This mindset requires you to love your children; that appears to be quite obvious but the love must be genuine love. A lot of ways in which we try to demonstrate love to our children aren’t really love. For instance, many of us whose some of our children occupies a special position in our family tend to overindulge such children to demonstrate our love to them, without knowing that we are actually destroying their future. Such special positions include first or only son, only female, child that came late or a special period of our lives.
• Love but it should not prevent you from taking hard decisions.
Genuine love mindset makes you to combine favorable affectionate disposition with firmness in parenting. Such a mindset makes it possible for you to take hard decisions despite the fact that you love your children. A major tragedy in parenting today is that many parents destroy the future of their children in the process of ‘showing love’ to them because the love prevented them from taking hard decisions when they should have taken it.
Hard decisions are good decisions that are not popular due to the sacrifice involved but you are ready to take it even if other members of the family don’t understand now. Sometimes, even your spouse may not really understand initially why you are taking such hard decisions but you know it is in the best interest of the family. For instance, as a comfortable parent who has several cars and can even afford to buy another new one, you must take the hard decision of not giving your underaged child the possession of a car even if he has learnt how to drive. You really don’t love him genuinely if you release a car to him because you may inadvertently be handing over to him something that may lead to his sudden death or make him to become maimed for life. However rich you are, you also have to make the decision of limiting the amount of money you release to your child because you may be destroying his life.
Traveling out of the country is always an attractive option for the Youth and even their parents. Most parents will do anything to encourage their children to travel, including spending huge sums of money. This is so because people that travel out appear more comfortable than those at home. Many parents will also do anything to be able to get to a position where they can tell their friends that they are traveling abroad to visit their children. As a parent however, you may need to take the hard decision of preventing your child from traveling when opportunity presents itself but he or she has not got the necessary educational qualifications or he is too young to live an independent life because it may be tantamount to throwing that child away.
• As much as you love your child, don’t spare him the rod of correction.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Another area in which you have to demonstrate the mindset of genuine love is in the area of discipline. Many parents, especially for those children that occupy special position in their lives find it difficult to discipline or correct them when thy err. In such situation, you don’t really love the child because at the end of the day, a child that can not be corrected will grow up into adulthood, believing that he must have his way all the time. Such a wife will find it difficult being subject to a man. Such husband too will also find it difficult to keep a home because there is a limit to how a wife to cope with a husband who forever believes that the opinion of others don’t matter. Such home becomes a difficult marriage.
If you don’t discipline a child because you don’t want him to cry, you will cry with him later when the effect of your laxity is reflected.
• As much as you love your child, let him value labour.
Many parents, especially the affluent ones protect their children from labour forgetting that even the scriptures establish it that man must labour. In the scriptures we are made to understand that God whom we are made in His image works!
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.(Gen.2:2)
If God works, how will you think that you are helping the life of your child by not making him to work?
Also in the book of Proverbs 22:29;
Seest thou a man diligent in his business?
he shall stand before kings;
he shall not stand before mean men.
Right from the time that your child is young, give him work to do at home and make him to value it. When you make a child to grow up totally dependent on the maid who cooks, washes and carry out every instructions from him, you are raising up an adult who may become a problem for everyone in relationship with him in the future. Though it is believed that cooking is in the preserve of women, you must still teach your boys to cook because such skills will be needed in the future in situations when his wife may not be in position to cook for him for a season maybe because she travelled or is ill. Your girl should likewise be taught how to iron clothes, even that of men because she will definitely need the skill somewhere along later on in life. Let them actually enjoy any labour that they may have to do.
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2Thess.3:6-12)
• As much as you love your child, let him learn.
Often, parents apparently out of love for their children indulge them so much that it affects their learning opportunities. Don’t be such a parent, ensure that you don’t indulge him to the extent of missing school or Sunday school at will. Present opportunities that will make him to learn new skills because every knowledge will be useful in life at one point or the other.
• As much as you love your child, don’t allow him to take advantage of others.
Teach your children to avoid taking advantage of others. The vulnerability of others should not be exploited for a selfish advantage by your child.
• As much as you love your child, let him experience inconveniences.
Don’t allow your child to always have his way as it may make him to become a problem for people that he will be relating with in the future. He should know that Yes is not always the answer to every request. He must learn that “No” as well as “Wait” are also answers that should be acceptable to him as he relates with people.
• As much as you love your child, let him grow up
There are men and women that though they are physically matured, they are unfortunately emotionally children. It is a problem that comes up when you love a child so much that you don’t allow him to experience the process of growth which involves taking decisions and going through the consequences of those decisions whether good or bad. There are adults who are physically matured but not emotionally so, as evidenced by their unwillingness to take responsibilities and the inability to maintain poise under serious situations. It is a faulty mindset, if you believe that every mess created by your child should be taken care of by someone else, just because you can afford to do so. Such children may grow up to be adults who will not be able to stand on their own without being supported. Dr. Mike Oluniyi