The Common Parenting Task
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). This verse has been interpreted as meaning that Christian parents should know the way a child is to be raised so that he will keep the faith throughout his life time. A one size fits all approach. It would be more accurately rendered from the Hebrew as: "Educate and train a child according to the way God designed him to be, and when he is old he will not stray from it." We are to make sure our child is educated and trained according to his individual design! If a child grows up knowing who he is, of course he will remain true to himself when he is old--he will know how!
This is the parenting task in a nutshell, and true for parenting any child. We are to listen to the Lord and listen to the child and reveal to the child the parth the Lord designed for him to walk. It is the parents responsibility to educate him, and to equip him to go that way, to learn to be himself by means of modeling and instruction. If you cannot do the job yourself, your responsibility before God is to find someone who can teach, model, mentor your child in the area you are not equipped to do so. The overall responsibility for parenting remains yours--you do not turn over the task of parenting to someone else. For a highly sensitive child, part of the modeling and instruction will also relate to burden bearing, so that the child learns to bear burdens to the Cross, rather than wound or destroy himself and others by wearing them.
When raising a highly sensitive child, the parenting task does not change. It does take on added emotional intensity and has the additional task of teaching and training the child to bear burdens in a manner the Lord desires.
The added diminsion of intensity and the additional task of teaching and training how to bear burdens properly are the only things differences in raising a highly sensitive child--but that is a lot!
Any of you who would like to share your stories of how you discerned the Lord's design for your child I would love to have you comment!
Next time: How do you accomplish the common parenting task?