Moms…I wonder if you realize you are your child’s first teacher?
When I first started my teaching career, I had not yet become a mother. In fact, as you will remember from an earlier post, I didn’t ever want to be one! (Me a Mom? Never say Never). But I was an expert in raising children. You could have asked me and I would have told you.
I have asked God to forgive me for the number of times I sat across the table from a mother and told her what she was doing wrong as a parent. I am not kidding. Why her child was having the learning difficulties he was having….oh, I was kind in my wording, but I still said it. By the way, God did forgive me. For I truly did not know what I was doing. I was fresh out of college and at the age that made me an expert at everything!
Then, I became a MOM. At first I thought the reason I read to my womb was because I was “officially” a teacher. Then I realized that my profession did not matter. I was my child’s first teacher. I knew that the first few years were the formative years. Playing “peek a boo”, walking, talking…all of these milestones happened before my child would ever step one foot into a classroom.
I have found in my later years a couple of things. First, some parents don’t understand that responsibility or they don’t feel like they are “teachers”. Well you are!! One way or another you are teaching your child. Their “ABC’s” and “1,2,3’s”and values… by actually helping them determine right from wrong, or seeing the example you are setting. You will teach your child morals and values…or someone else will. But make no mistake about it you are your child’s first teacher!
Remembering my first child’s birth, I gasped when I realized the tremendous responsibility I had. I read all the books, compared him to friend’s babies….when should he crawl, is he on schedule? Pressure. And quite honestly, as good at telling parents how to parent before parenting myself…I was as good being that parent. Or so I thought. Then someone talked to me.
“Relax” she said. “You cannot teach him everything he must know. Children learn at different speeds, in different styles. The most important thing you can do is love your child….and give him TIME. Teach him about Jesus and pray with him.” I heeded her advice. And I relaxed.
Moms….relax. Enjoy your child. Work his vocabulary when you take him to the grocery store and pick up can goods. Talk to him when you take a walk, pointing out all the beauty of nature. Read to him (this is one of the most important thing you can do in my humble opinion), sing to him (even if off key), play with him. And the most important? Teach him about Jesus. Start early and never stop. Learning is “caught, not taught”. In some cases that can be good…some bad.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Once I went back into teaching after my boys were mostly grown, I realized many things. First of all, I quit sitting across from parents pretending like I knew it all. Even though there were some things I was concerned about, I never was condescending. I knew that parent loved the child more than I ever could understand.
Second of all, some moms just needed suggestions on how to “teach” their children. Many times they began to realize that it wasn’t the “teacher’s responsibility” to do all the teaching. All in all, my motherhood made me a better teacher.
So moms…always teach. You are the first.
IN CHRIST ALONE
*NIV Bible, google clipart image