Help Children to Benefit More From Meetings
1 When your children are attending meetings, do they really listen? Can they relate to you afterward things they have learned from each meeting? Have you encouraged them to pay attention and make use of knowledge gained by careful observation? Do you set them an active example by your expressions in the meetings, one that they can see, hear, and imitate? Do your children imitate your faith? Positive answers to these questions are of vital importance if children are going to grow up as devoted servants of Jehovah.
INCULCATE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING ATTENDANCE
2 A child needs Bible instruction if he is going to have everlasting life. (John 17:3) If a child is going to learn to appreciate spiritual things, meeting attendance is necessary. At times, parents hesitate to bring children to meetings because they fear the children will disturb others. Some may leave their children at home to do their school homework. The wise parent, however, brings his children to the meetings.—Deut. 31:12.
3 The first thing a child should learn from infancy is that he goes to the Kingdom Hall to listen. But if he is given things to keep him occupied, such as toys or food, or if he is allowed to play at his seat, will he learn to listen and appreciate why we attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall? Admittedly, some children are more attentive than others. However, when a child misbehaves, the wise parent will correct him and lovingly train him to listen, not by bribing him with candy or toys, but by applying the discipline of God’s Word.—Prov. 13:24; Eph. 6:4.
YOUR EXAMPLE AS A PARENT
4 The Watchtower of January 15, 1982, page 17, asked the following questions: “Do your children know that you take Bible study meetings seriously? Do they see that you consider these meetings important enough not just for you to attend but for you to participate in, offering comments when these are requested?” If your children see you chatting unnecessarily during the meetings or if you or others are playing with them, what impression will that make on them? How will they view meeting times? Since children are good imitators, your example can have a profound effect on them.
5 Some parents have found it helpful to provide even small children with their own copies of the publications used at the meetings. Perhaps during the family study, they help their children prepare appropriate comments. Also, parents can encourage their children by reviewing points that were discussed during the meeting and by taking time to answer questions they may have. Parents should also be alert to commend their children for their participation in the meetings.
6 It is true that this training involves hard work for the parents. However, doing things God’s way produces good results. As the scripture says: “The righteous is walking in his integrity. Happy are his sons after him.”—Prov. 20:7.