Carne Levare

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10 Bad Assumptions in Raising Children : Assumption Number 6

Posted by Remy on May 12, 2009

There are several assumptions parents make that are detrimental to their children. As a parent who teaches I am afforded the opportunity to spend time thinking of ways to train children. This is not to say that I’ve figured anything out, I have three rascally boys all under the age of five, so what do I know, right? But because it is my job to train children, both as parent and teacher, I know that good thoughts only follow thoughts and I have thoughts. What follows is a few thoughts that strike me as important, but are also not emphasized enough. These are not meant to detract from any other fine advice, but to compliment it.

 10. Churchtime is Time to Sit Still and Quiet

9. Words are Bad

8. God is Always Watching 

7. Obedience is Most Important

6. Bad Examples are Bad

The Bible is full of bad examples. Even the good examples aren’t always good and what could be worse than a good person when he’s bad? If we truly think that bad examples are bad, then the first book we need to toss is the Bible.

But this is a bad assumption, bad examples are actually good, particularly if we think of them as teaching opportunities. The only time a teaching opportunity is bad is when we are lazy and don’t want to do the work required in training our children.

One of the principle tools of education, both in school and out, is to grapple with the shortcomings within and around us. The benefit of sheltering our children is a temporary tactic. To forever shelter ensures immaturity. It is the duty of the parents to equip their children to engage the world. Sheltering only works if you plan at some point to unshelter them. Understanding this allows us to have a high view of bad examples, for if we were left to ourselves in determining what to teach how much would we leave out? I never would’ve thought to teach my children something had I know come into contact with a bad example. It is difficult to think of a time when Jesus doesn’t use a bad example in His teaching. Sin is not the problem, it is a failure to address sin that is a problem. 

This is one of the reasons why television is such a blessing to parents. What better way to present children with bad examples than in the safety of your own home? I confess that I dispise “Dora the Explora” and prefer my boys to watch other shows, but I am not afraid of Dora, and in some ways I’m glad for the lesson I was able to teach my children from it. The thing I hate about Dora (and most children shows) is the self-congratulations that  are constantly going on. But the first time Archer did the “I did it” dance I was able to remind him that we don’t praise ourselves, we praise others.

Playing soccer in the city league brings you into contact with all sorts of kids and parents that are “bad influences”, but they can only influence a void or a poorly instructed area. As parents we are watchers, we watch what are kids come in contact with and while sometimes that means making sure there is no contact, most of the time it means giving guidance, dismantling bad attitudes and responses, highlighting foolishness. Avoiding bad examples is just ensuring that you don’t need to interact with your children, that you don’t think they need to be challenged. We need to know their frame and this assumes that the frame is changing.

Being blown about by every wind of doctrine is not solved by staying out of the wind.

One Response to “10 Bad Assumptions in Raising Children : Assumption Number 6”

  1. Josh said

    I like this series, a lot. You’re giving me stuff to think about.

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