[Day 3] The Education of Emotion and Will
Parents need to find out what their children are interested in, so they can cultivate their strong points. Provide them with hobbies for development as well Instead of having a schedule full of extracurricular activities that they have no interest in. If children are involved in everything, they will not learn anything well.
Regarding the education and training of emotions, there are several aspects. Firstly, we should teach the children to understand their emotions and apply them appropriately; we should help them to learn to practice expressing their emotions; we should also help them to learn to control their emotions, especially the negative emotions. The atmosphere at home should be full of joy, kindness, and love. Secondly, we should cultivate our children’s compassion by caring for their little brothers and sisters, for small animals, flowers, and plants, etc. Thirdly, we need to cultivate empathy in children. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). Empathy goes further than sympathy, which is to put oneself into the position of the other person, to express his feelings in the same experience as the other person. Fourthly, soft and delicate emotions help us to enjoy a hymn and enter into the feeling of the hymn. Fifthly, rich emotions help us to experience the multifaceted love of God. It is important that we train our children to have rich emotions by singing hymns.
As parents, we need to help our children practice expressing their emotions and to learn to control their feelings as they grow older. In particular, their negative emotions need to be trained. First, help children to recognize their own emotions and to be able to empathize with other children; second, help children to control their emotions, and that it is alright to be angry but not to sin; for example, not to hit someone in anger, to break something, etc. “be angry, yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your indignation” (Eph. 4:26). Third, help them to learn to tell others about their moods and feelings, as well as to tell God (Phil. 4:6). In fact, when you tell God about your bad feelings, you are not asking God to do anything for you, but you are pouring out your heart to God. In the education of the soul, mind, emotions, and will, the will is more Important. The will includes the choosing aspect and the decision aspect.
The child needs to be given opportunities to choose from an early age; to choose, to decide, and to be responsible for his decisions, within certain limits (cf. Deut. 30:19, Jer. 2:1-8). When the child chooses what he likes to do according to his inner needs, he will do it repeatedly, thus, building and prolonging his concentration. Concentration will help the child to develop his own will and self-discipline. In today’s society, a child’s focus and endurance are low because of the need for speed and the frequent use of cell phones and electronic devices. Therefore, parents need to help their children to build a high degree of concentration and endurance.
When a child grows to a certain age, he needs to have a proper ambition. Parents need to give him the correct guidance, the correct people to admire. Help him to know and admire the examples in the Bible and some spiritual brothers who have preceded him. When he is young and admires a certain kind of person, he may want to become that kind of person. Help the child to understand that God is the top priority, and that the things of Christ and the church are the most important. In this way, he may grow up to learn to follow the Lord and obey the law of the Spirit of life.