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Instilling Good Behaviour

Teach with patience and prayer

Good Manners:

Children's manners have much to do with how they were raised.  However, today's children often feel that they can express their feelings whenever they like.  Their culture encourages disrespect.  Being rude and disrespectful has become "cool".

However, as teachers we need to help children respect others and express their own needs and wants in a respectful manner.  To do this, we have to teach them politeness, respect and good manners.  But we must ensure that we show the children a good example by our own lives.

By reinforcing good behaviour, we will gradually instill the good behaviour we desire in our children.  Proverbs 22:6 is God's way of teaching and training children of all ages:

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Modelling Good Behaviour:

Children learn from watching and overhearing their parents, teachers and from each other.  The best way to encourage children to become responsible is to act as responsibly as you can in their presence.  We must genuinely try to be the sort of people that they need to become and show children our self-control, courage and honesty.  You can show them by your words and actions that you respect others.  You can show them your compassion and concern when others are suffering.

As children watch you and you talk to them, ask encouraging questions.  This will help you begin to understand them, and give you ways to teach them good behaviour.  Children learn about responsibility through Bible stories where they will identify with individual characters.  For example, they can learn about courage from David's standing up to Goliath.  Or they might learn the value of persistence from the stories of Moses and Joshua.

Children develop their capacity for judging what is a responsible act through practice.  One way is to help them understand the long-term consequences of different choices, and the need to avoid selfish or reckless behaviour.  You can help your children develop strong habits of considering the welfare of others, and the values of kindness, truthfulness and respect.   Children should see that you are serious about your principles, while still being able to play and have fun!

Respecting God's House:

Is there a lack of discipline and control at home, or are children lacking in love and attention?  Although these factors contribute to poor behaviour, the child's experience with God plays a much greater roll.  The lack of respect for God's House stems from the lack of relationship with God.  In order to truly love God and appreciate and respect God's House and all that takes place there, children must first have a real relationship with God.

This requires much more than just bowing their heads during prayer, singing and doing actions, or achieving good scores in Bible quizzes.  In the many Sunday School programs the children enjoy the fun, games and the fellowship of friends, but do they ever really meet with God while they are there?

Develop a Relationship with God:

If you want to see a change in their lives and behaviour, then lead them into God's presence.  As they begin to develop a wonderful relationship with God Himself, and experience His love, they will desire to learn more about God and draw closer to Him.  The results of this relationship will show up through their actions, behaviour and attitude in God's house.

God bless!

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