An interview at SharperIron the other day caught my eye. Hebrew scholar Phillip Brown explains how digging into the meaning of the Hebrew words helped him to understand Deuteronomy 6:7 better. The verse reads:

“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

Dr. Brown explains that the Hebrew word for “teach” can be translated as “repeat.” So, in essence, you need to teach your children principles from the Word of God over…and over…and over again for them to actually sink in and take root. I wish I would’ve comprehended this idea a little earlier. You see, I was an “expert” parent before I actually had kids. I figured it took about three times of repetition to teach a young child to say please, obey right away, share toys, etc. When I saw others’ children disobeying or being unkind, I haughtily thought that my future children would do better, thanks to my amazing grasp on child training. (Ugh. Please pass the barf bag….)

And then I had children.

I was discouraged and figured I must’ve been doing something wrong. I had repeatedly taught my daughter how to pick up her toys, and she still was getting distracted easily without help. I had repeatedly followed all the potty-training advice I could find, and my daughter was still not getting it. A wise friend told me to just keep at it. It wasn’t that I was doing anything wrong; it just takes time–more time than I had realized.

She’s four-years-old now. She’s potty-trained, she cleans her room, and she’s the sweetest daughter I’ve ever seen. There are still lots of things we’re working on, but I now know that teaching her and her brother important truths and life skills is more than a 3-steps process. So, when it seems like they’ll never learn, I just remember: teach….repeat….repeat….etc.

It’ll come.

Published in: on April 17, 2008 at 3:08 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Really enjoyed reading your post. Isn’t parenting very humbling if immensely satisfying. Peace & Happiness to all.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, slendidlady!

  3. […] writes about repetition in teaching children. I had missed the article she references, so I was thankful she shared its significance to child […]

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