The importance of submission in the matter of child training is great. A child in constant rebellion to the instruction of his parents is a shame to them. This child will also deprive himself of the benefit of their instruction through his disobedience. The importance of parental authority in child training is also of great significance. For this aspect of our study, we see the significance of the Where of child training.
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
Many times we’ve see a frustrated and frantic parent trying to control the rambunctious child as the child throws a tantrum in some public place. Maybe the toy costs too much, or the child just wants to run and play. At any rate, the situation presented shows the attitude of the child to be in opposition to the direction of the parent. The upset parent is embarrassed by the disobedient child and must resort to overly aggressive forms of discipline in order to bring the child into submission.
This scenario best illustrates the point that discipline begins at home. If a child is allowed to have his way at home, he will expect to have his way in public. The parent that only disciplines a child in public, but lets him have his way at home, will actually lend to the psychological training of the child, gendering confusion as to acceptable forms of behavior.
“And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.” (Deuteronomy 31:13)
Children only know what they are taught. Like computers, the minds of children will register any input – good or bad. This computer-mind will then process the information, bringing it up again at a later date. Children learn more by the example of others than they do by any verbal instruction. The best way to teach a child anything then, is to live in a manner consistent with the instruction. By living life “in the way he should go,” a parent is able to train the child by example, reinforcing the instruction by clear examples which show the usefulness and profitableness of the instruction.
The significance of this example-reinforced instruction gives undeniable importance to the home as the Where of child training. When minds are young and impressionable, they need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. As we’ve already seen that the parents have the primary responsibility in training a child (and not relying on someone else), it is necessary then to be a parent at home with the child, rather than waiting until the child acts up in public.