First, don’t forget Deuteronomy 6:6-7!
“Impress them (God’s commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Two important principles come from this verse. First, parents, not the State, have the primary responsibility for the academic, moral and spiritual education of their children. Parents can delegate that responsibility to different entities to help them get the job done, but the ultimate responsibility for the children’s education belongs to the parents. Second, educating our children should naturally arise out of the normal ebb and flow of a day: when we sit at home, when we lie down, when we get up, and so on. It is not formal; it is natural. Parents, in a sense, are always teaching, always modeling, always explaining as their children are with them at home.
Second, the school community can help!
Our school communities offer resources to help parents become competent, confident, encouraged, effective and successful. Those resources include other parents who have already been through the process and teachers, counselors and administrators who understand the importance of home and school having a strong relationship built on trust. Whether students attend a Classical, Traditional or University Model® school, that school by definition functions as a Christian community. This community is rich in collective resources for families searching for wisdom, counsel, mentoring or practical advice.
Third, remember the 70/30 rule.
One way for parents to think about the partnering process is the 70/30 rule. The school partners with parents for roughly 70% of the student’s academic training while the parents, according to Deuteronomy 6:6, oversee the remaining 30%. When it comes to moral and spiritual instruction, however, this ratio reverses: parents take on 70% of the moral/spiritual training while the school supports the home with the remaining 30%. Parents lean on the school for academics, and the school leans on the parents for moral instruction and each supports the other in both.
Fourth, all parenting flows out of intimacy with Christ.
He is the Vine, we are the branches. As Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The parents who are most successful in loving and preparing their children for adulthood are those who continue to prioritize a personal, passionate devotion to Jesus. Vitally connected to their Source, they move in rest and peace, and parent by grace instead of by striving under in their own strength. No matter how busy parents can get, protecting this one vital relationship should always be priority #1!
Fifth, it is never too late to begin a sincere relationship with your children.
Do not listen to the lie that you may have already lost your children. There is no relationship that cannot be mended by humility, forgiveness and reconciliation, and by learning to speak the truth in love. It is never too late to have a genuine, sincere relationship with your children!