Recently I went to a dentist after many years of avoiding it. My wife and young sons had already seen him a couple of weeks before. The receptionist noticed that I was the father and first off told me what wonderful children and how well behaved they were. Then when I saw the hygienist she told me how pleasant my children were. Then the dentist also told me how much they enjoyed my children.

Now my children are far from perfect and I make plenty of mistakes but I would like to offer some insight into training up children. First notice the Scripture says train up not bring up. Training is supervised repetition. My children say Yes sir yes ma’am as natural as most say yeah, because of constant repetition and correction. Next remember that the end goal is to produce children that will please God, for all things were created for his pleasure.

With these two things in mind how do you achieve the goal? First read the Bible and pray to see what kind of person pleases God. Then live it. Children learn more in an hour of watching than a life time of listening. Next be sure you and your spouse are in total agreement. If children see division they will divide and conquer. Next limit outside influence such as T. V., Internet, friends and most importantly public school. The ideal is home schooling with the wife at home. If you want the children to have your values and beliefs and manners you must be the main influence in their lives. And Dad sit down and talk to them talk to them talk to them. Listen to them and give them guidance. And make it a point to correct behavior not merely punish it. Most parents only punish children because they have either lost their temper or been embarrassed. Correct them at home in love, patience and firmness  then you won’t be embarrassed much in public. Don’t allow your children to watch shows where children are ill mannered or the hero children save the day by disobeying parents. Remember that each child is an individual and treat him as such. Make home joyful. While you are the parents and not their buddies you are also not their enemies. God wants the home to be Heaven on Earth. This doesn’t happen by provoking them to wrath and mistreating your spouse. Make them read so they can engage in intelligent conversation. This coupled with manners will make your child a delight to speak to. Finally eat at least one meal together at the table with no electronic distraction. Companion comes from Latin and means with bread. You learn manners at the table. You become friends at the table. You get to understand each other at the table. You thank God for providing at the table.

Of course if you need advice ask. Look for some one with good children and see how he does it and get a few pointers. Then see if it works for you, if it doesn’t try some thing else. But start young! A teenager who is not connected and trained is a tough row to hoe. God bless.

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