Tips for Daily Child Training That Are Better Than a Parenting Book
I am not against parenting books, but sometimes they give guiding principles instead of actionable advice. Here’s something you can start doing right now, every day.
If you could instill five things into your child that will be a part of what they eventually become, what would they be? If you don’t make it to five, that’s fine, as long as you are thinking about how important you are to the process of your child’s growth, and as long as you realize that you can start a lot earlier than some people think. The secret is consistency. Repetition.
So what can you do every day to instill those things into your child? You have to be willing to spend the time doing it, but that does not necessarily mean that it will be as much work as you think.
We are a Christian family, so it is very important to us that our children learn the Bible. In the process of doing that, they learn things about honesty, diligence, patience, self-control, etc. If you are not Christian then this list may not appeal to you, but maybe you will be inspired to make your own and spend the time and effort to train your children.
That said, here is our daily child training checklist in no particular order that we currently do with our three-year-old:
1. Memorize the Ten Commandments
We have been doing this one for a while, and she can now recite it with guidance. She gets confused by all the “thou shalt not” beginnings, so for the last five I just let her say, “Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness against thy neighbor, and covet.”
2. Watch a Short Scripture-based Video
Even my one-year-old does this one with us. If this interests you then the best I have found are here (and they are free!):
The ones we like best and actually use are the parables of the wise and foolish builders, the sower, the lost sheep, the rich fool, the persistent widow, the talents, and a pharisee and a tax collector, in addition to the Old Testament Abraham ones and the Christmas ones. Click here to go straight to the Max7 library that contains all of these.
What we do is watch the video, which is generally less than five minutes long; then, read the related passage from the Bible; then, watch the video again, this time providing commentary by reading aloud from the passage (many of the videos do not have voiceovers, just sound effects and music).
3. Read a Story from the Action Bible
The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story (Picture Bible) is illustrated in an exciting way that my oldest child has enjoyed since she was two years old. It is basically a 752-page graphic novel that contains much of the Bible in an overarching storyline. It’s a great resource to get your child to learn about Bible stories and love them. Even if you are not a Christian your child will probably find it very exciting, and you may want to get it for them if only to teach them about one of the greatest influences on culture in the history of the world. This is the sort of classic-in-the-making product that gets me excited about what it can teach children. It has its flaws, and I intend to do an in-depth review of it sometime, but even with the flaws I recommend it (and recommend you buy it through my affiliate link, to boot).
4. Perform Tickle Test
Someone I look up to as a mentor of sorts, Dale Schamel, founder and CEO of ARMOR Steel Buildings, showed me this one. (Actually, he is also part of the inspiration for diligently training my children from a young age.)
Stand your child in front of you and have them put both hands behind their head. Then, begin to tickle them. Their objective is to keep their hands behind their head—thereby preventing them from lowering their arms to fend off the tickling hands—until the end of the test. I have found that if I count to ten then my three-year-old does better because then she has a finish line to look forward to.
What this test is designed to do is to teach self-control, and to keep their arms up and not let the devil get them down. She loves it.
5. Scripture Talk Video
Scripture Talk – Making Bible Memory Fun Through Hand Motions (affiliate link) is a great DVD with several passages of Scripture on it. Just yesterday my wife and I were delighted when our daughter quoted the entire chapter of Psalm 1 without help. Now we are moving on to the parable of the wise and foolish builder in Matthew, but we do intend to have her watch or quote Psalm 1 for a while so that it sticks.
6. Read from the King James Version of the Bible
I am not a King James only-ist, but I prefer it for my personal reading and study. As for my kids, I am trying to raise their reading comprehension level, not dumb it down, so that’s one reason I use it. Another reason, though, is because Celeste is always stopping me to ask, “What does that mean?” This gives me a great opportunity to discuss, explain, expound, and apply what we read to her life.
Well, that’s our training method. Do you have anything you do with your kids which you have found to be effective? Let us know in the comments!