toddlers and worldview part 2

Doing what comes naturally

17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you
must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They
are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because
of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having
lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to
indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.  Eph. 4:17-19

This passage is seldom applied to child-training and to
toddlers. However, there is much to
learn from Paul’s words regarding training children. This passage illustrates what happens when
children are not brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4)
This passage is a road map showing the way children will grow if left to their
own choices. Thinking that is not biblical is futile thinking. One reason that
young children are often unhappy for no apparent reason is that their thinking
is futile. Life doesn’t make sense because from the child’s world view, he
should have what he wants. If he can’t have what he wants life is unfair. It
may seem difficult to think of a young child having a hard heart. Yet think
about the last time your child threw a temper tantrum. How soft was his heart then?

Often the cause of unhappy, angry, seemingly irrational
behavior in toddlers is misdiagnosed. Futile thinking is a disturbing event. It is disturbing to parents and
those around the child, but it is also disturbing to the child. Something in
his world is not right, unfair and he is frustrated because others won’t do
what he wants. The toddler is only thinking and doing what comes naturally.
This is why trying to bargain with a child, (this toy is much nicer) threats,
(you come here or else) bribes,(you can have some ice cream as soon as you stop
) or ignoring his behavior has little long-term impact. Left to his
own thinking a child will grow up to be someone whose desires are never
satisfied. What is needed here is another way of thinking, one that is not

Of course new thinking can only come from a new heart. This
why is the gospel must have the central place in your parenting.  Let me know your thoughts about futile
thinking in toddlers. Also please take a moment to review the comments in the
last post. You are asking some great questions!

Shepherd Press