"Train up a child... [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]."
The Bible says, "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." The truth of the matter is that while certain universal principles apply to all children, no two are alike, and it's a mistake to treat them as if they were. In fact, here are two of the most common blunders you can make as a parent:
(1) Trying to mold your child into what you used to be. Just because you were a star football player in college doesn't mean your son will want to follow in your footsteps. And just because you made straight A's in school doesn't necessarily mean your children are capable of a 4.0 grade point average. While you should never tolerate or reward laziness, you need to accept that not all children are equally gifted athletically or intellectually.
(2) Trying to make them into what you want them to be. Don't try to relive your life through your kids. You had your chance, and just because you didn't make the grade as a professional athlete doesn't mean you should force your son or daughter in that direction. The Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]," not necessarily the way you should go, or want him or her to go. There are three hallmarks of healthy self-esteem you should continually strive to teach your children: (1) Know who you are; (2) Like who you are; (3) Be who you are.