Parenting : The Importance of that Golden Age of 0 – 3 years old
Have you heard anyone saying something like this ?
When children are still so small, they’re the easiest to take care, because they can’t do much at that age anyway. It’s really just about taking care of their physical needs. Bathing, feeding, playing with them. These things can be done by a helper / a nanny / another caretaker, while we parents concentrate on other more urgent things in life. It’s when they’re bigger that it gets more challenging, and we need to step in and be more involved in the children.
I just interviewed a parenting expert for Reformed 21 TV, and amongst the many topics we discussed, THIS was one of them.
Here’re some thoughts I’d like to share with you today :
When something is not ‘seen’, we tend to see them as having ‘no value’.
This cannot be further than the truth!
Children below the age of 3, even babies below the age of 1, may seem to NOT do anything much.
And this is because they ABSORB their world.
They observe. They learn about consistency, security and love in the family.
They explore and they discover more about themselves and their world.
They learn about limits and boundaries.
They test to find out who is the main authority, and whether THEY (yes, these tiny ones) can be the authority instead.
(no wonder, toddlers go through this phase called the ‘terrible two’!)
They ABSORB everything like a SPONGE.
Present them with anything, expose to them everything, and they’ll take them all in and treat them as the TRUTH.
Can you just imagine how fatal things could be (often, the impact of it is only apparent when they’ve hit their teenage years), when parents don’t see the significance of this ‘golden age of 0-3 years old’?
ie. When parents are not actively present in the lives of their babies and toddlers, when parents fail to see the importance of instilling values and principles during this period, because they thought these small, little people ‘can’t do much’ anyway?
As I sat there, listening to the explanations and mentally preparing my next interview questions, I was reminded of how tough a task it is to be a parent.
Let alone, a ‘Godly parent’ to my children.
But then, at the same time, I was reminded of how big an honour it is to have been entrusted with this task too!
And how as parents whose faith is firmly placed in Christ, we are never, ever alone in our parenting journey.
God is with us every step of the way, and wisdom, strength, joy and patience will be given to those who put their trust and hope in Him.
Thank God for little children.
And thank God for His beautiful promise.