Have you ever felt that raising a child to adulthood is as complicated as managing the construction of the major building? As home educators, we often wonder if we’re capable of teaching our children what they need to know to be successful adults.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been raising future adults for over 31 years! Each one has created new challenges in my parenting adventure. But one view that hasn’t changed – I’ve always viewed our children as adults in the making. And I believe they develop maturity because of it. Now – all those years of parenting doesn’t mean that I have all the answers, only that I’ve discovered a lot of ways that aren’t effective, along with many that are!
To our family, success, in home education as well as in life, means:
- using the talents God has given us
- gaining experience and opportunity in that area
- being able to love what we do
- all the while glorifying our God Who created us
Just like me, you’ve probably found that there are many avenues to ‘success’ in this world. One just has to re-consider how to define the word! How do you define success?
Oh, So Many Options!
Our family has been around the block and back when it comes to the various trends that promise to produce the well-trained, extremely prepared, totally godly, and quality character-filled adult. Oh my, do we underestimate the effort that goes into raising a baby when we start our family! And when we discover how hard it is, we tend to grasp at the next thing that comes along making promises of creating Einsteins and presidents out of our children! But by God’s amazing grace, we can and will do it.
Now the question arises – How? How do we raise godly, mature adults?
The answer is simple.
By leaning on God and His Word for what is truly important in this life. No sidestepping our duties; no relying on the world for its tricks of the trade. Just total trust and obedience to what really matters to God. And you’ll find what really matters to God when you immerse yourself in Scripture to find answers. You’ll prove that His ways work when you live like you believe it!
Others will tell you the answer is in this curriculum, or that character education, or the other method to guarantee maturity. Learning about those ideas is definitely a way to discover what may work for your family, but remember, not one of them will achieve results for every type of child/adult. Each has its benefits when used in the right circumstance and family setting. But try to use one of those ‘right answers’ with the wrong personality type or family style and you have a recipe for disaster. And worse yet, your child’s confusion can turn to rebellion as adulthood is neared.
Now I’m not trying to worry you, but when pushed and prodded to become like so-and-so or get those letters after their name, a child can turn his frustration or stress into giving up on the whole ‘adult thing’. They get tired of performing. They may just quit trying altogether. We parents can succumb to that same intense pressure to perform. Have you ever felt like quitting?
Remember how you feel when asked THE question. You know the question. The one that strikes fear into your high school child. “What are you doing after you graduate?” We, and our young adults, cringe and sweat and worry about what to say so we’ll look in control and ‘normal’. And we may change what we believe in, just to avoid that stress.
I’m not saying that pressure isn’t ever a good thing, just that dealing with it needs to be thought through and prayed about. It needs to be what God is showing you and your child to be right for his or her bent. In my article, How ‘Not’ To Homeschool, I share the importance of working with their individual bent. This helps a child grow into the person God designed them to be.
Each child is a unique individual, which keeps us on our toes (and knees!), in order to help them develop and mature in the amazing process of raising successful adults.
You can read my next post on this topic – Breaking the Mold For Raising Responsible Adults. I’ll share our family’s approach for raising children to adults, and how our older ones have developed in their careers!
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8