Too often, we leave childrearing to survival and hope with little purposeful intention of what end goal we are trying to achieve. Some out-right leave it to chance in the form of ‘letting the child decide.’ We undervalue how much influence a parent has on every aspect of a child. So who are you trying to raise? An athlete? An artist? A Christian?
If you want to raise a professional athlete, it helps if the parents are themselves athletes to set the tone early. Start immediately with a healthy diet and exercise in the form of play. Make strengthening fun. Help children learn to set goals and rewards for accomplishing them. Display quotes of great athletes. Honor the Olympians. Spend your money on going to games.
If you want to raise an artist, start early by surrounding the child with colors, textures, shapes. Let children see you practice and try all kinds of mediums. Host artists for dinner and discuss traditions and treads. Whisper dreams of showing in great galleries into the child’s ear. Reward all efforts.
If you want to raise a Christian, surround the child with those who are practicing. Tell them the stories before they can speak. Pray continuously and let them hear it. Place verses on the walls. Teach them to turn to the Bible in all situations. Honor the pastors and pray the child will give their life to service. Balance all these activities with discipline from love. Fill their minds with songs. Discuss teachings at meals, while driving in cars, before bed time. Make certain child sees parent practicing tenants such as forgiveness, generosity, caring for the poor, loving all.