The importance of introducing spiritual training in the home

spiritual_training
My four-year-old son, Nathaniel, in one of his somber-looking poses before the camera.

According to child experts, the first five to seven years of a child’s life is crucial to the attitudes he or she may develop, which could become almost permanent. Parents should need to be aware of the fact that when the opportunities of these early years are missed, they’re gone forever. Hence, if you want your son or daughter to possess all the qualities of a good, well-mannered child, you should be making these (good) characteristics the conscious objectives of your early teaching.

Contrary to other people’s belief, heredity does not equip a child with character and that the parents couldn’t be expecting character to appear magically unless they have done their homework early.

START BY MAKING AN EARLY BEGINNING

Don’t you know about how a duck came to be? After a young duckling hatches from its shell, the duckling instinctively would be attaching itself to its mom, but if the mom is removed, it would settle for any moving object. A group of researchers revealed that, in fact, the duckling would most easily bond itself to a blue football bladder that’s being dragged in front of it on a string.

A week after this process started, it would fall behind the blue bladder whenever it scoots by. To whatever extent or degree, time is the crucial factor. It must be noted that the duckling is susceptible to bonding for only a few seconds after it was hatched from its shell. Therefore, if such a precious opportunity for imprinting is lost, it couldn’t be taken back later.

In the same way that a youngster between one and seven years of age is most susceptible to religious training, so that his or her of right and wrong is formed during this time as well as his or her ideas of God take shape. And just like the duckling, the opportunity of such a time period must be seized when the child is ready, not when the parents are ready.

But yet, unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When you’re depriving a child of spiritual training, or subjecting him or her to the misapplication of it, you’re severely limiting his or her capacity in reaching spiritual maturity. Don’t wait until your child is old enough to decide for himself if he or she wants religion, you had almost guaranteed that he or she would be deciding against it.

TEACH, BUT NOT IN THE WAY WHICH MAKES IT SOUND LIKE YOU’RE PREACHING

It is but normal for every child to ask questions, lots of questions, from his or her earliest years. Consider such times as an opportunity for you teach, to instruct, and to fill your child’s young mind with the very best character-building material available.

You could do it by reading stories, most particularly love stories. There are two advantages when you read character-building stories to your child. When you answer your child’s questions from good books, you’re teaching without preaching. That’s one thing. Now, here’s the other one: by doing so, you have given your child time and companionship. Remember, nothing spells love more than your personal in his thoughts and questions.

A many religious teachings may hold little meaning for a child during his or her early childhood and primary school years, that’s why it is of the utmost importance for parents to learn to translate these religious concepts into terms that their kids could understand.

WORSHIP TOGETHER AS A FAMILY

Try setting up a regular time for family devotions and make no exceptions unless absolutely necessary. You should be deciding upon a time, either morning or evening or both, and create the habit regardless of who is in your home. Study the Bible and read through its pages. Make the Bible interesting to your child. Go to church and worship together as a family.

Character is an engraving, as what the ancient Greeks come to define it. The kind of permanent inscription you would like to be deeply etched into the very heart and soul of your child is all up to you.

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