There is an amazing selection of sayings that offer an approach to the training of young ones. The bulk of them understand the need to be proactive rather than reactive.
The most astute of which is found in Proverbs 22; 6….. “Train up a child in the way they should go and they will not turn from it”. There is always hope…….. but no recipe other than”The Word”….which is the “fundamental yardstick..
As I research the many other ways of doing this, I find a range of very debatable suggestions;
Among the more reliable ( in my mind) would be; ” A stitch in time saves nine” and ” As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”
It is really difficult to wrap up a complex task like child rearing in one recommendation; here are a few offerings that are debatable:
“Everything depends on upbringing ”
“Parents can give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands”
“The best way to make children good is to make them happy”
“Children have to be educated, but they also have to be left to educate themselves.”
“Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.”
“The most important thing a parent can teach their children is how to get along without them.”
One might add.. “They are known by the company they keep.”
My title suggests the value of timing for any input. We assume that we are primarily shaped by our immediate family…. some rest on the influence of genetics.
A great deal of credence is given to idea that the influence of our peers, at our mot vulnerable stages of life, can be a major determinant. It would be a mistake to not continually assess that possibility; even the presumed brief encounters.
We find ourselves, during much of our children’s lives, occupied by our work and interests. It would seem wise to have an abiding interest in their comings and goings at every stage of their development’
While God teaches us about the need for Hope, He treats responsibility at a comparable level. As in Deut 6: 7;
“You shall teach them (life lessons) diligently, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
At the awful risk of repeating ourselves…. That’s pretty much all the time!
We may be sure that God would declare it to be “Our most important job”.