Disclaimer: When it comes to raising kids, I first have to say this: I am not yet graduated from this school called “raising kids.” My husband and I still have two kids at home. So, when I give this advice to parents of older children, I don’t consider myself as an expert in the field. I am still walking through it as I write this.
So, briefly, this is what I am saying in this video for those of you who can’t understand Amharic:
God blessed my husband and I with three children, the middle one, a beautiful girl, Lydia, and two of them are young men. Our daughter is 18 and our older son, Abel, is 20 and our youngest son, Biruk, is 16. So, as you can imagine, our oldest son doesn’t live with us and our daughter is opening and spreading her wings to soon fly away and be an independent adult woman.
I thank God for all of our kids. But it is not easy for a mother to see her children leave the house but she has to remind herself that her children are not for keeps. By the time they turn 18, not only they have to try the water but swim in it, if you know what I am saying.
Once a child turns 18, he/she should not be treated like a kid but an adult child.
And as parents, we need to strive to prepare our kids to be that adult responsible person. We parents with the help of God have to prepare them in a way for them to be independent, financially and physically, and in the other “-allies” too when they turn 18.
However, this “raising a child to be an independent person” should start at an early age, as early as one and two years old. We parents should teach our little kids how to take responsibility for their own choices, whether their choice causes them to laugh or cry. This is called teaching our kids how to live with the consequences of their choices. (please parents of little kids, bear this in mind now, while your kids are two or three year olds).
Our kids should not always be our little kids. Even the Bible identifies between little kids and fully grown adult children. Obey your parents is written for little kids; honor and respect your parents is to all children, little ones and adult children. A married man should discuss with his wife what color to paint his house. He shouldn’t receive order from his mama. With his wife’s permission, if he wants to, he can ask advice from his parents but receiving order from them is a no-no thing. He is an adult person!
I don’t think any of us, mothers, want our sons to be called, “mama-boys.” If we don’t, we need to strive to do our homework.
If an 18-year old young man finds a house where he eats, lives and gets a 24/7 internet access, everything for free, without putting any effort to get them, he will soon learn how to be a couch potato young man, husband and father.
The Bible says,
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9)
Here, the word of God is not addressing an eleven year old boy, but an adult, a young man who lives independently because he was raised and taught by his parents to be independent. So, the word of God reminds him what this son has under his belt, i.e. his father’s instruction and his mother’s teaching.
The question we first may need to pose here is this: Have his parents given him any teaching and instruction while he was with them, other than teaching him how to speak, eat and go to the restroom? Did they teach him how to be a responsible person?
If not, the above verse cannot be applied in his life.
Most of us, (please notice that I put myself in the group too), Habesha parents, (parents from Ethiopia and Eritrea), teach our kids how to behave in front of a guest, how to speak with a low voice when a guests is present in the house and we may teach them how to pray. We also teach them how they need to get married with a person who is from their clan, culture or origin.
But I wish all our wishes were good for our children but they are not. Those values mean nothing for life.
Who is having a perfect marriage or just a peaceful marriage just because he marries a woman from his culture or origin?
Good to know this reality!
Who is, among humans, not praying when he finds himself in the foxhole? Everyone whether his parents taught him or not.
And by teaching our children to behave nice in front of a guest and behave in whatever way they like to when the guest leaves, we teach them nothing but how to fake life. Then when they turn 8 or 9, they open a “FakeBook” account on social media and continue deceiving themselves and others, BUT God.
What value is there in this kind of life?
We have to train and raise our children so they behave responsibly whether they are around others or they are alone. Then with the help and blessing of God, they may turn out to be responsible people who benefit the people they marry, the kids God is going to give them and the society at large.
Let’s not enable or empower our children to be burden to themselves, us, their families, and the society.
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
they will bring you the delights you desire.” (Proverbs 29:17)
But if we choose to leave our children for themselves,
“a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.” (Proverbs 29:15b)
I think I said more in this note than in the video. Oh, well, may the will of God be done!
And may the LORD help us all parents to be wise! May God bless our hard labor! And may God give to our kids wisdom from above! ///