How to build a strong foundation for your child

house bricks

Written by contributor Jena of Yarns of the Heart

We have only one chance with our children. They will only be toddlers once. Thank goodness!

And they will only be seven years old once, ten years old once, fourteen years old once, and then they will be out the door.

They come back once in a while, but it’s never the same.

So while you have those little ones at home, make the most of it. This is your window of opportunity. Build a strong foundation that will support them the rest of their lives.

Building a foundation that will last a lifetime

1. Make sure your children know you love them unconditionally.

That means nothing they do will ever disqualify them for your love. They can always come back, get a hug and reassurance that you believe in their inherent worth as a human being.

The Biblical story of the Prodigal Son comes to mind here.  There is deep psychological value in having someone in your life who loves you unconditionally.

2. Teach them how to learn.

This is where homeschooling shines. We don’t have to follow a prescribed curriculum that spoon-feeds learning. Instead we can show our kids how to take an interest and follow its lead.

We can take them to the library or an internet search engine and show them how to find information, how to search for experts, tutors, or lessons. There is power in knowing how to find answers.

My grown daughter Meg is in India teaching English, but she wants to improve her drawing skills, so she’s finding books and people to help her. Knowing how to learn is one of the most important skills anyone can have in our ever-changing world.

3. Teach them to love learning.

Not only do they need to know how to learn, they should love it.

Learning should not be like taking medicine: “I know you hate this, but it’s good for you, so be quiet, sit still, and pay attention.” When our kids graduate and go off into the world, if they hate learning, they will stop doing it. It’s as simple as that.

Instead, try to make learning fun and meaningful. There is more than one way to learn anything. Find what motivates and excites your child.

4. Teach them how to live with others.

This is another place where homeschooling shines. We spend a lot of time together and have a million opportunities to model and talk about love, forgiveness, service, and empathy. And we all know that learning to do this in a family is the hardest place of all, so we are blessed to have the opportunity to work on that together.

After all, our family will still be our family 50 years from now and what they learn at home will be what they look for in their adult lives.

Frederick Douglass was right when he said:

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

What have you done to build a strong foundation for your child?

About Jena

Jena homeschooled her three children all the way to college. When they left the nest, she started a masters degree in elementary education and taught one year in the public schools. She blogs about her homeschooling years and her interest-led philosophy at Yarns of the Heart.

Comments

  1. se7en says:

    This is great, and so true… it all passes so fast. And academics aren’t nearly as important as life skills and relationships!!! I literally blinked and my oldest was fourteen – I think it was the first time I looked up!!! ANd now he is two years from finishing school… it really does fly by!!!
    se7en’s latest post: Se7en + 1 Glittery Valentines Galore… and Many Many More…

  2. I think character building is so important. And unconditional love–wow that is exactly what I wrote about today on my blog. I really think unconditional love is where I’m striving to learn and show most right now. I think I do and then I realize I get frustrated when my kids behave erratically. Thanks for the great post!
    Johanna @ My Home Tableau’s latest post: The gospel and crying

  3. Michele says:

    I absolutely love your blog. I do not homeschool but our beliefs in raising good solid children is the same. Great article today!

  4. Myah says:

    This is so wonderful and fabulous reminders! Thank you for sharing, Jena. :)

  5. I think that validating who my children were created to be is the best gift I can give them. My 3 kiddos are all very different and I have had to learn to see what gifts , talents, natural bents and interests are in them. Especially if they are different than mine. What do they chose to do In their free time? What do they get excited about? Lately my 8 y/o son has been interested in trains. Especially the history of trains, the railroad and steam locomotives. With that interest I can teach him everything he needs to know. More importantly he will learn that learning is fun. That learning is about wanting to know something and figuring out how to know it. Now isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
    Wendy@applebyfarmschool’s latest post: Let’s Google it!

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