I've been reading the book, Passionate Housewives, Desparate for God, lately and is has many good points. One thing that stood out to me, was a part where the writer was saying that she was in the hospital after having her 4th child and they would not let her leave with her newborn, until she had a (she points out, young) nurse aid show her how to change the baby's diaper and clean it. This was after she had already had 3 other children!! She goes on to point out that while she was aggrevated that she had to do this, she realized that today there are so many women who are not prepared to do the everyday things housewives and mothers do.
This really stuck with me, because I had the same kind of thing happen to me, when I had my son. (granted, this was my first child, but I still at least knew the common sense things about taking care of a baby) We had to watch videos about how to calm and soothe a baby before we were able to go home with our son. But never did it occur to me, that there truly are women out there that wouldn't have a single clue what to do. We do live in a world where many children grow up in a home with only one parent, resulting in not having the same "learning" moments I grew up with. Or they grow up in a home where both parents are working and they just don't get to see what a stay at home mom does and even if there is a baby in the family, they don't see what their mother does with the baby because the baby goes to daycare while mommy is at work and in the evenings the older child may have other activities so that they are not home when mommy is with baby. There are so many reasons why children are not taught the same basic, everyday things that have been taught and passed down from mothers to daughters for generations.
It used to be common place for young girls to go stay with neighbors to help out with children and household responisibilites, if they weren't needed to help with those tasks at home. Today many parents don't think that their children need to be a part of such tasks. They say that children need time to be kids because they will be adults to soon anyway. But, I must ask, where do they learn to be adults? If their not being taught how to do adult tasks or even how to conduct themselves in an adult like manner, where will they ever learn?
My two year old LOVES to help. For example, he likes to help empty the dishwasher. He especially likes to take the silverware out. I've started letting him take the silverware out and take it to the drawer where they belong. He's not tall enough yet to see into the drawer, so he just walks over to it and drops whatever piece of silverware he has in his hand into the drawer. Yes, this means that I will have to go sort through them all later and put them in the slots that they belong in, but isn't it a good idea to let him do this on his own? And to let him learn that when we empty the dishwasher, there is a certain place that the dishes go? (of course when he's older and bigger, he'll need to learn that they each have specific spots, but we're taking it slow) He also LOVES to put his dirty clothes in the hamper. I've had him do this since he was able to and now it's like second nature to him. To me, it seems that if we just incorporate simple things into everyday life from the time our children are small, that they will quickly and easily learn the everyday tasks of living.
This of course spills over into spiritual things, we need to daily set an example of a life that God is glorified by. We need to be sure that we teach our children the basics of Godly living and salvation from a young age. If they don't see if from us, where will they see it? As parents, we are the biggest influence on our children and we need to be sure it's an influence that God would be proud of. I think this verse sort of sums it up, "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it" Proverbs 22:6.