I taught my daughter how to paint nails. My husband taught our son how to draw a car. Parents are the first teachers for their children on this Earth. But it seems that in the age of experts and professionals, parents are losing their confidence, their ability to trust God and their own instincts about what is best for their children. Your baby isn’t sleeping? There’s an expert (or twenty) for that. Doctors can tell us if our kids are hitting their developmental milestones and what to do if they’re not. Nutrition specialists tell us what to feed our kids.
You don’t know how to teach them something? Just look to the internet. There are experts to help you teach your kids everything from how to cook to how to read. Don’t get me wrong, I love internet experts. We use artists on YouTube almost daily to fill my son’s desire to learn how to draw or color some specific animal. But parents are the best teachers for their specific kids.
When it comes to life in general, experts will tell you to discipline your kids one way, while others will say the exact opposite. Questions about who to listen to can overwhelm us. We can study all day long, and not come to a conclusive answer on some things, but in that process we need to trust ourselves and God.
In this era of trusting ALL the experts, I am worried that we have forgotten to trust the one who gave us these children, the one whose children they are. God gave the most important job to parents, and he trusts us, the parents, more than the experts.
Can you trust that? God gave your children to you—some of His children—because of who you are, what you can teach them. Turn to God and let Him lead you, and the confidence that you are the best teacher, guide, mentor, parent, for your children will come. God has entrusted these children to you and He will help you give them whatever they need (and sometimes help will come from an expert). To read more about how I learned to trust God and myself, read Making the Decision to Homeschool.
Teaching the Important Things
I used to get frozen when preparing to teach something to my kids–thinking I needed to have a well-established lesson plan–specific, with all the questions written out and possible answers and scenarios written down, plus a great attention activity and a one-liner ending to drive it home. Do you do this?
It’s time to stop!
Stop feeling inadequate to teach your children. Parents are the best teachers of their own children, if they choose to be. Parents are uniquely placed to make the biggest difference in their children’s lives. Stop looking around at what the other parents are doing. And look up. Look up to God.
God placed in the position to mentor these children. YOU. No one else has your relationship with them. What does He want you to teach them? Don’t worry about it being perfect. Just share what’s in your heart. It will resonate with them because it is important to you, and even though they might tell you differently, you are important to them. Trust your heart, trust your spirit, trust God.
I finally realized that if I waited only for those times when lesson and other aspects were perfectly aligned, that I would rarely teach my children. I had to let go of perfection, because I realized that by teaching them nothing, the things that I wanted to share so perfectly, weren’t being shared at all. I was telling them that those things weren’t important because I was waiting for perfect moments to share it. No moment is perfect. But it is nearly always a good time to teach.