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srs_children_image_1During the last week, I have been thinking about the things that my mother and father taught me. The list seemed to endless and the more i think, the more i think one parents must have taught me…

Here are some of the things from my list –

  • feed myself
  • walk
  • go to the bathroom
  • get dressed
  • read
  • write
  • cook
  • bake
  • clean
  • integrity
  • love
  • honesty
  • gardening
  • cleaning
  • knitting

…and i am sure there is more.

Yet, there was one thing neither of them had taught me by the age of 11-years and that was to sew on a button. How do i know that? It came to my knowledge this way; the first English lesson i had in middle school the teacher asked the class to mime one of two things, and i didn’t know how to do either of them, but i do remember that one of them was ‘sew on a button.’ In the end, i did the only thing i could do and that was, watch someone else and follow what they were doing and by-the-way the rest of the class didn’t seem to be having any problems at all. Was not being able to sew on a button and important thing?

So how do we teach our children to be self-reliant in the Lord’s way and what is it that they need to know?

Unfortunately today, the teaching of our children basic self-reliance skills, such as going to the bathroom on their own and getting dressed are being delegated to nursery school teachers and yet, these basic skills is where we should begin. Yet, there are other things we can and should be teaching our children from the beginning.

Here are a few – 

  • teach them to be kind- no one wants to be friends, (for long) with a child who is mean
  • teach them to be honest; teach them that taking and using something that does not belong to them without permission, even if it belongs to you, is wrong. Also teach them that if they tell lies, eventually they will be found out and there will be consequences for their actions.
  • teach them responsibility for their actions. For every action there is a consequence, but also teach them that not all consequences are bad.
  • create rules within your family and stick to them – if bedtime is 8pm then unless, there is a reason for not being in bed at that time, then that is where they should be.
  • schedule chores; we all have work to do, even a  mother that stays at home, so it is important that you teach your child to work. Even small children can help with simple chores.
  • as they grow, help them to understand time management, such as; going to bed, getting up on time, doing chores, doing homework, etc
  • help children to manage money. Help them to understand that money is earned and isn’t free, allow them to earn money for work done within the home and encourage them to seek employment once they are old enough.
  • teach them to pay tithing, fast offering and put money aside as savings. If there is something that they want, a new game or bike, for instance then negotiate with them how much they have to save before you will chip in with the rest. Put is all on paper so they can see it, make a chart, etc.
  • and always teach them this; THAT YOU LOVE THEM. THAT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR THEM, NO MATTER WHAT. THAT YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE TIME TO LISTEN TO THEM. THAT THEIR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES THEM. THAT JESUS CHRIST LOVES THEM TOO. And teach them to LOVE THEM BACK.

All of these things teach our children to be self-reliant. The one thing, my parents never taught me about was money. It was not that money wasn’t important, it was more about, you didn’t talk about those things, it was grown-up business. Today, however as our children grow all of life is their business, including money.

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