Monday, January 11, 2010

day twelve: teach children that the world does not revolve around them

As much as we spend time, money, energy, and love on our children, one thing that we did not do is let them think that the world revolves around them. We have always taught them that the earth’s orbit consists of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds—and that it does NOT orbit around them!

A major aspect of teaching children to be others-minded is instilling in them this true fact: it's not all about you. In our self-absorbed society, this is harder to do than ever. We have lost our basic consideration of others.

In child-controlled homes, the children are often set up to think that everything actually is about them. After all, they whimper, fuss, roll their eyes, or throw a fit, and things around them change. The world must revolve around them with that kind of power at their disposal.

The initial way to stop this is to avoid or dismantle that child-controlled home and put the family members in their proper places. But even if we do instill proper, biblical child-training from babyhood, a part of that foolishness may still remain. The monster of selfishness continues to rear its ugly head.

This is where a change of mind--a different way of thinking, and acting, and talking--comes into play. From our children's earliest years, we have told them that it is not all about them. Oh, we love them, affirm them, encourage them, play with them, train them, give good gifts to them, and many other loving parental acts. I adore my children! But the world does not revolve around them, and until they understand that other people are more important than they are, they will never fully be able to live a God-first, people-second life--for they will always put themselves in that first place slot.

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