This is the hardest part.
If a child continuously needs reminders, “forgets” on purpose, he needs more than another reminder.
He needs requirements.
Children do not automatically walk in goodness, contrary to popular opinion.
Some want to stay in bed in the morning.
Some want to skip brushing their teeth.
Some want to play during chore time.
Dogs eat a lot of homework. We know it is better for them if they have good sleep, cleanliness, and work habits. Our good plans for them cross their wills. That is why God put them in homes with parents.
Parents can place requirements on children for their own good. This is common knowledge in all cultures, except the permissive. People who follow the original ways of requiring children to act sensibly, have produced sensible offspring.
Stating the obvious is necessary, these days. I believe my children will always practice brushing their teeth daily, because they are accustomed to having white, clean-feeling teeth, so brown, fuzzy teeth bother them. The same is true for bathing, eating healthful foods, and Bible reading. Oh, they may experiment with departure from the absolute best, but they also will sense a difference, a loss, and choose the right way.
They are not born this way. We require it of them.
The child who habitually eats cake and cola will not sense the ill feeling from it in adulthood. The child who habitually reads anything but the Word will not miss the Word as an adult. The difference between those generalities is most usually the differing requirements they faced as children.
Who wants to raise a loud, interrupting, unhealthy, illiterate adult with crumbling teeth and no knowledge of the sacred? Draw your lines and require your children to heed them. Help them have the excellent gift of good habits.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
8 thoughts on “The Blessings of Habit—Requiring”
Looking forward to the “more tomorrow” part!
Ah, Tiff, I am sorry that “more tomorrow” entry in the comment section is a pingback from the previous day’s post. 🙂 It is supposed to make returning to yesterday easier for you.
It’s confusing, though, isn’t it!
Sorry it was so confusing!
What were you hoping I would have written about? Maybe I can! 😉
I agree. I wish I tried harder to follow through on requirements. I often fail. But I agree with your idea.
I think everyone on earth feels that way, Sans. Thanks for your openness, here. Do not give up! I still manage to “tweek” the finished product that my children are, although the youngest is 24…
But those who don’t often just think they “got bad ones” and there is nothing they can do about it. They are so wrong.
Children are capable of so much, if it is required of them. Setting sensible boundaries per their age and then following through to maintain them is very important. We have seen this already in the 9 short months of being parents, and can only imagine that the importance of boundaries will increase exponentially from here. Already, Sprout knows many limits in her home, and she abides with some simple, though initially repetitive, training.
Victoria, thanks for pointing this out! I’ve seen tiny babies respond to discipline—so nice to be able to teach them not to bite momma!
Yes, it is the diligence to keep on keeping on, even when it’s inconvenient, that teaches the child the most, about boundaries and about diligence.
And, yes, the importance of what you are doing now, with your little baby, will increase with each passing year. The simple act of imparting the idea of being required to do something will make any child a better employee, spouse, parent, neighbor, and citizen. What few things could be more important!