Training children to be pleasing to God and men

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Dear  Janet,

How time flies! Next week, your son DJ will celebrate his 1st birthday. As he gets older, note that training him to be a “good boy” also gets more difficult.  Realize that DJ’s character development is foremost in your training.  These are some few tips I can give you:

Make the best of DJ’s formative years (1-4 years old). During these years, DJ’s mind is still malleable. If you miss teaching him at this stage, it would be harder and requires much effort.  Seize these years to teach about God, the Bible, and godly virtues. Train him to respect older people  by saying po and opo. Courtesy is also very important. Teach him to greet  family members good morning  and goodnight when going to bed. The same applies to other people.

When talking to people demand that he look them straight in the eyes. Teach DJ to obey instantly. Explain to him that delayed obedience is still disobedience. Require him to say thank you and sorry; to share his toys and keep them as well; to eat properly, to brush his teeth the right way, etc.

It is also important to give them a head start in school by teaching him how to read and write and to introduce him to some fundamental knowledge. Start him young to appreciate reading of books.

These are hard stuff to teach and  demand much of your time. It is to your advantage if you are a stay-at-home mom. But starting early and starting right will deliver you from much heartache and headache when DJ gets older.

You are the Authority.   You son DJ gets your full attention 24/7. When  he cries, he knows  you will come to attend to him. As he gets older you need to distinguish what is needful to give and what are obviously whims and caprices.  If you are always at his beck and call, you seem to tell him that he is the authority not you.  So don’t always pick him up the moment he cries when you know that there is no problem with him.   Put some attractive toys/mobile on the crib to entertain him.  Oftentimes, the reason why baby cries is due to boredom.

Refrain from always picking up what he has been throwing on the floor again and again. Don’t  be amused when he is making fun of food, pulling your hair or hitting your face.  A firm ‘NO’ will make him realize that what he is doing is wrong, and then divert his attention to something interesting.  When he screams or shouts,  a firm NO will also tell him that you don’t like it. It is important that we correct his bad behavior the first time he did it. A repetition of a wrong behavior only reinforces that behavior and will be harder to break.

Win the Battle of the Will.  When DJ gets older know that you will be waging a war over his will and this you must always win. When you say to DJ that he can have his dessert after lunch, yet you give in when he starts to pout or make tantrums, then you are the obvious loser in the battle of the will.  In DJ’s mind, you can be easily manipulated by his tantrums. Make a firm stand when you say Yes or No. Even the Scripture commands: “Let your yes be yes, and your no, no.”

These are some of the things that I can think of right now. I hope you find these useful.

My warmest regards,

Tita Haydee

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