I’ve recently read a post about why we were all not good and that we’re all sinners, even children. I wasn’t going to write anything about it because to each is his own beliefs, right? But I just can’t let it go because it is so wrong and unjust to say that children are born sinners and to look at them as ‘not good’.
It’s so important to your parenting to see your child as good. The way you perceive someone is the way you will act towards him. This is a psychological truth.
If you see your child as inherently good then you will look at any failings as due to a mistake, forgetfulness or lack of knowledge. You’ll then try to remedy this by reminding or teaching your child on what to do instead. In contrast, if you see your child as ‘not good’ or as a sinner then you’ll look at his failings as intentional misbehaviour and punish him for it.
It’s so unjust to blame children for things that they don’t know or sins that they have not done. Yes, they will fail as it’s only human to make mistakes or get side-tracked. But it’s also human to learn from our failings because we are given a thinking brain.
Each person is given a responsibility for his own actions and it’s not until children have reached puberty and have a matured brain that they are responsible for their own actions. This is what you teach your child – to have responsibilities and be responsible. When you teach him this at a young age you prepare him for when the time comes for him to take full responsibility for his actions.
Our Creator is a Merciful God. He does not blame us for any wrong we did not do or things we are not responsible for.
All children are loving and they want to please. It is a part of their God-given nature. They want to be good to please others. They are essentially good and will do good.
But they can learn to be ‘not good’ from those around them.
Children learn to be bad when the bad behaviour gets them the much longed for attention that they don’t get with good behaviour. They learn misbehaviour by observing and copying others around them and continue to engage in this behaviour when others do not guide and teach them the correct behaviour.
To teach your child to rely on God as the source of his good action, you need to teach him to be grateful to God’s mercy and love. Plant this seed early. Teach your child to wonder at God’s creations and how these creations can help us live our life better or make our life more beautiful or even possible. For example, look at how God supplied us with water for which we can drink and keep clean and make the plants grow.
I am currently working on a book called something like ‘How to Raise a Righteous Child’ and I’ll be addressing this in there. Come back and visit often, or better still, subscribe as it will be finished one day, God Willing, and I will announce it through this blog and through email.