Wanda’s Journal

Five Points of Amish Parenting

Amish parents feel it’s important to teach their children about God. An Amish child begins attending church with his family from the time he or she is a baby. At home, families have a time of devotions, so the children have plenty of exposure to the Bible and God’s teachings. Prayers are said, and Scripture is read in every Amish schoolhouse. Amish parents feel accountable to the Lord for the spiritual upbringing of their children.

Amish parents have an obligation to teach their children the importance of respecting others. I have visited many Amish homes and Amish schools, and have observed the children, and how they related to both adults and children. An Amish child is taught by his parents, as well as the school teacher, to be polite and have respect. While Amish children are not perfect, and they sometimes have disagreements with their siblings and peers, they are expected to behave in an orderly manner. Amish children are also taught that the Bible says we are to love one another.

Amish parents teach their children responsibility. As soon as an Amish child is old enough to understand and carry out directions, they are given small chores to do. As they grow older, their responsibilities increase, so by the time they graduate from the eighth grade, they are able to learn a trade and get a job. Many non-Amish businesses hire Amish employees because they know the Amish are hard workers, who will be honest and dependable.

Amish parents teach their children obedience. From an early age, Amish children are taught to respect and obey their elders. An Amish child is normally quiet and well-behaved in public. I have witnessed many times, while out shopping or in a restaurant, that Amish children do not run around hollering or hiding from their parents, as I’ve seen some “English” children do when they are not taught obedience.

Amish parents teach their children the importance of their heritage. Amish roots come from the Anabaptist faith, and Amish parents know the importance of teaching their children about the martyrs of old, who kept true to their faith, despite persecution. Reminders of their heritage are preached regularly in Amish church services, which take place bi-weekly in church members’ homes, barns, or some other outbuilding large enough to accommodate a large group. Many of the hymns that are sung during the 3-hour services are reminders of what their Anabaptist ancestors went through in or to preserve their faith.

Is there something special about your heritage that your children or grandchildren are being taught?

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  1. Quite a lesson for us to learn from. So many problems of today are because our children are not taught these things.

    I was taught to respect other people’s differences, culture. My Mom came from England and spoke of the problems they endured when they immigrated here in the 1950s. She taught me to be kind always. I have attempted to teach this to my children and grandchildrrn.

  2. My heritage is a mix of Irish Native American German Scottish German and Polish. I have taught my kids smudhing (cleansing/blessing of home-Bative American) I have also started teaching them the recipes for the major holidays. I also teach them it is okay to try new things as our ancestors did when they came to America.

  3. I like to have my grandkids know about how things were when I was growing up like how school was and what we did at home for fun and the chores we had to do.

  4. Unfortunately my husband and I don’t have any children to pass down our heritage. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to win one of your cookbooks. God Bless!

  5. My heritage is Cajuns he German, Spanish, French, English, Indian and other cultures added to the Acadian culture to produce the Cajun culture. I have taught my daughter where we came from and some of the recipes from La. And go out into the world and learn new things and try to be kind to others. We as cajun’s would give our shirt off our backs to help others.

  6. I am of Canadian/French, Russian, & Hungarian descent. Raised in an all German community & it was tough in school as most of the students spoke German. I would love one of your cook books. Have always said treat others as you would like to be treated. A motto I learned from my mom.

  7. I wish I had been more this type of parent growing up. I think, as a nation in general, more kids would benefit from the old adage “Respect your Elders” and as the Bible says “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” (am sure that isn’t the exact quote). We are raising a generation of spoiled and entitled children.
    As far as heritage, I make sure my kids know all the stories that I have been told all my life about our family. I think it’s important for people to know where they come from and we all have those stories that have become bigger with each generation. I love telling my kids and Grandson these stories.

  8. Our family went to church together and our children had respect for their elders
    and others . Our children had chores they had to do. I never really thought about it being a tradtion, just the way we were raised. I enjoy reading about the Amish and their ways.

  9. We need more of this kind of parenting these days. Discipline seems to have gone away. Growing up in the 50’s was not bad. You learned to respect your elders and be polite to everyone. Seems like a world of difference between then and now. Thanks for the opportunity to try to win the cooking class cookbook. Loved that series of books as I do all of your book!

  10. Our heritage is German. We were brought up going to church and Sunday School. We did the same thing to our two children. We have passed this on to our two grandchildren. Christian upbringing is very important in a child’s life.

  11. I live in Ashtabula County, Ohio.. There are many Amish families on my road as well as around where I live.. We are located North of Middlefield Ohio where there are many Amish Families. I shop at an Amish Store about 10 miles south of me… The Mother and her Daughters are Very polite and will answer any questions I have.. They are very Friendly and Helpful…. I was raised to Respect my elders by my Father who was a Hardworking Farmer and Carpenter and my Mother who was a Stay at Home Mom… We all worked in the Garden and around the House and Yard… Children Today are given too many material Things and don’t appreciate the work that went into earning the Money to be able to buy the items.. Kids today really don’t know how to play.. they want electronic Games or to play on Computers or use their Cell phones…

  12. Our heritage is Russian German. Our father came from Russia in the late 1800s. He only attended school through the 4th grade as his father died very young and he had to help his mother earn a living for the other 4 younger siblings. We were always taught to work hard, be honest with everyone, to treat others as you would like to be treated. I was only the second one in my family to graduate from high school. There were 14 children and it was important to earn a living. Schooling was a very important matter in my immediate family and I was blessed to graduate and then continue my schooling. During high school and after high school and some college I worked for forty years and was able to return from state employment with a retirement. Attending church and learning from the Bible was very important in our family. My husband and I have carried on that tradition.

  13. enjoyed rising your parenting journal entry. Thank you for the opportunity
    to enter the give-away.

  14. This is the only kind of parenting there should be today, all of these kids on their phone, they will never know how to work the way we did. It never hurt anyone to work hard in the fields.

  15. What a wonderful journal entry. I tried to teach my children everything you spoke of. I have one grand-d a daughter who has been taught the same thing. Responsibility, obedience, respect of self and others, and where we came from. It is my prayer that all parents would teach there children this and maybe, with the Lord’s help, we can turn our country around.

  16. My father was a Nazarene Minister, and the old fashioned kind, not lenient in any of our upbringing. We also were taught at “babyhood” about Christ , the Bible and Respect. Though I felt his guidance was too strict, today I feel thats what made myself and my 3 siblings so respectful. I never “hated” dad but respected him greatly. My father never allowed one gift at Christmas to be opened until he read the Christmas story and all Children understood the meaning. Then and only then were gifts passed out. To this day our Spouses do the same at Christmas. Dad would be proud!

  17. I agree.. all of your points are something many young ones are not being taught now a days. We teach this to our family and often remark to Mothers or Fathers when their children are well behaved in public.. I have your cookbook in my most wanted list 🙂

  18. My husband and I don’t have any children but I wish all children would be brought up like this. I was taught to be respectful of my Elders and not to be rude. My Mother and my Grandmother taught me well. I was punished for any wrong doing and to this day I remember what they taught me. Thank you for an opportunity to say just a little about my upbringing.

  19. My heritage is Hungarian and Yugoslavian. I was taught about God and the bible and responsibility toward others as soon as I was old enough to understand, read and write. This was to instill in me a sense of worth, honesty, loyalty and a behavior on how to treat others. This is what is lacking in society today. Everyone is in a hurry or too busy or on their electronics that they forget the simple courtesies to afford to one another. I wish we could go back to the “good old days”.

  20. Enjoyed your journal post. How wonderful Amish parents have not lost what is important. We in the “English” church communities need to get back to this. My husband and I remember when the things of God were important in the home.

  21. Coming from Amish blood line growing up English I have loved the ways of the Amish there such kind people and I do a lot of things that is in my heritage with my own children. I am a strong believer that family and god are the most 2 important things in life. I wish sometimes that I could of raised my kids in the plain life style but we just implement some of the ways in to our lives today. I can’t be Amish in my own life so I live Amish threw your books and that’s great for me. For now. Thanks so much for the great books I can get lost in.

  22. We don’t have children, but we grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and life was so much better then. we didn’t have all the problems that children do today. Bulling is bad anymore. We were blessed growing up. We just need to get God back in his right places

  23. Unfortunately in today’s world young parents would rather be a “friend” to their children than a parent. I was raised to listen and respect my elders as well as anyone else. I have tried to instill these values in my children as well as my grandchildren. I am very proud of my children as they are both hard workers and polite. Children who are taught these traits while growing up will go farther than anyone who was not. God Bless and have a wonderful month.

  24. I don’t really know my heritage but I grew up in the 60’s and had a very happy childhood.My brothers and sisters are very close to me .I wish my grandchildren could have grown up like I did without all the technology and electronics we have today.I don’t think it’s good to be so involved with your cell phones and games that your not enjoying the times when you’re with family and friends.

  25. It is so important to teach children about courtesy and good manners. The Amish have a good belief where children are concerned.

  26. The Amish should be admired for the way they raise their children. Children should be taught to respect others and have good manners.

  27. We have a geneology book of my mother’s family that everyone has a copy of. My daddy’s parents passed when he was very young so while I know his family, we don’t know much of his familys background.

  28. With Amish ancestors on both my husband’s and my sides of our family, our children are being taught to show respect and responsibility in the same way we were raised, which reflects the way Amish children are raised. We regularly hear from their school teachers how responsible, caring, and respectful they are, which is definitely what we want to hear! We pray our children will raise their own children to have the same values one day.

  29. I homeschooled my son from kindergarten through High School. We’d start every class with reading something from the Bible or watching a Biblical movie. And prayer. I think it’s sad that public schools don’t or can’t do this. Like you say the Amish children behaved in public, so did Donnie. He got along not only with kids (which of course had little squabbles once in awhile) but also with adults. I feel that if the public schools were able to do this there would be a difference!

  30. I love reading your books and learning from them! I hope one day to visit an Amish community first-hand instead of just in a book.

  31. I have 18 Grandchildren. Their parents have different parenting styles. The ones that are being brought up in church and given direction are so much happier. My family just tries to stay close and be their for each other as much as we can and lead by example.

  32. After a long week of work, then housecleaning, nothing beats a little crafting and sitting to read the latest about the Amish community. My daughter is the instigator in my Amish reading choices. This book would make a very nice wedding gift for her. Thank You !

  33. Thank you for sharing about how Amish children are raised. I live in the county above Holmes County, OH, so have had several opportunities to observe the Amish, and have not seen a misbehaving Amish child! I worked in Adult level special education, and even w/ disabilities, the Amish children & adults were well behaved. I do not own a tv, and it is my personal belief that television has an adverse effect on America’s culture–both programs and advertising. Also, I enjoy the enthusiasm of receiving “greetings” (cards) by the Amish! Some of the hand crafted cards I’ve been shown are beautiful!

  34. So thankful for your writing and friendship. Our grandson and his wife work deligently to teach their 2 year old obedience,respect,and love. At restaurant, waiter was asking for drinks but Wes was hungry so he said “bread, please”. Waiter was surprised at please.

  35. Since my daughter was little, I have taught her to be respectful of others and to behave properly in public. Also, my daughter and I are working on learning more about our family heritage(s) and how our ancestors came to be. In the future, I hope to have a completed family tree and recipes to pass down to my daughter, so she can use them with her own family.

  36. My daughter is 25 yrs old and I taught her to respect others and do as she was told, behave in public. I grew up around my very strict grandparents I think that has a lot of how I raised my daughter. She is now a teacher in Indianapolis and she has a hard time with the younger kids not respecting adults and just how rude they are with adults and peers. I have had people till me that she is mature for her age and that makes me proud that I raised her be grown up.
    When I see some kids her age and they don’t respect their parents or adults I’m glad I raised her the way I did. We need our parents now to raise their kids to respect adults and listen.

  37. Having been a teacher before being a parent, I knew discipline was important. I wanted my children to listen, obey, and show respect. It paid off because they were not just good children but adults as well.

  38. I love your books and writings. I love learning about the Amish and enjoyed your post about Amish children. I teach my children about God and to respect others. I teach them about modesty and to be careful what they listen to and watch.

  39. I am making each grand child a notebook on our genealogy to have. I also have been writing down old family recipes to give each of my children. Love all your books.

  40. Mt husband and I were both taught to love God and his house and to be respectful to elders, how to behave in public as well as church. We try our best to instill these same values to our children.

  41. I love reading your books and finding out about another culture. Thank you for your frequent give aways!

  42. I Like the way the Amish teach their children, some children from other religions do some of the same and some don’t do much of anything. Thanks for a chance to win a cookbook.

  43. I admire the Amish teaching their children responsibility. So many children are not given enough training to do simple chores and make sure they are done right. How does this teach them to function later in their adult life? It is the responsibility of all parents, not just Amish, to prepare their children for living a joy-filled but responsible life. Thank you for wonderful Christian stories. Also, for the chance to win your new cookbook. 🙂

  44. Thank you for your post. What a great reminder to us to be consistent in teaching our children in all areas of life. It is never too late to teach them, though you may encounter more resistance.

  45. My children are taught to have a relationship with God. I feel this is very important. I believe that having this relationship helps them grow as a person.

  46. Heritage knowing all about yourself where you came from where you belong in the pages of your family history, the Amish heritage is one of Being unpprideful working within the community when I visit an Amish store I instantly sense the slow pace of life the shared responsibilities it’s peaceful and quality in all they do. I sometimes wish I had a friend or two who live in an Amish community to be friends with with all the naturalness they live by I often thinking would be happy there see I’m visionally impaired and most of my life was lived inside but on the outside I was bullied and I hid irill make a trip again to Lancaster in
    Pa thanks &or giving us such warm stories of the Amish life

  47. These are points that I would expect to find in every home. Alas!!

    I passed these messages along to my own children.

  48. I was raised in a Christian home and I am so thankful for my Christian Heritage.
    Unfortunately my husband and I were unable to have children to pass them on.

  49. These are messages that I have taught my own children and the children I watch in my Family Childcare I have.

  50. I think as parents and teaching our children, we can take a lesson from the Amish. I also raised my son to treat people with love and respect. I also raised him to be a proper little gentleman with good manners and to go that extra mile to help one another. Today my son is 28 and he turned out great. I thank God that I was blessed with him.

  51. My heritage is Amish! My mom & Dad were married in the Amish church, then just before I was born they left it. They were Beachy Amish for many years. My children are also proud of the heritage they come from, although they can’t speak the PA Dutch language, they can understand enough of it to know what I’m talking about or what I mean (tone of voice). I just came back from visiting my Amish relatives in Nappanee Indiana. It is very refreshing to go back ‘home’ and be around good hearted and wholesome people.

  52. I’m teaching my grandchildren to respect others and to have manners no matter where they are they are taught yes mam and sir and no mam and sir along with please and no thank you. I love the Amish ways and how they take care of the elders especially the grandparents.

  53. Thank you so much for your books . My mom got me started on reading your books and I love them so did she. I am a Christian and your books are full of how Christians should act. Thanks

  54. Thank you for the insight and the opportunity to readi it. I teach high school and more kids DO need to learn respect. When I hear a kid using manners in the classroom, I stop and thank them for it. I am trying to teach my own kids to respect their elders and the ways of the world is not necessarily right but God’s way is.

  55. These days church seems a drop off for kids so the parents can have an hour to themselves. I cherish the connection I have with my church family.

  56. Thank you for your many posts about the Amish culture and heritage. I always marvel at how well behaved the Amish children are in Lancaster County. I have many opportunities to interact with them and find them a delight to be around. My husband and I always tried to instill some of these values in our own children. Now that they are grown, I see many of these things coming to fruition. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

  57. I watch the kids today run around in the stores on their parents..I am so glad my kids listened to me many years ago..I always made them hold onto my grocery cart and the same when we were walking outside, I made them hold onto the carriage..I always told them I never wanted to lose them..So they always listened to me, so I took that as they didn’t want to lose me either, as they did what I asked..Thanks Wanda for your books…Love reading about the Amish..

  58. I think teaching your children about their heritage is important! My grandmother taught me so much!

  59. I have tried to teach my children respect for others. We don’t run around other people, we say excuse me, thank you, and please. My husband and myself also teach them to obey the Bible and share the gospel of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.

  60. I’ve told my kids & grand-kids about my up bring & my husband has as well. I’ve tot them cooking from all sides of our family. I also as wedding gifts I’ve made a family cookbook, for my kids & other family members. We all gather on holidays for meals. Between Thanksgiving & Christmas we have what we call GOODIE DAYS. We get together make & bake things for baskets for friends & Family for Christmas.. Gifts from the heart are the best kind..

  61. I don’t have any children yet so nothing my husband and I can pass down as far as tradition goes. I will say that my family has several traditions that we would like to pass down. One and my most favorite is a devotional that we do every year at Christmas. We read both Luke and Matthew’s accounts of the birth. We also sing a few Christmas carols and light a candle in honor of Jesus’ birth. It’s nice that we start every Christmas with that devotional so that we never forget the reason for celebrating the holiday. Thank you for all the books you write and hope you continue for many more years to come.

  62. As far back as I can remember I was taught the importance of love and respect for others and to always help those in need. I instilled these same qualities in my own children. Now I can see them teaching my grandchildren how important those qualities are.

  63. I admire the way the amish teach their children to have respect for others. Children now days are very lacking in this and feel that they are owed something.

  64. I have collected photos and memories of my parents and shared them with my siblings and our children. I think you should treat others as you would like to be treated and that includes many of the things you have mentioned in your journal entries.

  65. Today’s families could take some good long lessons from the Amish. Not just in the children’s behavior but also in how the parents, spend time and actually enjoy teaching their children. They aren’t busy on their cell phones, watching tv or caught up in gossip. They are too busy teaching their children whom they love with their whole hearts. I’m sure there are some not so perfect Amish families, but I do think they are few and far between. Thank You Wanda for your writings.

  66. Wonderful to read your journal page. Always something to learn. I feel that my 3 children were raised In a family that taught them to respect others. They’re not perfect by any means, no one is. Put they are polite and treat others with respect. Thank you again for the info.

  67. Being a “Preacher’s Kid” we were were taught to respect our elders and to take care of each other. It is sad that more parents today do not raise their children to be obedient, teach them to respect other people and let them learn to be more responsible. When I am out and about over in Lancaster and even in Southern York Counties I always notice how well behaved the Amish children are when they are out in public and how polite and helpful they are. What a wonderful journal entry !

  68. I do so admire the Amish for the way their children are taught respect. If their was more respect in this country, there would be less crime.

  69. Living near the Amish in our county we see this type of parenting a lot. And the children learn to play together and make up games to keep them busy and also learn to work in the home, garden and farms. There is very little of this being done with the English children today. So happy that our daughters have taught their children how to work and play! Youngest grandson is a Boy Scout and Dad is the Scout Màstêr and teaches the kids how to work alongside the leaders! So proud of our grandsons!

  70. Not having children or grandchildren, I think how my parents raised my brother, sister, and me.
    We were brought up in the Church. We were taught to respect our elders. We learned to show manners at an early age. We would help others without being asked.
    As I see children today, I feel so sorry that some never were taught manners and to be kind.
    I am very thankful cor all that I was taught by my parents.

  71. We so much more parenting like this. All u see on the news is all the kids killing innocent people. No respect, no love , no kindness anymore.

  72. Your books are a blessing to me….We have traveled to Lancaster and Bird in Hand and Ronks and each trip we make makes us love the people and the area so much. I’ve purchased some of your books and our local libraries carry them to borrow also. Your gifts of faith sharing and beautiful stories bring JOY, PEACE AND COMFORT to my heart. May God continue to bless you and your family with his richest provisions and blessings. Graced with Gratitude always, Maria Supa

  73. When my Children were growing up they went to Church about every Sunday until they were older and moved out of our home. Now I see them taking their Children to Church on Sundays and it makes me feel great inside. My oldest Grandson whom is 12 got Baptized last year at his Church and that was a very special occasion for me and my Husband to attend.

  74. Enjoyed your post. I have the opportunity to fix a meal for my grandchildren every week. We share prayer request before we eat. They like their electronics, but I tell them my house is a no phone zone during meal time. I cherish this time with the family.

  75. I love reading your posts on Amish life. I have a wonderful family that I love very much. Unfortunately we are starting to scatter because of jobs, but the time we spend together is so precious.

  76. The way my adult daughter acts now you would think i did no parenting and I have been praying for her for so long. I wasn’t strict but we had rules and she had church and sports that she was involved in . I like the way the Amish bring up their kids with strict and also with god in their daily life. I read my bible and other bible things at least 3 times a day and have for a long time. She is in Ca and I am in Ia but no matter where I have lived she has done her own thing and she is oppisite of me. I pray someday before she is 45 that she gets smart as she has 3 kids and only 1 is with her,

  77. It so refreshing to read one of your books without the vulgarity and sex so many of today’s books have. Keep up the wonderful job that you do.

  78. This is the way all parents should teach their children. I see too much lack of respect for anyone or anything in the youth today.

  79. Hello Wanda…I love and respect the Amish and visit Ohio Amish country as often as I can. I love your journal entry this month..perhaps if us Englishers raised our children the way the Amish do there would be less chaos in our world. I raised my children as the Amish do and still do with my grandchildren..I know kids will be kids but they must know their limits.. Discipline and love go hand in hand.. thank you for your message this month.. As far as spring approaching, we are still waiting for it here in Ohio..but God is so good that the flowers, birds and trees know when to bud,, build nest and spring new leaves…patience is a virtue many should learn. All in God’s time and not ours.. Have a blessed and safe month..My birthday is next month and I wish I could get a pony…Am looking forward to book 3 in your cooking series….

  80. My parents were very good to us and taught all six of us children to behave from the time we were babies and took us to church. My husband and I have repeated this with our three children. Taking them to church and respecting others and they would have done to them. I love to learn about the Amish and see them driving or working in the fields.

  81. We were taught to love and serve God and do our best. My grandfather’s parents came from Denmark. My grandfather was proud to be Danish. Thus as a child I thought the song, “There’s Nothing Like a Dame” was about Danes and how good it is to be Danish!

  82. I don’t have any children, but I do have 5 nieces and nephews. I try to teach them the love of Jesus. That is the most important thing in this world. Without Jesus we have nothing.

  83. Hi Wanda,
    I really enjoy reading your newsletters and your books. Vern says he would love to have the cooking school book, as you know he loves to cook. How are You, Richard, and your family doing?

  84. I love reading this. One thing I do like about the Amish is their heritage. They teach their children respect. Our society is very lacking in that.

  85. From brush-arbor meetings to the present, laying a spiritual foundation has been a part of my family’s heritage. I was taught the importance of families reading the Bible and praying together. I pray regularly for my three young great-nephews.

  86. I’ve always admired the Amish ways of life and strive to be as much like them as we are able, though obviously as “English”. God and religion are priorities in our household. I home-school my daughter and our school day begins with prayer and a little conversation about the saint of the day, a bible verse and a quality to strive for this day/week.

    We’ve taught respect and manners from day one for God, family, elders, people of authority and the world around us; everyone and everything deserves respect! It is a fundamental fruit of having love in your heart.

    Responsibility was taught early with small chores and even community work. It is important early to help instill one’s part of a community, self-esteem, build skills for independence, self-sufficiency, teamwork and interacting with the world around us.

    Obedience, sorely lacking in today’s society is best instilled early on in order to grow in faith, get along within family and community. Parenting with discipline is all about love enough for your child to want them to get along with everyone in every way. You don’t need to be their friend now. Later in life, when they are older and wiser, friendship with your children will blossom and yield fruits from your labors of those early years.

    Our Polish and German heritage is carried on by keeping alive some of our customs: religious, culinary, gardening and important lessons in the history of those countries.

    We’ve been very particular about books, television, movies, games, etc., so as not to fill our heads with unnecessary garbage (violence, indecent language, sex). These things do not help us to become the children God intended for us to be. It is my hope, and prayer, that I meet these 5 basic principles every day.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my heart and views on your delightful website. God bless you!

  87. Five Points of Amish Parenting include the qualities most parents want their children to have.
    A strong family heritage gives children good roots and wings.

  88. My five grandchildren arelearning how important God is by reading the bible daily and prayer. The amish h ave the correct priorities. We have much to learn from them.

  89. Starting in November my kids, grandchildren, husband & myself. Get together & have what we call goodie days. On these day we cook, bake & make crafts to share with family friends & neighbors as holiday gifts. We enjoy the time together as much as we enjoy sharing part of our heart with others. God bless