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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Eight Great Ways to Raise Strong Kids: Grow Your Child with the Grain

This blog series is adapted from "Woman of Valor" written by Marilynn Chadwick. To download the full book, please go here. by Marilynn Chadwick Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 AMPC). Education should be a delight, not drudgery. It’s the same with spiritual training. Every child learns differently. Research has shown that some of what were previously thought to be learning disabilities are often just different ways of processing information. The God of the Universe seems never to tire of creating unique humans. At birth, every person is “wired” differently from the nearly eight billion people on the planet—and from every other person who has ever lived! Astounding, isn’t it? So as parents, it makes sense that in addition to discovering our child’s unique beauty, we should experiment to see how they best learn. What makes them tick? The kindest way to raise our children is “in keeping with their gift or bent.” Our best clues come simply from watching what they naturally love to do. Our three now grown children were all very different. Bethany was multitalented and loved to learn. She played volleyball and basketball, but she was also passionate about languages. In third grade, she chose to attend a French Immersion Magnet School where English wasn’t even spoken. She learned everything from grammar to long division in French. It’s easy to see why she now loves educating her children at home. David, our older son, was shooting wads of trash through lampshades at age two. It’s no surprise basketball grabbed his heart at an early age. Basketball scholarships completely paid for both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in college. We’ve watched basketball, along with his good math mind and strategic business acumen, open up doors to his career path in the sports world. Our youngest, Michael, was talented in a variety of sports, but gravitated to swimming. He carved his own unique trail as a standout collegiate swimmer and eventually, a professional swimmer and world record holder. Our determined Michael used to say, “Swimming found me!” His athletic gifts and work ethic, combined with his high “EQ,” or emotional intelligence, have made him an effective leader who now expresses his gifts through a ministry calling. David and I tried to “grow” our three children “with their grain.” By God’s grace, as they’ve gotten older, they’ve not left the foundation of that training. More importantly, they’ve held tightly to their faith in Jesus.

I pray each person reading this will discover your natural bent and help others do the same.

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