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Providing for your children

Paul said in Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”

Adequately providing for the family has always been a challenge. There are three important needs for any household ie. Material, emotional and Spiritual. How have you (head of the household) genuinely provided the family the above?

Material needs” This is where we always begin from, every one of us has provided food, clothing and shelter to our children as basic needs and others who have sizable income have also provided the wants. Many of us may think that we have completed the Job by providing such, but sincerely the job is not done. A good provider will not give the children everything they want. You should not fulfill every desire, there must be some limitations. Parents, if a child makes a request, that request may be un-wise if it results in a lack of discipline or a lack of self-control. Parents who have sizable income may give their children everything they need and most of what they want in order to boost their own personal pride. As a resultof the need to have more, both parents are now working harder and harder, longer and longer hours, to keep up with the payments on all their possessions and providing all what their family members need. What happens to the children in the meantime? They will have everything, the biggest house etc, but it may also be the loneliest house, not a real home as it should be. Children need their parents and their parents’ love and attention more than they need more things. It is difficult to keep your children on your team if you are never with them. The development of a strong character must be emphasized and rewarded in the home”, where the teacher is a parent.

Emotional needs”. We as parents are responsible for providing our family’s emotional needs. This involves parents proving love for the family, love has many meanings but a good provider is one who builds into children a sense of belonging, a sense of worthiness, and a sense of confidence. If a parent relates well with the children, intimately involved with them, and enjoys with them the material wealth that God has given, that person do shows love for the children and is being a good provider for emotional needs.

A sense of belonging is the first feeling that should be conveyed to children. Everyone needs to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of being accepted and wanted in the family. If you are going to build stability, strength and security within children, you need to make them feel part of the family. Watch what you utter out before children. “The greatest motivation in the world for learning is praise”. It’s not what you think that influences your children, it is what you communicate”. Criticism, indifference, or direct statements by the father/mother can communicate to children that they were never wanted. Feelings of rejection can cause children to seek acceptance elsewhere. Many children have joined groups which accept them but end up being harmful to them; others have developed an attitude of “me” first and “me” only; which make them end up being an unhappy, unfulfilled adult. We must help our children get the “we” feeling. That is a strong feeling of loyalty to the family, a feeling of oneness, the feeling of being a part of the family; it is a vital part of growing a strong family unit.

Convey to your children a sense of worthiness. Children who have a sense of worthiness know that they are valued and treasured as God’s gift to the family. Children need a sense of belonging within the family, before others and before God. If you have communicated your unconditional love and acceptance to your children, you have helped build up their sense of worth within the family. Your positive responses to them re-assure them of their worth to you, and they can carry this sense of self –esteem with them as they interact with others in school, at church, in clubs, and in other social settings.

Convey to children a sense of competence. Competent children will always say, “I can do it. I am adequate.  I am equipped to handle this situation”. By encouraging our children, we tell them that we believe in them and we know they are going to do their best. This kind of support will fire children’s enthusiasm and boost their self- confidence. Avoid destructive messages such as “you wont ever do anything”, etc. build confidence in your children. Remember confidence breeds confidence, and negative comments breed negative thoughts. Our children are always overwhelmed by thoughts of their unworthiness and such are always impressed on their minds and they carry them into adulthood.

Spiritual needs: We are all spiritual beings, one day we are going to stand before the living God to give an account of our lives. The children in your home are God’s gifts to you and He asks you to view them as such; these are heritage from the Lord; Psalms 127:3. An excellent provider will provide material, emotional and spiritual needs; are you trying to provide for your children while you are living in disobedience and rebellion to God? God is a great provider; let our children be trained to lean against Him. Parents must live a life that reflects responsibility to God. Prov 20:7: the righteous man walks in his integrity, his children are blessed after him.”It is not how many things you provide for your children, it is what you give them of yourself and the principals of scriptures that can never be taken away.

Questions

  1. Are you a good provider or a poor provider for your children?
  2. Do your children have a sense of confidence?
  3. In what ways can you convey a sense of worthiness to them?
  4. Have you been so caught up in trying to provide for your family’s material needs that you have neglected their emotional and spiritual needs?

Keys to positive parenting

Make a conscious decision to be a good parent. The way you handle your children carries more weight in the child’s academic performance than the best school. Know it is a full time undertaking and a God given responsibility which God holds you accountable; they will inconvenience you sometimes. Be willing to pay the price.

Service your marriage. Your relationship with your spouse sets the tune/ quality of your parenting; love your children’s mother and mothers stop harassing your children’s father, just respect  him; your marriage relationship is the first sex education that your children have; will cause your children to love or hate marriage. “As water is to crops so as are children to marriage”

Understand facts about children. Complete human beings, made in the image of God, understand everything only lack experience and have needs which you must understand. Be an example to your children, remember 80% children learn by observation, children do what you say but teenagers do what you do. Regularly visit your child’s school and understand when something bad is reported about your child.

Balance love and discipline. If you have a habit of being attentive and expressing interest, your children will not confuse your loving instruction with rejection

Be a good communicator with your children. Talk to your children, create time for each child alone and understand them, be approachable, listen to them at all times; “Nothing builds communication barriers faster than taking away a child’s right to express an opinion in the home”.

Be a more Godly person. Goodness will give you qualities and character change necessary to be a better parent. 

Don’t shift your parental responsibility or obligation to relatives, home helpers, professional or non professional teachers; they are also already burdened by their own challenges. Social structures that used to help in parenting (ie aunties, uncles, elders etc) have long been overtaken by ill-mannered celebrities, film stirs, corrupted media etc, and many have themselves not being parented.

Parenting is all about raising a God-fearing, autonomous, responsible and productive citizen who will thrive in the world and will rise to their God given potential and destiny and will make a contribution towards making the world a better place to live in.  Parenting is a difficult and challenging under taking in today’s world, but if we apply positive values and principles of parenting, we will not only enjoy bringing up our children but also they will be helped to turn out right when they grow up.

Thank you for your kind attention

ERNEST NDAWULA

JINJA COLLEGE TEACHER

Strive to Excel.

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