Saturday, 13 February 2016

Parenting Advice from the Clarksons

I have been inspired by books by the Clarksons (Sally Clarkson, Clay Clarkson and Sarah Clarkson) and have recently started listening to podcasts by Sally Clarkson. To date, these are some books I have read:

I have also read the blog of Sally and Clay's youngest daughter Joy and am impressed that a lady in her early twenties can exhibit so much wisdom and maturity in her thoughts and writing. I pray that my own children will also grow in wisdom and maturity and that Lyn and I will be role models to them, just as Sally and Clay have been to their children.

Here are some nuggets which I have picked up from the family (in my own words since I cannot remember which book or podcast I have picked them up from):

1) The role of parents is to nurture and prepare the hearts of our children so that the Word of God will fall on good soil. Many times, we are concerned with behaviour modification and seek to correct behaviour without dealing with the root of the misbehaviour. This point is also mentioned in Ted Tripp's Shepherding A Child's Heart and I am glad to be reminded.

2) Sally mentioned several instances where she could have continued with her busy-ness, but she chose to attend to her children when they needed her. One particular incident was memorable to me: Her third son Nathan wanted to show her a secret place he had discovered where the sunset could be viewed. Sally was glad she dropped what she was doing to follow him so she could share the beautiful moment with him. I pray that I will also give J and An my undivided attention.

3) Childhood is a season of a person's life when the person is most sensitive to his parents' influences. Clay and Sally spent much time homeschooling their children, teaching them the Word of God and exposing them to great men and women of God through reading while they were younger. Now that the children are grown up, they have discovered God's purposes for their lives. One is a writer, another is a musician and the third is an actor. They are all grounded in the Word of God and are using their talents for His glory. This is what I envision for my children, that they serve Him wholeheartedly in the field God has called them to be in. I pray that whilst they are children, I will not neglect to school them, and the most effective way to be a living example of how God wants us to live.

4) The Clarkson children were taught practical behaviour such as writing thank you notes, practising hospitality to guests and showing kindness to the needy. I pray that Lyn and I will be diligent to imbue such behaviour in our children.

5) As mothers, we need to draw strength from our Creator. If we do not do so, we may find ourselves exhausted. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall soar with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31. May I soar in every area of my life as I wait upon Him.

6) The Clarksons are avid readers. Reading does wonders to a child's brain and heart, as Sarah Clarkson has informed her readers in the book "Read for the Heart". I have started to introduce classics to J and I love sharing stories with him. As school gets into full swing and he seems to always have 听写 to study for, we have less time for reading but I try to use the time during car rides to tell him parts of a story I have read and hope he will be inspired to read the rest of the story by himself.

7) The relationship between husband and wife has a crucial influence on the child's development. I realised that I have not been communicating much with Lyn as he is frequently preoccupied with work so I pray that we will not neglect our marriage and work on enhancing it.

8) I have not read Sally's and Sarah's latest book "The Lifegiving Home" but I am looking forward to ordering and receiving it. In her blog, Sally has provided resources that are expedient for families to have and these include wholesome movies, books, art and craft materials and so on.

9) When one is not grounded in character, he will walk in the way of culture. That explains why many are giving in to peer pressure, having sexual relationships out of wedlock, smoking or harming their bodies etc. It is so easy for me to focus on J's doing of homework and preparing for tests, leaving only the last few minutes of each day for devotion. I pray that I will have my priorities right and place greater emphasis on values and imparting the love for the Word.

I am challenged to become a better mother and may God grant me grace and fulfil my heart's desire.

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