Thursday, June 7, 2012

Welcome to CHILD GUIDANCE

Welcome to everyone who is taking part in the Child Guidance studies. Yesterday at Toowoomba Central SDA Church we started on chapter 1 and what a blessing! In all our hope we thought we would get through all 6 questions in 1 hour, but in reality we got through 2 questions :o)

So much to discuss and talk about, we could have spent all afternoon in this first chapter, thus the reason for the 'Child Guidance' studies to go online.

If you do not have the study sheet for chapter 1 here it is.

May I remind you that the thoughts expressed on this blog are mine and I would REALLY appreciate your comments and thoughts so that we may all learn from each other. So let our journey begin!

I still remember the first time I read through 'Child Guidance' by Ellen G. White. I THOUGHT there was no pratical advice JUST theory - how I was mistaken! If we seek we will find - it is a promise. So when I came across the '7 lessons that we should teach our children' I was impressed to dig a little deeper and find out what SOP (Spirit of Prophecy) meant in a practical sense. So here is the information that I found which was a REAL blessing. Here is a summary:
  • Respect - Is best learnt when seen in BOTH parents showing love and respect to each other. I also found a great set of studies for children at this site: http://www.teachingforafrica.com/files/Bible%20Lessons/Respect%20vs%20Disrespect%204%20lessons.pdf
  • Obedience - Administer the rule of the home with LOVE and not the rod of iron. I once heard a lady say that when ever she had to correct her child or if she was starting to get a little agitated with the childs behaviour she would PURPOSEFULLY lower her voice and speak gently. This is a great habit to have which I am prayerfully learning.
  • Reverence - If you want your child to be reverent and have an interested in the Word of God, they MUST see YOU being interested in it. Being in nature, and telling of the wonderous works of God leads your childs heart to reverence God. It is a great reminder that nature is the second text book after the Bible that the child should learn from.
  • Self-Control - If you want to teach lessons in self-control to your child, you have to learn them first. If you are easily agitated and impatient with your child, how are they to act any better. Great food for thought!
  • Kindness - We must set the example.
  • Patience - Every time you scold and get upset, you lose a precious opportunity in giving and lesson in patience. We must guard every word that we speak.
  • Thoughtful of Others - Again this is set by example.
As you may have noticed, WE need to have learnt all these lessons before we expect our children to be able to learn them. We need to spend more time on our knees in prayer asking God for His help to change us so we can teach our children and waste no more time!

A question raised at the study was "How do you get your child to sit still in church?". I remember asking that same question when my boys were younger and I received a wonderful response from a dear friend of mine, "Start family worship, state the rules of sitting quietly and the practise at home will prepare them for church.". Of course - why hadn't I thought of it! Practise makes perfect right? Yes we still had trials, especially at home when we were teaching our boys to sit still, but within a week they knew exactly what was expected of them and they were sitting still. We also pack a 'Sabbath bag' which consists of Bible books which are new or have not been seen for a while. This makes sitting through the sermon easier for them. And when to stop providing books for them to look at is another question? Parental judgement would have to take place for each individual child.

As parents we have the obligation of giving physical, mental and spiritual instruction. These 3 elements of a balanced character will be looked more in depth as we progress through the book, but lets take a sneak peak of what it might entail.
  • Physical 
    •  Health - What are we feeding our children? Is it food that will give them strength and a clear mind to fight their battles each day. "Our bodies are constructed from what we eat; and in order to make tissues of good quality, we must have the right kind of food, and it must be prepared with such skill as will best adapt it to the wants of the system. It is a religious duty for those who cook to learn how to prepare healthful food in a variety of ways, so that it may be both palatable and healthful."  {CG 373.2}  
    • Exercise -  "In the children and youth an ambition should be awakened to take their exercise in doing something that will be beneficial to themselves and helpful to others. The exercise that develops mind and character, that teaches the hands to be useful and trains the young to bear their share of life's burdens, is that which gives physical strength and quickens every faculty. And there is a reward in virtuous industry, in the cultivation of the habit of living to do good."  {AH 506.2} 
    • Learning a trade - "Schools should be established that, in addition to the highest mental and moral culture, shall provide the best possible facilities for physical development and industrial training. Instruction should be given in agriculture, manufactures--covering as many as possible of the most useful trades--also in household economy, healthful cookery, sewing, hygienic dressmaking, the treatment of the sick, and kindred lines. Gardens, workshops, and treatment rooms should be provided, and the work in every line should be under the direction of skilled instructors. The work should have a definite aim and should be thorough. While every person needs some knowledge of different handicrafts, it is indispensable that he become proficient in at least one. Every youth, on leaving school, should have acquired a knowledge of some trade or occupation by which, if need be, he may earn a livelihood."  {CG 357.3} 
  • Mental - We need to expect our children to be thorough in their school work and to be able to read, spell, write clearly and do their maths to the best of their ability before they are to take the next step into other subjects.
  • Spiritual - "Our heavenly Father, in giving His Word, did not overlook the children. In all that men have written, where can be found anything that has such a hold upon the heart, anything so well adapted to awaken the interest of the little ones, as the stories of the Bible? In these simple stories may be made plain the great principles of the law of God. Thus by illustrations best suited to the child's comprehension, parents and teachers may begin very early to fulfil the Lord's injunction concerning His precepts: 'Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up'." {PH124 3.1} 
God is so good! In talking to the Hebrew people, he told them how to teach their children so that they may stay in close relation to Himself:
  • To teach the children Gods requirements - COMMANDMENTS. 'Thy Word Creations' have a wonderful scripture memory book and CD which teaches children the 10 commandments. Don't be overwhelmed by the length of the commandments - God has made our childrens brains like sponges, they soak up information especially through repitition.
  • To acquaint children with all His dealing with His people - Read the bible. Start when they are young and they will have a desire for the stories of the Bible
  • Thoughts of God were associated with all the events of daily life - You know the verse "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deut 6:7
  • Deliverence of His people recounted with eloquence and reverential awe - Again the stories from the Bible
  • Providence and future life to be impressed on young minds - Children love to hear about heaven and to imagine of how it is going to be. Don't stop telling them about how good Heaven will be and what they would like to see and do there. Get them excited!
And how did the Hebrew people teach these lessons and firmly fix them into memory of the children? By the use of figures and symbols the lessons given were illustrated, and thus more firmly fixed in the memory. Through this animated imagery the child was, almost from infancy, initiated into the mysteries, the wisdom, and the hopes of his fathers, and guided in a way of thinking and feeling and anticipating, that reached beyond things seen and transitory, to the unseen and eternal.  {CG 19.1} Teach with - pictures, felts, drawings... Betty Lukens Bible Felts are fantastic!

Jesus secured His education in His home and He is our childs perfect pattern. He was faithful and cheerful in bearing household burdens. A question which I often ponder is about 'Chores' and what is to be expected of a child. This qoute is a good reminder:  "Each child in the family should have a part of the home burden to bear and should be taught to perform his task faithfully and cheerfully. If the work is portioned out in this way, and the children grow up accustomed to bearing suitable responsibilities, no member of the household will be overburdened, and everything will move off pleasantly and smoothly in the home" CG 350.
It is amazing how a child is born with a desire to help. Do not stop them even though it may seem much quicker to do it yourself and less of a hassle. When Marco (my youngest son) was crawling and toddling around, I would give him a cloth to wipe down the furniture. He would crawl around wiping the legs of the chairs, table tops, anything that he could reach. As my boys grew I introduced visual picture charts so they could see what their chores were, and when they had completed a task they would velcro a 'tick' next to the picture. When they had put all their 'ticks' up they would call me and I would check their work. They loved their charts and we rarely had to remind them to do their chores.
At the age of 4 and 6 they are a real blessing. I no longer have to water my garden, feed the animals, take out the compost or the rubbish bins, I don't even have to get wood for the fire! And all of this with cheerfulness and willing heart. I can't believe we have reached this far - truly it is worth the painstaking effort you must put in the beginning!

I pray that this study has been a blessing as it has been to me. Please share your thoughts, trials and questions so that we may all help and learn from each other. Looking forward to next weeks study.

In preparation for next week please complete the study guide for chapter 2.

Psalm 127:3      Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.



8 comments:

  1. Hi Melissa, thanks for a great post! What do you do in family worship? Is it child orientated or is it for adults (like a sermon in church)? How many times a day does your family have worship? Also you said that "Read the bible. Start when they are young and they will have a desire for the stories of the Bible" . Do you read directly from the bible or do you read "bible stories". If you read directly from the bible, what age did you start to read from the bible to your children? Thanks for the information, I have found the material really useful. God Bless Anca

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    1. Thankyou for your questions Anca. In our home we have family worship in the morning and the evening. Our family worship is definetly child orientated but we also have something for dad and mum too. Our family worship varies. Sometimes my husband will read a few verses from the Bible to the children and draw an object lesson from it and we will discuss it, whilst at other times we may just read stories straight from the Bible, use felts or Bible story books. The Bible is our main source though and it is amazing how much the child enjoys it when you put on your most EXCITED voice! You need to make the stories come to life, and this all depends on the voice and actions you use. I would definetly start reading the Bible to your child from birth. Whatever a child is use to is what they will enjoy, and nothing can surpass the blessing from reading the Bible. God bless!

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  2. Great Idea/Job Melissa! It's great you're taking something else on - as if your plate isn't already full! Pray that you'll be Blessed in sharing and those who read will also be touched and encouraged and inspired! GB

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    1. Thankyou for your encouragement Phi. These studies are such a blessing to our family and I just pray that others will receive the same blessing. Look forward to seeing you soon. God Bless!

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  3. I would love to hear about your 'PLAN OF ACTION' from this study. Please post below and let us know how you are going.

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  4. Hi Melissa. Hope you going well. I just wanted to add something that our family did, when the children were very little. We encouraged personal worship, as well as family worship. Before they could even read we would get them to listen to the bible dramitized on CD. They loved it, and couldnt wait for there personal worship time. During family worship, we would all share what we learned in our personal time with God. This practice has set life long habits. All my grown, and married children, still have there personal time, then family time worships. It has become part of there life. Thankyou for allowing me to share. God bless, Suzy.

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    1. We have also encouraged personal quiet time with our boys, and I love your idea of the bible dramatized on CD. It is often difficult to come up with ideas for children when they cannot read, so thankyou!

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  5. Melissa I am from India,nice to read your suggestions on child guidance

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