Will you attribute the failure of proper upbringing to the parents or the child? From your own perspective, who do you think is responsible for the poor upbringing of a child? This has been a long time debate that most people have not yet got an answer to. But by God’s grace we will carefully look into this matter from the light of God’s word because it is the manual for a good child upbringing.
God has an opinion concerning all that you do and it is only those who seek His opinion that will find it and He has given us His word (Bible) to help us know His thoughts. It is only those that are committed to the word that can have insight to it by His grace (see Proverb 25:2).
It is the desire of every parent to see their children grow and mature in every area and become relevant to the society. Most parents are preoccupied with the future of their children that they pay little or no attention to the present. One thing they forget is that you can only achieve the desired future with a constant preparation of the present. God gave them to you because He knows that you will be the best parent for the job and whatever the outcome is, it is not dependent on Him but on you. Most parents become too attached to their children that they even forget God’s eternal plan and purpose for the life of that child. They pay little or no attention and sometimes tend to overlook all of their wrongs and fail to call them to order when they are going amiss.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train children to live the right way, and when they old they will not stray from it” (NCV). This passage of the scripture did not say “parents should train up their children…” no. This should give us a view that the training of a child does not solely depend on the parents, but the parents are the primary care taker of the child. This shows that when a child comes into this world, he/she is not born in isolation; he/she is born into a family, where besides the parents who take care of the child, the members of the family are there to also provide support.
For some certain reasons, most parents would not love to leave their kids with some members of the family, especially those with questionable character. So, if you intend leaving your child with any member of your family be careful of whom you leave your child with. Sometimes you see your child acting in a way that contradicts what you have actually taught him/her; which may be a result of spending time with whom you left them with. The scripture above tells us to train children in the right way. This points us to a fact also that there is a training and it is that training that will help the child to live the right way. If there is a training that leads to good character, then it won’t be wrong to conclude that the absence of training is what results in wrong living.
Little wonder why when we were growing up our parents will always say to us when you wake up in the morning the first thing you do is to greet your elders. They also told us that whenever you finish your meal always say “thank you ma/sir”. Those where little trainings that we got when we were much younger which no one will tell you to do when you get to a certain age, of which when you don’t exhibit such characters people see you as one that is not raised from a good home.
In the same vein, it is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children the things of God. They will understand you better when you spend time with them discussing about the bible and praying together. Roy L. Smith rightly posited that “We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching” the best way children learn most times are not just what you keep saying to them but also what they see you do. They want to see you reading your bible, they want to see you pray, they want to see you show care and affection people. You are their number one hero and large part of what they learn comes from what they see you do.
Don’t ever think that you are being too hard on your kids when you correct them because for every chance you give to wrong doing, you are giving room for more of such things to reoccur. Continuous correction helps to create an impression in the mind of the child that what he/she is actually doing is wrong. Paul admonishing the fathers in His letter to the church at Ephesus, in chapter 6:4 said, “Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with training and teaching of the Lord” (NCV). Here we find Apostle Paul giving a direct instruction to the fathers about the way and manner to raise up a child. This also corrects a misconception that is prevalent in our world today that it is the duty of the mother alone to take care of the child, while the father provides for the home. This is totally wrong. In fact the father is given a two-fold responsibility which is: to train the child. The word train here encompasses everything about bringing up a child- morally, mentally, and otherwise. The second is in the teaching of the Lord – discussing the bible with your kids, praying with them, and all they need to know about God at their level. So fathers don’t neglect your roles in raising up your child. It takes the combine effort of the mother and father to train up a child the way he/she should go.