Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Parenting and child training go together. Children depend on their caregivers to prepare them for life educationally, financially, emotionally, spiritually etc. Here is the thing, I found out that just because I love my children, it doesn't mean that I know how to prepare them for life. Think about that for a moment. A healthy emotional attachment to your child is great but it is not enough to shape and mold their character. Buy them what they want, send them to the best college, create great memories, celebrate holidays and birthdays and ignore the shaping and molding of their character and you will weep later.
After reading To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl, I gained wisdom and knowledge on how to build my home. Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands." WHOA! Building a house is the same as building a family. Who lives in your house? Your family. Your children, your spouse and everything in it. The things you do, say, tolerate, teach, view, read etc. are all building materials.
The picture below is our daughter Gabby. One morning before school she went to the grocery store with her dad. I remember the days when my husband was in the military and I would take my two oldest children to the Commissary, BX, etc. during the day. Back then I did the grocery shopping every two weeks because we got paid on the first and the fifteenth. I remember having to repeat phrases to my children like, "Come back, stand here, didn't I say stand here, hold on to the cart, please don't touch that etc." It was exhausting. Once I read the book by the Pearls I realized that my stress and the unruly behavior of our children was because I created the chaos. True story! I had to fix the problem. I had to take time at home to teach them how to behave at the grocery store. We came up with rules and consequences. We set up training sessions at home for a week and then tested them out. I am pleased to announce that it worked.
As our family grew, I would take all four of them to the commissary. Imagine me with four children, walking down the isle with two grocery carts while breast feeding and giving instruction on what item to pick from the shelf and put in the cart. People would stop and ask questions about how I was able to to "all of that". It became evangelism. I told them my story and encourage everyone I met to buy the book. I even kept a few extra copies in my diaper bag and passed them out like Gospel tracks - LOL! Gabby is a 15 year old with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With that said, she is also a spirit, soul and body (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23). What does that mean? That means she too must be trained and disciplined. Period.
Dear parent, if you have children that are unruly in the grocery store, train them. If you have children that do not know how to stand near the cart, train them. If you have children that beg for everything they can lay their eyes on while grocery shopping, train them. If you have children that rip and run through the store while you are trying to pick out unbruised apples in the produce section, train them. If you have children that refuse to go to the grocery store because there is nothing that they get out of it, you have a problem on your hands. Set up some training sessions and teach your children how to behave at the store. Teach them how to grocery shop, teach them how to compare prices, teach them how to read labels for healthy ingredients, teach them how to push the cart, teach them how to hold on to the side of the cart and not let go until you tell them. If Gabby can do it then so can the child without any intellectual or developmental disabilities. Stop with the excuses, build your home.