This is my tired little 5 year old who’s so smart she does appear to learn through osmosis – she’ll wake up from this knowing the capital of every state.
But really, she asked me a very interesting question today: “Mommy, do you have to go to college to learn how to be a Mom?” I thought for a moment, and said, “I suppose there are some classes you could take to teach you some skills, but really, your Mommy and Daddy should be teaching you how to be a mom someday.”
I wanted to know what sorts of things she thought she’d need to know to be a mom. “Umm, cooking, baking, boiling, and making waffles.” Then, “And how to treat your kids right, and just how to be a mom!”
The paradox of her question hit me a little later. I truly don’t want government schools teaching my children how to parent someday – that’s absolutely the job of my family and my faith community. But what do you do when the family or faith community fails to do its job? At that point, having public schools take over may seem like an option…but don’t go there. We are living out the results of handing over parental responsibilities to the state – no matter the consequence, I don’t consider that an option.
I was pondering a solution to this problem, and I thought rather than focus on the children whose parents have already handed over their rights and responsibilities to the state, focus on adult education for young parents. If we can get the parents with young children to wake up, the tide can turn.
I’d begin with something very basic, but very complete, like the “fruits of the Spirit” –
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
If young moms and dads could seriously get a handle on how to just BE a person with these character traits, everything else would follow. There’d be no need to teach these parents the nitty-gritty details of how to discipline a child, how to teach kids to respect each other and to play fair. Because full of the fruits of the Spirit, they’d just know, like a vine instinctively reaching for the sun. And a child who constantly has modeled before her a parent full of love and self-control and peace –this will undeniably produce a child fully equipped to be a mom or dad someday. Forget college.