The Diary of A Single Mom
10/27/15 at 09:01 AM 0 Comments

Train Them Up, Don't Beat Them Down

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As I have watched my boys grow up, they are now 23 & 21, I cannot help but remember where I started from...One is in the Navy and the other is paving his own path as an author, game designer, and entrepreneur.

It was in 1995 that I found myself a single parent of two children that I tried to have joy being around but they just did not listen to anything I said. My cry for help to God was one of utter frustration.
I knew when I was pregnant with my oldest son that although I was not in a place in my life where having a child was a great choice I knew two things: 1) He would never go to public school and 2) I would raise them in the way they should go even though I was nowhere near the right way to go.

At this point in my life I had no way of knowing how to achieve either of those two things and low and behold 3 years later I did not like even being around them very much because they seemed to ignore everything I said. If I said, “Pick up your toys” I would end up doing it and in my head I was showing them how, even though after three years of saying the same thing I could not figure out how they possibly did not know how to do it themselves by now.

Not only was it the fact that they were not obedient at all but the fact that I knew there was no way I would be able to be home and school my children! How in the world was this ever going to happen? Well, I was not in the greatest place in my walk with God but I did know that He would come through and He did.

It was in this same year that I met a family of nine. Allison, the mum (they are Australian), and Dave, the dad and seven children; all the children were homeschooled and Allison would talk about what a blessing children were and I know she looked for the agreement but I honestly did not have that revelation. My boys ran around and in order to get them to obey anything I had to say it was after repeating myself 25 times and by then I was yelling so really all they were responding to was the loudness and out of fear.

From the time I was pregnant I knew my children would never go to school, it was just a knowing, and I had no idea how that was going to happen. First of all this was before homeschooling was something that a lot of people did and I could not imagine trying to teach these untrained children that would not obey anything I had to say. But then along came this family who not only homeschooled but were very disciplined, so I gleaned all that I could from them.

Back to the original question she asked me, “Aren’t children such a blessing?” and I yelled to myself inside a resounding, “No! These children are not a blessing! Can’t you see them? Can I change my mind about having children or maybe just work two jobs to get away?!?!” But at the same time I really wanted them to be a blessing but I didn’t know how. From this friendship would come a mentorship in training that began my way to realizing how much of a blessing my children are and how this is really how God meant it to be.

The devil has so distorted the nature of child training and made it something of the past when parents would beat their children and it was all abusive because there was anger but when you train and discipline it is not supposed to be abusive and definitely will not be if you are doing correct.

Alison gave me a book to read, the first chapter I read from the book mentioned a very specific scenario. That a child that couldn’t hear you while watching television was actually ignoring the parent and that it was disobedience.
Well, not my kids! NO WAY! They did not hear me they would never just ignore me! That’s ridiculous!

At the time, Barney, the dinosaur was the big television show for kids that just captured their attention and I would use this many times to keep my kids quiet for just ½ hour but when I would call their names they wouldn’t hear me so I would gradually get louder and louder until finally they turned their gaze away from TV to me. After reading this book I decided I would prove them wrong not all kids are like theirs my children are different.

I put on Barney (that's how long ago this was) and waited about 5 minutes until Jacob was completely engaged and then called his name, “Jacob…Jacob…JACOB…JACOB…JACOB!!!!” just getting louder and louder and he didn’t answer so then I whispered, “Ice cream” and he turned around so fast. I was shocked! I could not believe that my child ignored me; he heard me and chose to not answer me. How could this be? Well, this is exactly what I was training him to be like. I didn’t expect instant obedience; I expected him to not answer and I expected him to be rebellious and that is exactly what I got from him.

You could imagine that this sold me on everything…that was it…I’m done…if I could have obedient children I was going to devote my life to obedient child training because I want them to be a blessing. I want what Allison and her husband had. It was at this very moment that my child training began. At that very moment, I paused the show and told him that when I call him he will answer or he will get spanked…and the training began.

My life would never be the same from this point on...it was devoted to training my children and now I see the fruit of all my hard work in my sons.

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