While we cannot say that every single child who has a bad example from their parent is going to turn out to be a dysfunctional child, we can make a case for more often than not. Since these entries aren't about stats I will not bore you with them. Suffice to say, however, that as a teacher, I often wonder at the behaviour of my students; the ones who are labelled as 'troubled' or 'trouble-makers' until I meet their parents. All is made clear then and my job is made even more crucial because now the focus is more on counter-acting the negative effects of bad parenting than on teaching a subject.
You might think that I sound harsh here but the reality is that we have been given the responsibility of moulding the leaders of tomorrow. It's a much used statement that has become cliched but that makes it no less true. Our sons and daughters are going to be the presidents and prime ministers, statesmen and doctors and law enforcement officers. The legacy we need to leave with them is that it's okay, even great to be polite; to tell the truth. It's okay to love and respect your wife and family and provide for them. It's okay to be sober and abhor alcohol and not smoke and do drugs. It's okay to want to pray and love the Lord and be a good neighbour and a good friend. It's okay to be on the job on time and give an honest days' work for an honest days' wage.
God is going to require of us; all of us; even those of us who don't have kids, (Parenting is not just for those with children, The onus is on all of us to be an example to children) an answer as to what we did with the precious little ones He left in our care. Do we have an answer? Can we account for what we said to them; or to and about others in their presence? Can we say for certain they didn't see us messing up with some habit we thought we were hiding from them? Or can we say we have bad habits but our children see us each day gaining the victory over them in Jesus' name?
The bible says that we are to teach them in their going in and their sitting down. We are to teach them dilligently (Deuteronomy 6:6,7). At every facet of their lives we are to teach them; not just maths and english, not just art or science. We are to teach them the most of all to love the Lord and themselves and their fellow men. We are to teach them to: "...do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God" (Micah 6: 8)
When we have done that then the ripples will be felt all over the world and the Lord will be pleased with us.
Proverbs 22: 6
Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Why not take a few minutes to read:
I know I'm giving you two this time but I believe you can handle it.
There have been times when we have probably forgotten the little ears and eyes were there and said or did something we needed to say "oops!" for afterward, cause it was repeated in an inappropriate time and place. It's might be to counteract this in little children but how do we deal with our teenagers who have 'collected' some of the habits that we need to throw away? Is there hope for them?
No man is an island. No man stands alone. So do make an input so that those of us who have teenagers can learn and grow from each others experience.