Guangzhou Guangxiao Church continued the online parenting interview to share the wisdom in parenting children in different stages of life.
Live-streamed on June 1st, Gaofeng Wang, a father who has two sons, was invited as a special guest to share in the third session of the "I Love My Family" program.
Preacher Donghua Zhou, the host of the episode “Children's Heart and Parents' Love", talked about the conflicts and challenges parents face in parenting education, such as authoritarian parents ignoring the child's point of view; parents having overly high expectations for their children, with children being immature and failing to meet their expectations; parents paying much attention to their children's academic achievement and at the same time hoping their children develop in various fields; and finally, parents and children having different life views.
Zhou then explained four parenting styles: authoritative parenting, authoritarian style, permissive model, and uninvolved parenting. Authoritative parenting is the best, he added
Through his experience, Wang talked about how Christian parents educate their children. He shared two aspects: "four stages of parental influence on a child" and "six dimensions of a child's growth".
Parents have different influences on children along with their growth.
The first stage is 0-5 years of age. At this stage, children are mainly influenced by the mother. Children receive 80% of their sense of security and intimacy from the mother.
The second stage is 6-11 years of age. During this period of time, children are mainly influenced by the father, and the mother should hand over this stage to the father and help the father to influence the children.
In the third stage covering 12-18 years of age, children are influenced by peers at this stage, and parental influence drops to 20%.
The fourth stage is 19-21 years of age. The father takes the main role again, guiding the child in their thinking and exploring the meaning of life.
Children grow in six dimensions: spiritual, physical, social, environmental, intellectual, and emotional. Parents need to help their children grow in these six dimensions and establish a correct view of values.
“Helping children grow in six dimensions is easier said than done. But at least do not hurt the child. Even a negative word will have a great impact on them,” Wang suggested. He also reminded parents that they can only have an influence on their children for a limited time and that they should take the time, actively guide their children, teach them by words and deeds, help them to have correct views, and at the same time discipline them properly.
In this regard, Zhou talked about "the funnel theory of parenting". The age of the child is proportional to the freedom given to them. Children need to be trained and disciplined at an early age. For example, between 0-5 years of age, the preschool stage, children have very limited freedom and they need to learn rules and regulations which cultivate their sense of security and responsibility.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, not parents’ private property. From a higher perspective, parents are entrusted to raise their children. Parents are not only the child’s biological father and mother but also their first teachers. The important thing ofr parenting is to introduce God to their children and let them learn to fear God,” he concluded.
- Translated by Katherine Guo