Parenting Toddlers: Love and Security

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Proverbs 3:13-26


I.         Toddlers

            A.        A wonderful age.

                        1.         Everything is a new and fresh delight

                        2.         Curious about everything

                                    a.         Often into things forbidden, not because of maliciousness

                                    b.         But curiosity with what is behind this, with what happens with that?

            B.        Beginnings of communications

                        1.         Relief! You now have clues as to the child’s thoughts.

                        2.         Annoyance, because the vocabulary is so small and pronunciation is innovative

                                    a.         Example: “No” doesn’t always indicate defiance

                                    b.         It can mean “Later”, “Not that way”, “Not that color”, “This tastes odd”

II.        The giving of love

            A.        Romans 8:35-39

                        1.         Who can separate us from God’s love?

                        2.         We are secure in our knowledge of God’s love for us

                        3.         We have that security, knowing the extent God has gone to keep us safe.

            B.        A father’s love gives what is needed - Matthew 7:9-11

                        1.         Not a spoiling of child, because that is not in the child’s best interest

                                    a.         Not teaching: “I am, therefore I get”

                                    b.         Such a child is not prepared for life

                        2.         Giving what will benefit the child

            C.        A mother’s love for her child is so strong that she is willing to give up her child to protect him

                        1.         Moses’ mother - Exodus 2:3

                        2.         Samuel’s mother - I Samuel 2:19

                        3.         The mother before Solomon - I Kings 3:26

                        4.         It is also an enduring love - Isaiah 49:15

                        5.         Titus 2:4 - Young women need to learn how to love their children

III.       Training begins immediately

            A.        Proverbs 22:6 - Train while young and it will be a habit when older

            B.        We need to teach good habits now

                        1.         Means setting good examples

                        2.         Bedtime habits - brushing teeth, reading Bible story, saying prayers

                        3.         Morning habits - greet each morning with joy and thankfulness

                        4.         Eating habits - meals at certain times, snacks are limited (treat good things like fruit and vegetables as special snacks)

            C.        Teaching there are limits that must be followed gives security

                        1.         Discipline of light spankings, scoldings, or sometimes letting the natural consequences happen (if it is not dangerous) - Proverbs 3:11-12

                        2.         Now is the time for children to learn that listening to parents is important for their own well being - Proverbs 1:33

                        3.         It will take lots of repetition (remember patience?)

                        4.         It must be consistent

                                    a.         This is what gives Christians security - knowing that God remains the same - Hebrews 13:8, Psalms 62:1-2

                                    b.         Things aren’t off limits just because you are having a bad day or are too rushed to watch.

                                    c.         Must watch that what is assigned is followed.

            D.        Training in the Scripture starts now - Deuteronomy 6:7

                        1.         Teach by living righteously

                        2.         Security through wisdom and trust in God - Proverbs 3:19-26

                        3.         Keep the lessons simple

                                    a.         “God is love” is shown by mommy and daddy’s love

                                    b.         “God is good” is shown by mommy and daddy’s kindness

                                    c.         Sharing

                                    d.         Helping - Child will often return items it finds. Praise the help.

                        4.         Keep in mind the child’s viewpoint

                                    a.         Helping, exploring may be an irritant to you

                                    b.         Lesson still need to be taught, but in your anger do not teach the wrong lesson.

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