How Not to Raise A Child

“Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.”

Dear people of God, I once read a true story of a young University student in his early twenties who committed suicide. In his suicide note, he wrote there that he took his own life because he had disappointed his parents.

How had he disappointed his parents? He had known that he was not going to graduate with a First Class Honours degree and that for him represented disappointment to his parents.

Dear friend, what could have driven a young man to the extent of taking his own life as a result of perceived failed academic excellence? Pressure from his parents of course!!

All over the world we find parents who keep comparing their children with other children and those who are even comparing the “academically brilliant” one amongst their children with the ones who are not so “academically brilliant” and castigating them in the process.

There are parents who give gifts only to their child that takes first position in school and ignore their own child or children that do not take first position academically.

In fact, I have also read a story of a child of a primary or grade school who poisoned the drinking water of his fellow student to get rid of him and what was his reason? The child he wanted to poison was taking first position and he did not like it and wanted to put an end to it.

Again, when you investigate the story in detail, you would discover that it is the bad child’s parents who have put undue pressure on him through castigation and comparison with the child who takes first position.

Fortunately for children whose parents are not even financially buoyant enough to send them to school, academic pursuits and excellence in academic pursuits is not a criterion to enter heaven at the end of one’s stay in this world.

How many of these parents who drive their children to anger, jealousy and resentment of other children take time to teach them the most important subject in this life, which is a deep knowledge of God’s Word in the Holy Bible and its diligent, sincere application to everyday life?

Does it occur to these parents that the spiritual well-being of their children is the most important issue of life? Are these parents aware that a spiritually sound child would always prosper in life because God says so?

To confirm, let us look at what God says in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law (Holy Bible) shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”

There you have it. You can only prosper in this life genuinely by study, meditation and diligent application of God’s Word in the Holy Bible.

I want to help parents who have children struggling academically on how to solve the problem without driving the child to resentment, anger and envy of other children.

The first thing you must do is pray over your child every single day, and in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, declare over that child or children what you want to see them become in life.

Then teach your children to pray, to study God’s Word, to meditate on it, to apply it carefully and sincerely every single second of their lives. Ask God to give them divine wisdom and understanding.

Now, take a look at the child’s school report card to see the grades and also behavioural records written by the teacher. Commend the child for the areas of success, then discuss with the child the areas of weakness in academics and behavioural standards.

Listen to the child to know exactly what the problem is. Do not make the mistake of comparing the child with his fellow students or his or her siblings because that would not help. Do not blame the child for poor grades in some subjects because that also would not help the child.

Once you have discovered the child’s reasons for the weakness from your discussions, tell the child that you know he can do better and he must make up his mind to do better. Tell the child not to focus on others but on himself.

Where affordable, get the child extra lessons in the subjects where he is weak and then show the child from God’s Word areas of correction for behavioural weakness.

Over time, as the child gains understanding of the subjects, his grades would naturally improve. It cannot fail to happen because the child knows he can do better as you have made him understand.

In your prayers to God, thank God sincerely for giving you intelligent, God-fearing and God-loving children who love God’s Word. Worship God for answering your prayers and God will surely respond.

Dear friend, let us learn and apply what the Word of God says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

May the good Lord bless you as you heed His Word today, act on it and share with others in Jesus’ Most Blessed Name, Amen.

Umer Malik

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