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 Invest in Rockford Youth

10/10/2018 8:00 AM

​With four children ages three and under, my wife, Johnnie, and I are experiencing first-hand what this parenting thing is all about. With all of the laughs, screams, diapers, tears, hugs and kisses, the rewards in parenting are like nothing we have experienced before.

While you may think our children are too young for us to worry about education, we believe that couldn’t be further from the truth. I recently read an article by Reggie Joiner, Author of "Parenting Beyond your Capacity" and "Playing for Keeps." He reminds us there are 936 weeks between birth and high school graduation. We always talk about how time flies and how our children grow so fast. This is proof that every week counts and we must strive to be intentional.

The book of Psalms talks about children as God’s best gift and how they are likened to a “fistful of arrows.” These verses have taken on new meaning for us over the last couple of years. If the children are the arrows and parents are the archers, then every moment, hour, day, week, month and year, we have the responsibility to aim our kids and release them to the things that matter in this life. 

So, we started asking ourselves what we are aiming our children toward. If we released the "arrow" right now, what life-size targets would they hit? These questions required us to determine our end goal, which is to love God, love others, and reach their God-given potential. It was time for us to make a decision on their path of education. We knew we wanted to start as early as possible and put our children in an environment where they could develop socially and mentally. 

This decision brought us to enroll our 3-year-old son Tony into the preschool program at Fairview Early Childhood Center. To our delight, Tony loved it. Within one-to-two weeks’ time, Tony would come home talking about his teacher, Mrs. Jean, whom always greeted him with a hug each morning.  To top it off, as I was taking him to class one morning, he passed a friend in the hall and they hugged each other. Then they began to talk and asked if they could show each other their classrooms. 

As parents, we loved that these relationships were forming so early. We knew that this environment would be a catalyst for Tony to begin his educational journey in arguably some of the most critical developmental years of his life. 

I’m not suggesting that we have to be perfect as parents, but we have the gift of parenting our children. Let's lead them to the very best of our ability. It’s never too soon to invest in our children. 

The Pentenburg family.
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