I received the following article from a Malaysian friend, Lai. She has a keen interest in children and helping parents in their challenging task of child rearing. I think it is encouraging to hear about how others raised good, successful children.
Maybe it is because we are so busy these days or maybe it is just out of fear, we do too much for our children. They are capable of so much more. When we teach them skills and then expect them to do them, we are teaching them to be the capable, diligent people we want them to be as adults. See how Lai did it.
“I want to see you every morning in class, punctually at 8 am, with your white shirt cleaned and well pressed!” said the Principal.
I still laugh at the memories of those words. It was the words of the Principal of the Flying Academy of Malaysia in which my son was enrolled years ago. I held my head high as he thundered those words and I said to myself, “Well! That’s not a problem for my son because I trained him from young to iron his clothes.”
It was a week before he entered his first day of school at the age of 6+. He looked excitedly at me getting ready his uniform, his socks and shoes, his school bag and books – everything was new! At that moment when I held the iron to press his white shirts and navy blue shorts, he was standing next to me and spontaneously I said to him, “Son! Finally that you are in Primary 1, you’re a big boy now, let me show you how to do this: you spray a bit of water, switch on the iron, be very careful not to burn yourself, press your shirt and pants, once you’re done, switch off the iron and pull out the plug, that way you’ll surely know that you have switched off the iron. If you do this every weekend, you’ll enjoy the rest of the week going to school.”
Well! He’s a pilot now, and wherever he goes, he has his well pressed white shirt on!
I give thanks to God for prompting me to train my son in that manner. I believe that when we ask God for wisdom on how to raise our children, He will give it to us, not only in spiritual matters but in practical living, character and integrity as well. When my daughters entered Primary 1, that exercise continued! It was so with washing their white shoes every weekend, completing their daily homework, packing their bags every night before they go to bed, etc. Looking back, my husband and I enjoyed raising our children with help from God above. Thank you, Lord.
So why not take a moment and think about what chore you could teach your child to do this week. Then remember to expect them to do that chore regularly. You will not only be getting help for a chore, but you will be laying a good foundation for life.