Teach Your Children: Learned Behavior

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Lessons from the Father sound like some movie you’d see Kevin Costner in. Something around baseball, golf or old fighter pilots. But today we are talking about lessons we pass on to our children. Fair warning: it’s not about those shining examples that we look back on and say, “Man, my Dad of the year award should be in the mail already!” It’s about those other moments that we tend not to celebrate. In reality, they may even be a lesson that we are ashamed we’ve taught our children. 

I’m talking about those lessons we knowingly and sometimes unknowingly teach our children. I can hear you now, “what in the world are you talking about? I don’t teach my child anything bad.” Before we take a walk for a moment down memory lane, let’s set the bar where it should be.

God has set the bar quite high as the perfect example of what a Father should be. Holy, Loving, Protective, Wise, Just and Fair to name a few. Fair… now there is a word. Fair or unfair, children watch everything you do. When they are young, they watch and mimic based on your behavior. The phrase “you get out what you put in,” shows this well. If you’re constantly cursing, don’t be surprised when your children do the same. 

The way you treat them and their mom is the way they learn to treat other people. If you are a lazy husband and let your wife do all the “housework,” then your child will grow up seeing that as usual. By the way, God put Adam in charge of the Garden. But that is a blog for another day. Are you verbally abusive to her and other people behind closed doors?

The movie 42 was about Jackie Robinson and his road to become the first African American Major League Baseball player. I watched the scene of a son at a ball game with his dad. They were having a great time talking about how the games were when the dad was young. They looked to be having a real father-son moment. Jackie Robinson ran out onto the field, and the Dad started yelling racist comments to Jackie. 

The son was confused as to what was happening. But he saw his Dad doing this and started to take part in yelling racist comments at Jackie as well. Now I know it’s a movie, and it may have been a little contrived, but I think we all know this still happens every day around this world. I think it’s safe to say people are not born a racist as that is a learned behavior and it was taught to them by someone.

That’s just one example of those moments when you’re teaching your children something that you may not have intended to. I think you can see the power you have in your children’s life. Our scripture verse tells us if we show them the way to go, they won’t turn from it. Be sure that during those informative years, you are pouring in Godly morals and values.

About the Author: Tj Todd is the President of Studio490 Creative Services and Uncommen.

Teach Your Children: Learned Behavior

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