We have to lead the way for our children to follow. If they stray from that way, we need to correct them. Period. Not after two or three instances of disobedience, but after the first. We follow the Lord, and the children follow us.
Some parents have a false sense of security when they are with other believing families. They figure it is safe for their young children to play unattended while they go about their adult business. I like to keep our children close by and even be involved in their play. Not only does this allow me to know what is going on and what kind of friends they are making, it reinforces my role of being their friend too. We can think we know someone and their children well, but we can never know everything, so we still need to keep a watchful eye with our young ones. Remember victims of sexual abuse are usually abused by people they actually know and trust.
Children that seem to come from good families are still sinners. We need to be around to know what is going on. Some children shamefully keep secrets from their parents. I overheard a child the other day boasting about how he sneaks treats when his mom is not looking. His siblings nodded their heads in agreement and delight. The perpetrator went on to say that his mom knows about it! Christian parents, we need to be vigilant with our children's souls and present to them the severity of sin. We must not wink at it.
I encourage our children to discuss their play with me always. I encourage them to tell me if someone did something wrong so we can talk about why it was wrong and what we should do instead. I instruct them in the right way to behave. I pray they will always want to come to me this way, as I am both their parent and their friend.
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