When we first had Lydia (our first born), we were given a parenting seminar on cd by Pastor Dee Duke. He used an analogy in those that stuck with me. He compared parenting to raising dogs.
Imagine you have a mutt.
He's kind of cute. A little smelly, but you like him. Your goals for your mutt aren't too complex. You don't wanting him jumping up on your company, he needs to go to the bathroom outside, NO biting and preferably no chewing on your shoes. If he is a really smart dog you may even teach him to sit and roll over.
If you accomplish these things you achieved your goal. Your mutt is trained.
But imagine now that you have a seeing eye dog.
We have to know what we are training our children for so that we can do it well. As I talked about in my last post, my husband and I believe with our whole heart that the most important thing we raise our children to do is to love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Every other goal we strive for has to fall under that.
Whenever we take any different goal, however good it may seem, and place it above raising our children to love the Lord, it falls short of where we should be aiming as parents. If I want my girls to be masterful musicians for the purpose of being masterful musicians, that is pride. If I want them to develop skills that they can use to glorify the Lord and to be a blessing to those they are a round, that is working towards our goal. If I want my children to get along with each other so that life is more convenient for me and looks good to the people around me, that is pride. If I want them to learn to get along with each other to build their relationships with each other and to point other people to a loving God, that is working towards our goal.
It is extremely important to think carefully about the choices we make for our children and to hold to high standards. But when we allow those high standards to become the end goal, we are wasting our efforts. Be careful in how you raise your children, so that God gets the glory and not us.
So what does this have to do with pre-school? I'll get to that next time!