One of the important concepts Christianity follows is stewardship. All we have is not ours but they belong to God who entrusted them to us for a time being (1 Peter 4:10). Therefore, my talents, materials I own, or my time are God’s and it is the best to be used according to His purpose.
This important concept of stewardship applies to children that my children are not mine but God’s. God called us and entrusted them to us, ‘Would you keep my children for a while and raise them?’ Therefore, we should do our best in raising them, but we should not force our wishes on them.
The most important responsibility as a parent is to find God’s will for the child and help the child to choose the right path. Often, we desire that child will be a doctor to achieve the dream which I could not achieve or that child will go to a high-ranking school to make me look good. In this conflict, parent and child relationship scared sometimes.
This may be difficult to swallow, but if we remember that child is God’s and he is entrusted to us only for a while, our attitude toward special needs children should be different. American Christians have strong belief in this concept. They will have a child even though the child may have disability. Many of these parents believe in purposes. They believe that even handicap children have their purposes from God and it is not right for us to terminate their lives according to our understanding. Some have faith in their being called to be parents to those special needs children. God called them not somebody else.
The difference in this attitude is quite evident as a child is diagnosed as having a problem in development. Unlike American parents, Korean parents have difficulty to accept the possibility. If a teacher suggests professional test since she notices some impediment in development, Korean parents often react with firm denial or violent rage and even threaten to move school or church. Therefore, in Korean school or church, they cannot address the issue even when it is clear.
Unfortunately, such approach can cause more adverse effect to the child. Since various treatment and technique have been developed for the last decades, depends on the level of impediments, there are several possible treatments. The effectiveness of those treatments is known to be better if it was applied in the early stage. However, since Korean parents would not accept the fact being shielded out of their ego, often they ended up losing the right time for the treatment.
On the other hand, American parents accept facts more readily and cooperate with each other to find the best possible treatment method, which is beneficial for the child and the cooperation also works to improve the relationship of the family. Let’s remember that child is God’s before he is mine. This belief will help us to accept child as God planned. We need to raise child with prayer. It is the best way to train a child without causing an unnecessary scar and parenting will be a blessing as God intended it to be.
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