You shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Exodus 18:20 NKJV
When my sons were smaller summer was tough in that there was lots of "together time" and the petty arguments would escalate to the point I couldn't stand it. Each afternoon would be quiet time out of the summer heat with each child in a different location to read, draw, whatever, just a little peace for the mom. Trying to teach my children to handle situations appropriately, I prayed for guidance.
First we instituted a bribery system. I know, but it works, positive reinforcement and all. A determined amount of cash was placed on the refrigerator. Each time an argument erupted that rose to the level of parental intervention, one or two dollars were removed. At the end of the week whatever money was left went toward something fun, like snow cones or perhaps a new water toy. With each event the boys were reminded of a house rule we had adopted (a suggestion from an author I cannot recall): "Speak words of love in order to promote peaceful relationships." With each clash of wills that required the mom-referee to step in, the boys would each explain the situation, a solution was discussed, the phrase was repeated and dollar amount was removed. At the beginning of the summer each week would end with little or no cash in the envelope. Gradually the boys learned to work through issues being motivated to negotiate disagreements at a volume that prevented the mom from intervening and removing cash.
Teach them... The above scripture reference comes when Moses had become weary of the people coming to him to inquire of the LORD in various matters from a grumbling, argumentative group of people, similar to a summer spent with three small children 24/7. His father-in-law, Jethro, gave the above advice. I know it's summer and the last thing we may be wanting to do with our children is study. Let me encourage you to spend some time helping grow their minds on things they may not learn in school, but will shape them in ways to be the men and women our God desires. As parents you are uniquely qualified to teach them the things of God, His statutes and His heart, so they will have understanding for a life time.
The words we speak are powerful to bring life or to cut apart. Teaching our children to talk through differences of opinion, negotiate, in non-condemning ways are tools that will give them success all the way to the board room. The other day I mentioned the online Hebrew teacher that posts scripture lessons on the meanings of words and phrases in our Bible from the author Chaim Bentorah. He takes scripture and explains the meaning to words from the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic text. In a recent post, Chaim gave the following lesson:
Look at this word teach. It is the word Lamed. There is the same as the letter in the Hebrew Alphabet called Lamed and it means to teach. It comes before the Mem which means the open a hidden revelation of God. We must be taught before we receive the open and hidden revelation of God. The next letter in the Alphabet is the Nun which is the letter for faith. Once the open and hidden revelation of God is given to us, it is then we receive our faith. But it is the Lamed, the teaching that comes first.
Spend some time each day talking and teaching your children the hidden things of God in order for them to learn his heart and help them peacefully resolve differences which will provide peach for your home.
Our Holy Abba, Father God, we come to You seeking wisdom as we teach our children the things the world and our educational system cannot. We ask You give us words, illustrations, useful topics that are age appropriate that will provide understanding of how to live at peace with one another, work through differences, and build our homes to be shelters filled with Your Presence. Thank you in advance for what Your are doing in our lives. Thank you for time spent with our children that can never be replicated by an outside institution. Be with our school teachers. Refresh them in preparation for their influence in our children lives when school resumes. We are grateful for their dedication. May You be glorified in EVERY classroom this fall. We ask all things things in the precious name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.