Thursday, September 25, 2014

Child-raising advice?

"Train up a child in the way he should go," says the Good Book, "and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).  King Solomon is credited with writing most of the book of Proverbs and he is renowned in the scriptures as a man of great wisdom.  That’s probably why he stayed silent on what can happen to that "bundle of joy" between childhood and old age!

Solomon left us no wise words on the "wild oats" a child – even a well-raised child – can sow between the ages of ten and one hundred and ten.  He doesn’t mention playing hooky from school, fist fights, scrapes with the law, substance abuse, traffic accidents, or time behind bars.  Solomon wisely keeps silent on problems such as multiple sexual affairs (perhaps as King he thought that was normal!), serial divorces, custody battles, or contested wills.  He makes no mention of ruptured relationships, disastrous career or financial choices, or affiliation with the "wrong" crowd or political party.

No, Solomon’s proverbial wisdom speaks not a word on these child-raising realities!  He only holds out to us parents the distant hope that "when [the child] is old he[she] will return" to the good precepts taught when young.  Will we parents – prematurely aging because of our offspring’s follies – live long enough to see that child return to civility and good conduct?

But, then, with 700 wives and 300 concubines, Solomon probably considered child-raising to be "women’s work."  So he really had very little experience in that field. And with no Dr. Spock to refer to for advice, he didn’t really know what he was talking about!

But really, why should we take child-raising advice from a leader who overtaxed his people, enslaved them to build his great monuments, and led his nation astray by trying to appease his many foreign wives?  His son, who succeeded him on the throne, was rejected by the people due to his brutality and it split the nation apart!

I think I’ll look elsewhere for child-raising advice!