I just arrived home after a grueling puppy dog class. I have a 6 month old, Old English Sheep Dog lovingly named Belle (as in Southern Belle) by her supposed owner, my 21-year-old son, Josh. (That’s a whole nuther blog right there!)
She has a sweet, loving temperament that turns into puppy hood madness at the drop of a hat. She jumps, she deems it necessary to run between your legs, she barks (I know… she’s a dog), her licks turn into sharp nibbles, she tries to eat inedible stuff, she annoys other dogs, and because of her size, scares the life out of the children she decides to play with. So, we took her to a puppy trainer and the first words out of his mouth were, “this class is not really to train the puppy, it’s to train the owner”. Well, immediately I wanted my money back, but I did stay long enough to figure out he was right. I stepped up to the ‘top dog’ position and the training has been going smoothly ever since.
I’m going to transition here, with love, to our children.
When we become pregnant, women and men, we realize how little we know about giving birth and raising kids. It’s a very exciting and scary time with endless questions: “Will it hurt?” (haha!) “Home birth or at a hospital?” “Will it be a boy or a girl?” “What will we call him or her?” “How do you change a diaper?” (nappy) “Which school will we choose?” “How will we discipline?” “Should they ever have sugar?” “Will they be allowed to date before they are 21?” “What about driving, college, and sooo much more?”
It’s very easy to become overwhelmed. Then add lack of sleep into the mix. Oh, and don’t forget a toddler’s favorite word, “No!” and the fact that they (and teenagers) prefer not to do as they are told. Waa!! But wait. There is hope.
Our loving heavenly Father brings us hope just by the mention of His name. He knows all about kids; the good, the bad and the ugly. He knows how to deal with them, what each one needs and how to love them through life. And the best part, He will share all that with you when you surrender to Him yourself and your children, whatever age they are. He wants you to train up your children in His ways, and when they are old, they will continue to walk in them. It’s never too late to start even if you have grown children.
Here are a few of my training practices
- Pray every day (and some days all day) for your children
- Fill up every day on Jesus, so you can give out the good stuff to your family
- Let your ‘no’ be ‘no’ (don’t be a pushover)
- Listen to your children, let them talk (give them time)
- Teach them to make things right with others by doing so yourself
- Read the Bible. It’s your training manual
- Have rules and consequences (that you enforce)
- Know their friends and their families
- Teach them about God, because others will teach them about everything but
- Say you love them and show you love them
Obviously there are so many more, but this is a starting point. Just start!