Parenting Myth #5: Good parents treat their kids equally.

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Day 5 – Parenting Myth #5: Good parents treat their kids equally.

 

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

Proverbs 22:6, ESV

 

This myth is simply not the case. Each child is different and has a unique identity (Psalm 139:14), a unique learning style, and unique needs.  This is especially true at different ages.  Parents that try to do cookie-cutter parenting will deprive their children of learning, and this will frustrate them. At the same time, giving individualized attention to a particular child will likely come across as favoritism from other siblings. The parents will need to avoid playing favorites and give love, care, and instruction to each child according to his or her needs. Perhaps the passage “Train up a child in the way he should go” is very telling. But what does “the way” really mean? There are two ideas at work here... As one scholar pointed out…

 

“Does it mean according to the way he ought to go either vocationally or morally? Or does it mean, as others have suggested, according to the demands of his personality, conduct, or stage in life? Since “way” in Proverbs does not mean personality or stage in life, it is preferable to say that “way” means proper way, the path of wise, godly living, which is emphasized frequently in Proverbs-basically the way of wisdom. It is from this proper behavior pattern or godly lifestyle that he will not turn when he is old, that is, when he is grown (attains adulthood).”

– Buzzell, The Bible Knowledge Commentary

 

No two kids are the same. Each kid will need you to teach and model Christian living for them. It should be personalized, designed to meet the child’s individual needs and learning style but with the goal to live as a godly and obedient son or daughter. In doing so, they are being trained to work within authority structures and systems and will better understand teamwork and overseers, etc. Most importantly they will better understand a relationship with God.

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