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Relationship Help | Difficulties of Not Being Prepared to Raise Children

LPCM BlogParenting 101 by Nancy Nair

About 4 years after we got married, my daughter was born. How sad is it to have a baby and later realize that I was not prepared to train her properly. I never realized that I could completely destroy her spirit because of not being prepared.  I guess I thought it was easy to have a little baby to take care of.

Did I know anything about raising my little girl that I wanted so badly? Had I read any books on child-raising, or did I talk to anyone about raising a child, so that I would be prepared for this important job that I had taken on?  Did I know what Ken’s thinking was about raising children?  Not until I had my little girl did I realize that there were going to be difficulties such as what should I do when she was crying, and how can I make her stop? I tried everything to make her happy during those times.  This is when I wish I would have found out Ken’s thinking about raising children. I saw he didn’t really know her.  How could he correct a child not knowing much about her?  When she was in the way of his TV and he couldn’t hear it, he would tell me to just spank her. It was easy for him to ask me to do that to get her to stop crying.  His thinking was, “Let’s give her something to cry about.” He didn’t even know she had a spirit to take care of.

It was like the blind leading the blind in our home.  It was the same old story with me…I was always protecting Ken from others seeing him doing things that I knew were destructive in our little family.  So I never went to any family members or our pastor for help.   I’m sure they saw how he treated our little girl, but I just couldn’t expose him.  If I would have done that early in our marriage maybe we wouldn’t have had to go through so much grief.  I knew that what he was doing was not the right thing to do but my way didn’t seem to work either.  We needed help and there was no place to go for that help because I didn’t want to make him look bad. How sad is that to look back on.  

Now because I saw how he wanted to take care of things, I put into action something that I wish I wouldn’t have done.  I didn’t want him to spank my five month old baby so I started correcting her, only because I didn’t want Ken to spank her.  My thought was, if I didn’t make her stop crying or stop touching something that Ken didn’t want her to touch, Ken would do it and I didn’t like how hard he spanked her.   It saddens me that I wasn’t braver in my talking with Ken; that he should have been finding out what was wrong and take care of that instead of being such a bully.  I also should have sat down with Ken and talked with him about his ways.  He needed to know that I was correcting our little girl sometimes only because I thought he would spank her unjustly.  He didn’t know how to train up a child nor did I know any better than he did, but I knew that what he was doing was completely wrong.    Several years later, we had another little girl and nothing had changed in our pattern for raising children.  Ken was still really busy at work or would be working outside. It was left up to me to make them mind but it was by his laws that we lived in the house. There was always turmoil around our home and the girls were not happy, and I wasn’t either. The verse that come to my mind while I am writing this is: Ephesians 6:4 “and you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. Why weren’t we trained on this in our churches as young people?  Church seems to be the place for teaching how important a father is, and how do you become that father that will train up your child. But, because we didn’t get this training, I went to a lady who had five children for help because I thought her and her husband had raised great children.  She talked to me but it really didn’t help in my situation, because she just happened to have a husband who thought the same way as she did on raising children.   

I think that Ken and I could have been a great team in raising our children.  If only I would have not protected them so much from him, but would have helped him see my thinking. Then, together, we could have enjoyed raising our girls.  If we could have put together his values and my emotional feelings we could have trained each of our girls in a productive way.  If only I would have known the verse in Proverbs 22: 6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  In looking back at the whole picture, I can see no wrong in what we wanted to teach our children, it was just how we went about it.  Each of our children has a great love for the Lord, but the hurts along the way have been many.