TIP 6. STARTING EARLY
We've probably all heard the old adage 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks', and although I do believe that we are able to change at any age if we choose to apply ourselves, this saying does have an element of truth. Change is often found to be more difficult once the patterns of life and attitudes have been set and established in a person.
When a baby is born on this earth, although he or she arrive with their own personality and certain character traits, they are predominantly a clean canvas that needs to be written upon. From early childhood our life experiences begin to write upon the canvas that makes up much of our self image, our belief systems, and how we relate to other people.
It is our responsibility as the parents of the child to ensure that those things that are written upon the canvas of our children's lives are beneficial and not detrimental in the long term. As there are so many negative influences that are in the world today that can potentially harm our children, it is vitally important that we take up the role as the chief artist and not leave it to someone else.
If our children are left for extended periods of time in the hands of others, such as day care centres etc. then we are allowing those working there to become the chief artists in our child's life. This can potentially be a very dangerous situation unless we know just about everything about all the staff that work there, including what they believe and their lifestyles.
Some children left in day care centres for extended periods bond closer with the child care workers than with their own parents, this can potentially lead to severe emotional and relational problems later in life. I'm sure that there are many excellent day care centres in our nation, with childcare workers who are really committed to helping parents raise their children, but there is no-one more qualified to take care of your children than you.
It is important to realise that we are writing upon the canvas of our children's lives every day, and to make each brush stroke count. If we are diligent and careful in our work then our children will come forth as a masterpiece that we can be proud of, and a masterpiece which will thank us in later life for our input. I'm sure that famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso didn't just haphazardly apply random brush strokes to their canvasses, and as parents we need to follow their example if we also are to create our own masterpiece.
But if we don't take up the role to teach and train our children for life, then we can be sure that negative life circumstances or other people will. If this happens to our children, we may not be pleased with the end result and they may be severely hampered in life.
Dads' Call To Action:
Think seriously about the influences you intend to allow in your child's life, and realise that as the child's parent you are the best qualified to have that input.
(2 Corinthians 3 v 2-3)
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.