Every morning, on the drive to Kindi, Makenzie and I take turns praying. Usually she prays and asks God to help her go to the potty or to be kind to other kids. One day this week, she shocked the mess out of me as she prayed, “Lord, please help me not to kiss Leo”. WHAAAT!? is the urge to kiss this boy that strong?! I had her repeat her prayer just to make sure I heard her right…and yep, she really prayed for that. I couldn’t help but laugh silently to myself. While I was all in agreement with her prayer, because we have talked about not kissing anybody, I was just not expecting her to pray about it this morning. As I think about it, I realized that I forgot to ask her if the prayer worked? At the same time, part of me doesn’t want to know the answer, eeek!
In all seriousness, despite the content, I am so proud of Makenzie and her prayers! Both my husband and I have always prayed with Makenzie daily and at some point, we began asking her to pray on her own. In the car, I would pray first then she would pray and almost repeat what she heard me say. Now, I let her pray first and it is so amazing to hear her heart through her prayers.
As I was thinking about Makenzie and her prayers, I was reminded how children are sponges. They come into the world knowing nothing. As parents, the onus is on us to create the foundation for who our children are and what they do. I don’t want to get all deep on you all, but research shows that kids idealize their parents until about 10-12 years of age. Basically, it is during adolescence that peers have a greater influence on a child’s behavior, rather than parents. That means we have 10-12 years to instill our desired morals and values and set good examples for our children, before their peers get to them and rock their whole world! Long story short, we really do not have all the time in the world!
So what is all this talk about unicorn and juice boxes? Essentially, it is just to get you thinking about the things you want to teach your children. Ask yourself these 4 questions: What are your children witnessing you say and do? What are you already teaching them? What are you waiting to teach them? Is there something you can start teaching them today, rather than waiting? Believe it or not, you really can teach your children almost anything! They will eventually pick it up. You see, at just short of 3 years old, Makenzie has no idea how powerful her prayers really are. Yet and still, she prays daily and I guarantee you she will eventually understand the power behind it. She will always have memories of prayer being part of her life and I believe that she will develop her own relationship with Christ early in life.
I humbly admit, I may not be the best parent in every categories, but I really try do my best at teaching our kids while they are young. Kids pick up so many habits and behaviors from the outside world, but at the end of the day, we as parents should be our kids’ primary teachers. We are responsible for encouraging and correcting behavior according to the morals and standards that we teach in our homes. No, we are not creating robots, but we are molding little humans that will rely heavily on what we have taught them while they are young. Choose wisely and teach on!