Parenting Freedom: Tormenting Others

I always hesitate to talk about parenting. I just can't get my ideas across before I have offended someone. Why is everyone so fixed about parenting? I think because everyone is afraid of doing it wrong, we are sensitive. I was fixed too until I knew I was having twins. Then I prayed that God would teach me about training a child.

I believe in attachment parenting 100 percent until the child can crawl across the room in 30 seconds. After that you have a totally self-focused animal that is too cute for its own good. I watch parents, especially moms, pleading with their toddlers to be quiet or put something down or any one of ten thousand things that the child does not want to do. It makes me sad for the parent and for anyone else who is tortured by this child over the next 20 years. Please be aware of the others your children are affecting. You may feel that you are their servant, but other people are not.

I read Ashley Montague's book, "Touching" while I was pregnant with my first. It showed me that babies should be responded to immediately until they can crawl. All other mammals can ambulate to their food source soon after birth but humans brains are too large to wait for that level of develpment. We are all born premature in that way. Once they could crawl, I taught them to be part of the family and respect others. I would not let them nurse at the dinner table after that age. That was always done at a different time. If they pitched a fit about something, they were put down or in their room until we were finished. "Train up a child in the way he should go..." You just cannot let children torment others. It sets a bad precedent for life. Do not think that I belive children are chattel to be seen and not heard. In fact, my oldest was very precocious and at 3 and 4 years old could jump into adult conversations very naturally and with good understanding of the topic being discussed, much to the amazement of our friends. I think your most important role is to prepare your children for adulthood. But many parents are training their children for a prison of pleasure, by letting them think that is the goal of life.

I did not believe in any "spanking" or even saying "no" to them when I had only two children. I still do not believe in reactive punishment, except in very rare situations. And I still think it is lazy to use the word "no" many times. What I do believe in is child training. It is quite easy to train a 9-12 month old to obey your voice. You do not have to beat them. They want to please you at this age. You do not have to be harsh when you discipline them for ignoring you when you speak. The lightest tap to get their attention is usually all the correction they need if you have been attachment parenting and you are one with them.

Rather than try to describe what I have done, I recommend that you ask God to teach you about training your child so that she is respectful of others and places more importance on your words when you speak to her than the curious item before her. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." When I look at different adults' behavior, I have to wonder how they were raised. Each child is an individual and deserves individualized treatment.

We will not know the result of our parenting until the child is 30 or 40 years old. I am starting to see it now. Will anyone parent perfectly, no. But if you submit to God's chastening of you as you continue to grow in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will do better every day.