How do our children learn? If you are a parent, you had better know. You have to know. It is your job, your responsibility, and your primary goal in life, to know. The baby, the toddler, the child, the adolescent, the teenager, the young adult, at each stage of their development, they are learning. Learning what, that depends on what they see, and hear, who they respect, who they listen to.

A child’s character is formed by watching the actions of others, of people they come into contact, of persons that they respect and admire. They see qualities in persons that they like and they want to emulate them. Their minds are formed by teachers, by persons of authority, by the books that they read, by the television shows they watch. Their ability to look people in the eye, to be able to speak confidently with others is achieved by their social skills that they develop at an early age. Their belief system is a combination of what the people do, who they respect, and what the child pursues in later life through study. In short, much of what our children are comes from the relationships they have as they are growing up.

So, we, as parents, must look in the mirror at ourselves and see what it is that we are passing on to our children. To ignore our children, to set them adrift without the tools which they need to be wholesome, productive adults, is gross negligence. If we know that children need adults, need heroes to emulate, and we still do nothing for them, what does that make us?

We can’t sit idly by and permit anyone to bring ipods and cell phones to the dinner table. Dinner time is when we learn from each other, when family issues are discussed. It is not a time to crawl into a hole and stuff our face, without speaking a word to those around us. If we allow this to happen, then our childrens’ social skills will definitely suffer, and will only be able to talk to their friends through an electronic device and not face to face.

>You are not wrong to set a curfew, dependent upon your child’s age. You are definitely not wrong to enforce it, strictly. You are not wrong to ensure that your child goes to church with you, and that he or she understands why. You must discuss your belief system with your child. (And if you don’t have one, show your child, by your example, how important it is to acquire one.) All the areas that will help your child grow into a productive, wholesome, charitable and happy adult, need to be provided to them at their earliest stages. This will require your patience, your love, your tenderness. You must be what you want your child to be. They will either, learn from you, and grow up to be, what they see in you, or they will learn from others, and do whatever the other person does. A child must learn from someone. It is the responsibility of the parent to be that someone. Ask Jesus to help you be that someone.