Where are your children's hearts? Are they with the things of God or are they focused on the things of the world?
I notice a lot of people don't really concern themselves on certain attitudes that their children have. They brush things off as being "just how kids act" or say that "they just don't understand". So often I see children in stores or other public places throwing fits to get their way. The parents of these children do very little to stop the fit, they often times seem to just give up or ignore the behavior. This is a dangerous things to do. Children understand much more than we give them credit for and they are able to be taught and trained from birth.
Today I had to tell my girls that due to Daddy's work schedule we will miss church AND their AWANA class this week. We will still have a devotion time as a family but they will not be able to participate in their two very favorite activities for the week. This is something they of course look forward to all week.
Now, some people might expect some pouting and whining when having to make such an announcement. From very little ones they might expect crying. Maybe a tantrum?
That is not what we expect nor is that what happened. All four of my girls nodded politely when I told them and went back to playing smiling and happy.
How is it that their behaviour was not what seems to be "the norm"? Honestly it is because we make it a point to guide our children to the mindset of God, to seek after His kingdom and to cherish what he cherishes. My children understand that Daddy's job is a blessing for our family. They know that at this particular time in life, two days of overtime is a HUGE blessing to us and will help our family a great deal. They know that God is above all, then their family, then their friends and others. They have been taught to take joy in life when they see God's hand at work blessing us and allowing us to bless others.
Proverbs 22:6 says "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it"
As Christian parents we need to be sure that we are holding our children to a high standard just as our Father in heaven holds us to such a standard. Never assume a child is too young to understand. Teach them concepts that are above their understanding and continue to teach those things, reinforcing them, until they do understand them.
Also, remember that younger children will try to imitate the behaviors of the older children. Encourage your older children to display behavior that will encourage and train your younger children.