Why Are the Preschool Years Important?

1 Samuel 1:21-23

Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there forever.” And Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the Lord establish His word.” So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

Hannah knew the answer to the question.  In those days children were not weaned for 3 to 5 years. Wean means to ‘fully deal with’.  Hannah wouldn’t leave Samuel during those years, even to go to the temple, as she was aware of the time it would take to ‘fully deal’ with Samuel if she wanted him to ‘appear before the Lord and remain there forever’.

The preschool years are foundational:

  • 2/3 of everything a child will ever learn, he learns before 1st grade
  • 85% of his personality and attitude toward life is formed in the first 5 years
  • He begins even from the womb to be sensitive to spirit, mood, & attitudes
  • Self-will must be broken by 2; it is very difficult to break later
  • Needs to learn to trust by 18 months or it will be hard for him to trust as adult
  • 12 attitudes he needs to develop during this stage of his life:

Wow – that is a lot to deal with!  But Elkanah gave the way to cover it all. He said to let the Lord establish His Word. Hannah was to spend the preschool years seeing that God’s Word was established in Samuel. Such is our example to follow.

Always remember that there is nothing you encounter as a parent that can not be positively affected by prayer and God’s Word – and especially praying God’s Word.


In the breaking of the self-will pray and help your children begin to memorize these verses (‘I will’ scriptures will help their will to become His will):
Psalm 119:15  I will study your commandments,

Psalm 101:2  I will behave wisely in a perfect way.
Psalm 101:2  I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
Psalm 119:16  I will delight in your principles and not forget your word.
Psalm 101:3  I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
Psalm 56:3  What time I am afraid, I will trust in God.

When teaching your children to trust remember:
Romans 10:17  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God 
Help him find his security in God through His Word.

When your child is struggling with sharing, let him see you share and as you do, say that God says in the Bible:
1 Tim 6:18 Be ready to share

Don’t wait to start training your little one in the way he should go.  I encourage you to stay in the Word and look for ways to teach the Word as you go no matter what the age of your child:
Deuteronomy 6:6-9  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.  Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.




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