This morning I woke William at 7:30 and told him it was time to get ready for school. He’s been talking about this day for months and as soon as he heard me say “school” he instantly was wide awake. He jumped out of bed and got dressed faster than I have ever seen him get dressed. He woke his sisters and told them how he was going to school this morning.
As he was eating his breakfast I was reminding him to use his manners at school and be respectful. I told him to say yes m’am and excuse me, please and thank you. I reminded him to listen to the teacher when she is speaking and to follow the rules.
Then it hit me. God gave me the first 4 1/2 years of William’s life to teach him how to do all those things I mentioned above. Have I used my time wisely? How many times did I let him get away with talking mean instead of making the effort to correct that behavior. It will show today. How many times did I allow him to watch tv instead of me reading some books to him, helping him learn to listen and focus. It will show today. How many times did I require him to follow my instructions correctly? It will show today.
How my child behaves in public is a huge testimony to all those around him. They can get a glimpse of his home-life by how he behaves at school today. Maybe they will get a glimpse of the Lord by the way he behaves at school today.
Our role as parents isn’t just to feed children and make sure they have the best looking clothes. It isn’t just a matter of making our kids tolerable to be around. We are training the future missionaries, preachers, Sunday school teachers, fathers, mothers, etc. They need to know how to be respectful and how to behave well. They need to know how to follow instructions and work hard.
Although (Lord willing) I will still have many years to train William at home, his first 4 years are over. Those are the years that they are absorbing the most. Those are the years to really get him off to a good start. Those are the years to begin good habits like reading (the Bible and other books), praying, chores, eating right, being active, etc.
Maybe you are still in the first 4 years with your child (I still have two more). I know that these years are exhausting. Believe me, I know. But one thing I have learned is that you won’t get tomorrow back. Teach them today. Don’t wait until they are older to teach them good habits and lessons. Whether purposely or not you are teaching your kids something by not teaching them anything at all. What are you teaching them today?
(As a side note, I am going to be homeschooling William but he will be going to school for things like gym and languages. Today was the first day, sort of a get to know the class type of thing so he is there all morning. Want to have a copy of the sign he is holding in the picture? Download the pdf First Day of Kindergarten)