —what to do first, second, etc. Parents should never think that by letting their children do things independently, they are neglecting them. Rather, this is crucial to the child’s development and character. It will build their independence, their motor skills, and their concentration. By allowing children to learn how to function independently, parents are helping them build a healthy self-esteem. A child’s character is not built by reading children’s stories or singing children’s songs. Instead, it is built by having him/her function independently. It builds the child’s character and work ethics.
It is crucial for children to establish a regular routine with some flexibility at an early age. For example, establishing a time to wake, eat, go to bed, and the type of rituals and rules to have during mealtimes, (i.e. wash their hands, pray) can be gradually built. For example if you set their bedtime to 9pm, a routine prior to their bedtime could be made (at 8:30pm have them put away their toys, then proceed to wash their face, brush their teeth, followed by bedtime. We can ask the child to reflect on their cumulative behavior. What did I do that was pleasing to the Lord? What was displeasing to the Lord? Then follow up with a prayer, and have them sleep. If this is done daily, over time, it will become a habit. This is very good for the child’s development.
However, there must be some flexibility. For example, some parents are very concerned about their child’s eating, drinking and sleeping, in terms of what time to go to bed, what time to eat, and how much to eat. During a love feast, the child may be more interested in playing with the other children and will not eat as much. The parents may find this concerning and pull the child aside and scorn him/her. As a result, the child cries and the other parents may ask, “What’s wrong with your child and why is he/she crying?” The parents may respond hastily by saying, “The child is not eating properly!” It is okay. There is no need to stick to the rules of how much the child must eat, just as long as the child does eat something. In fact, it is okay if the child eats a little less at a meal. This response could destroy the fellowship between the children and the adults. The importance is establishing mutual fellowship between the adults and children
It is wonderful how God created people to be able to be strict and flexible. For example it is okay sometimes for the child to sleep a little later on Friday and Saturday nights, because the next day (Saturday or Sunday) are not school days, so he/she can get up a little later. The same goes for bathing; if you come home from a meeting and your child falls asleep on the way, you don’t need to wake him/her up to make them take a bath. Rather, you can do it the next day. It is fine if you don’t do it for a day. Some sisters are too delicate with their children, so they raise them in a laborious and exhausting manner. In fact, raising children too delicately is not always helpful to them. Why are so many children nowadays glassy-eyed and unable to handle even a little pressure? This is directly related to the parent’s education and practices. Therefore, in life, we need to be able to be strict and also flexible in raising our children.
It is also important for children to have some exercise. Exercise makes the body healthy, the will strong, and the character hardy (1 Cor. 9:27). Exercise can help with depression and bipolar disorder too. (Gen. 3:19). Besides, we need to know that exercise is not for winning glory in the competition (1 Cor. 9:25) and be aware of the difference between types of exercise good for boys’ and girls. I have to emphasize, boys, especially, must have the proper training and exercise. The education of the body is the recognition of the child’s body’s developmental pattern. This meets the needs of the child’s body, assists the child’s development, and fulfills the functions of the members of the child’s body. Thank the Lord that we all hope our children will grow up to be healthy members of God’s family! May the Lord bless us and our children!