God’s commandments are made perfectly by Him to guide his beloved children. But as the years go by implementing those commandments is a true challenge for the believers. Like with the exact words of the fifth one, “honor thy mother and thy father”. Apart from the happy couple, the very foundation of a happy family is respect. Young children should learn how to honor their parents through their obedience and admiration. But for the parents to teach their children how to honor them is another task.
Teaching honor is more complicated than teaching obedience. Obedience is basically the fulfillment of mandatory tasks by a child while honor must be freely given and felt from the heart and soul.
Consider the following ways which can help your children develop honor.
- Teach children to treat people with kindness
Most of the children do not often see how their parents treat them. They like being pampered by the family and sometimes take it for granted. You can actually help your children to see how honor works in some situations by using loving words with a smile such as “Since you gave your sandwich to the homeless man earlier, I made your favorite cookies because I want to honor your kindness” or “We will go to the mall on Sunday to buy your favorite doll because you help your brother to understand his homework”.
Children will learn to give honor not only to their parents but also to other people. Let them hear words that cannot be seen like love, great job, good boy or good girl. In this way, they will not take material things such as toys, gadgets or shoes as an ordinary gift. Hence, they will take those things as a form of reward by showing kindness to other people.
- Teach your children how to show empathy
Teach them how to be compassionate when it comes to other’s feelings. Honor is gained when it is given to you. Any form of ability without honor is useless. You can only gain the true meaning of honor if the people see that you are trustworthy and committed to everything that you do.
This is the reason why you should teach your children how to behave in every situation. The best time they can learn from you is when they fail from something. For example, let’s say your son failed the trials for basketball and you can feel this total sadness in his eyes. First thing is to assess if he wants to be comforted by words, gestures or effort. If your child is kind of showy about his feelings but you don’t want to offend him anyway, you can just leave a sympathy card on his desk with a cute drawing of a young basketball player who falls and rise up until he reached his dreams or simply put words that can cheer them like keep on dreaming, adventures await, be positive, and we are here.
In the future, he will know how to act in the same situations and many people will honor him. Remember that honorable people can bring peace, comfort, and strength which can only be given if you have a sympathetic heart.
- Teach your child about morality
Judging between which is right and which is wrong is quite a hard task. Your child might either do something bad which they think is good or do something good which they think is bad. This time what you need to do is to teach them the works of God. They should learn through the guidance of His teachings. Our dear Lord loves the children above everything. Read the kiddie version of the Holy Bible with them at night before they sleep. The stories will retain to their innocent minds and they will continue wandering about heaven. Stories like “The Good Samaritan” or “Samuel – A Little Boy who serves God” will help them learn about the righteousness and goodness of things.
- Be a role model
Parents are the first teachers of a child. They tend to observe and mimic your behavior. I remember one of the short stories I have read. It is all about a grandma who was being rejected by her son and daughter-in-law.
This poor grandma has his one and only beloved son with a 4-year-old daughter. At 90 years old, she tends to forget many things and act like a child who’s always disturbing you when she wants certain attention. The mother and father of the little girl decided to build a small house in the backyard so that the poor grandma can’t bother them anymore. They regularly feed and clean her for the past 12 months.
One day the son saw her poor mother lying on the floor with her last meal spilled over her lifeless body. After the wake and cremation of the grandma, the small house – should we say a jail – was immediately demolished. During the dinner, the little girl asked her parents “Mommy and Daddy why did you wreck grandma’s house?” Where will you live when you get old? Should I build another one?
The little girl’s parents got so shocked that they burst out in tears for the rest of the night.
Dear parents, let the Lord be your guide in helping your child to follow the right path. Wealth can buy peoples’ good words but you can never buy their trust. Purest honor is earned by good and humanely deeds.