King’s Academy: How to bring up children in today’s digital world?

By The King’s Academy staff: Walking down memory lane of one’s childhood leaves a nostalgic effect right from the places we played at, to the people we came across. Fond remembrances emerge of the antics we were up to that got us admonished and admired just the same. Now let’s shift the focus to the invisible yet tangible guiding hands that shaped our fragile egg shell minds and defined our character into the adults we are today, our parents!

Children are God's gifts

The paucity of parent child interaction in our busy digital world of today is something of paramount concern and sadly lacking even among educated parents. Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.(Psalm127:3)
As parents our busy work schedules entail that our defining moments are based on the success of our individual careers. Our legacy left behind is solely judged on the earning capacity coupled with the opinion and social expectations of how to sustain a family.
Our children are born in the midst of this socio-economic cycle and there-in begins the balancing act. While most of us are equipped with the knowledge of handling our kids, through our parents and through experience or reading, it comes down to, are we going about it the right way?

While infants receive the parental touch and warmth of a parent on a daily basis, it’s the toddler learning to take that very first step and  the journey from there on that needs more of the parents involvement during those tender fragile years that define the child.

Research has proved that a parents ‘Touch’ regulates children’s perceptions and emotions, and changes children’s behaviour. The experience of early interpersonal touch is also associated with later self-esteem, life satisfaction, and social competence. A parents touch has also been found to communicate positive emotions and moreover, different types of touch communicate different types of emotions. Thus, parent–child interpersonal touch has long-lasting implications for children’s physical and psychological development. Hence you need to reconsider your actions and decisions as a working parent if you want to see your child growing up gracefully.

While these go a long way in the overall development of a child, let’s not forget that the right type of guidance at every stage is also paramount.

Are you familiar with the saying, ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree’. This tells of the traits found in one’s child. So our actions are also keenly observed by our children.

Matthew 6:22 - "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light”.

Hence the child sees and learns from the actions of the parents. While our lives can be complicated, we can definitely take some steps to ensure that the child is not affected by our after work stress and does not take the brunt of our failings along the way.

Correcting a child in anger and correcting a child when needed are world’s apart and you would do well to tell the difference.

While providing for the needs of a child is necessary, so also is the need for parental intimacy and correction. While a child can be admonished for breaking things and electronics around the house. The question here begs, could have done things differently? By keeping those inanimate objects out of their reach this situation could have completely been avoided. The food for thought here is are you willing to invest time in to understand what you could change? Or will you just use the your position as a parent to act with impunity.

Proverbs 13:24 - Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Proverbs 13:24 – Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

While all children need disciplining, the degree of discipline dished out should compliment your degree of understanding of the situation.

If you are a stress filled parent returning after work and your child hits a nerve with their antics, you could end up screaming at the child for no fault of theirs except for the fact that it’s a child doing what a child does.

Parents who know what a child is capable of understanding, feeling and doing at different ages and stages of development can be more realistic about what behaviors to expect, leading to less frustration and aggression.

Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Your busy life and time taking career could be damaging the future of your child. Are you willing to accept this as a gift from God? Or do you just see it as a cause and effect scenario. Are you ready for what comes next when your child is out of hand or goes astray? Did you do all that you could to ensure your child grows gracefully and is not damaged by your busy life? Only you can answer that and only time will tell. However, don’t forget to invite God into your busy life and pray for His comfort upon your children.

Lack of communication with your children through the interpersonal touch of a parent, verbal or non-verbal can hamper your child emotionally and physically and could result in undesirable behaviour.

Which brings us to the bottom line, time factor. Parents, spend time with your children irrespective of whether you’re a working parent or not. Prioritising their growth over your needs will bring about positive outcomes and help your children learn and grow the right way. Reading up about different reactions of children at different stages in their life helps you understand them better.

Invite Him into your decisions so that He may guide you on the path you need to take.

So will you be the change you want to see in your children?

Everything said and done, you have one life and one legacy only, your children! Remember, it’s God’s gift to ‘you’.

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