"Valuable Lessons to Teach Your Children at a Young Age"

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and we were getting ready for an event later in the day. Two young children were staying with us because their mom was at the event venue, setting up and decorating.

Suddenly, the older child exclaimed, "I remember that song!" I was taken aback because I had only taught him the song for a few minutes, and he had seemed more interested in watching cartoons at the time. His statement left me surprised and unsure if he really remembered the song.

However, he managed to sing the song, even though he got a few parts wrong. The important thing is that he remembered it and sang it. I felt happy, amazed, and surprised. It filled me with deep joy and left me wondering how just a few minutes can have such an impact on a young child.

People often say, "Leave them; they are just children." But I believe that children are teachable, correctable, and can be raised properly without neglect. The Bible says, "Train up your children in the way you want; when they grow up, they will not depart from it."

The best time to teach children is when they are young. A writer once said, "Children come into the world blank." They don't know what is right or wrong and learn mostly by imitation. So, if you don't train them, they will learn from what they see around them.

Learn to say no to some of their requests. Spending time with young children reveals that many throw tantrums to get what they want. As a parent, you might give in to stop the crying or screaming, but this teaches them that tantrums are a way to get what they want. While it might be easier at the moment, it’s important to say no to prevent this behavior from becoming a habit.

Another important aspect is teaching manners. Children today can be very blunt and often say things that seem too mature for their age. People sometimes joke that they are like ancestors reborn as kids. It can be surprising what they come out with. Teach them what is appropriate to say and when especially to elders. By doing this, you are helping them develop the habit of thinking before speaking.

Tell them sorry when you offend them. Most Nigerian parents belong to this WhatsApp group, as people fondly say. They apologize to their kids through acts of kindness. That's good, but not enough. Let them know you're sorry. When you do this, you've shown them that apologizing does not make them less of a person. And on no account should anyone take their peace-making act for granted.

This little boy that I mentioned earlier came over to our house, and my brother asked him to pray. As he was praying, he kept mentioning names of people that God should bless, so I interrupted by saying, "You did not mention Ajayi's family." He replied by saying, "I don't know them." After laughing hard, I had to tell him that he was at Ajayi's house, so he should include our names too. 

He said okay and continued to pray. His prayer focus was on God blessing this family and others. Although it sounds funny, it's also encouraging to see a kid who prays for something different from food.
Teach them to pray and memorize the Word. They learn at a fast pace. You'll be so amazed to see them recall things you never thought of.

Of course, children can be a handful, but the most amazing moments with them happen at this stage. It's a full adventure, and your enjoyment of the journey depends on how you choose to train them.

I understand that some kids may end up doing things contrary to what they've been taught, even when you've done your best. This is where you need to invite God's help. With God’s guidance and your training, even a wayward child can find their way back home.



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