Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Parenting 2010

Parenting never has and never will be a 1-step, 2-step, 3-step thing despite what all the books that are written by people without children say about it. It takes time, patience, love and LOTS of prayer; especially now days during the age of technology when everything is right at your finger tips.

Today's kids are smarter, but at the same time they are sassier, sneakier, more cunning, disrespectful and desensitized to violence. Why? Because their parents are failing them. The number of single parents households is at an all time high as mothers are getting younger and younger, and fathers are becoming more and more scarce. And in households that have both parents, all too often due to hectic work schedules quality family time has fallen by the wayside.

Instead of mom and dad setting rules and regulations about what behavior will and will not be tolerated, they are more concerned with being friends with their child and making sure that they have all of the latest games and gadgets. Instead of seeing to it that school work is completed, monitoring grades and scholastic progress, or attending parent teacher conferences, it's easier to just put a child on punishment for bringing home bad report cards or blame the teachers. Instead of sitting down and talking to lil Johnny to find out how his day was, it's easier to send him off to watch television or play video games so that you can surf the web or play catch up on Facebook and Twitter.

Show your children that you are interested in them and being a part of their lives; take more stock in spending time instead of money. And don't be afraid to discipline them. There should be no privacy in your home for children under the age of 18. Parents should automatically have the voice mail and internet social network page passwords that they are paying the bills for. Not only should they have the passwords, but they should be periodically checking them just to make sure that their child is on their P's and Q's. The cyber world has way too much access to assume that your child won't venture off into murky waters that could prove to be more dangerous than you ever imagined or force them to grow up much faster than they should.

Develop an open door policy with your kids, and make sure that they know that they can come and talk to you about anything. No subject should be taboo. If they feel comfortable enough to come and talk to you about their problems or questions about life, then you have a 90% chance of being a positive influence on the decision that they make.

Children become products of what they live, see and experience, so lead by example.  The Bible says "train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov 22:6) This verse lends heavily to the thought that if you put in the time and effort to shape and mold your child from an early age, as that child grows into adulthood your job will get easier. But you have to put in work to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And then maybe one day, when you are old you can take comfort in the fact that your child will be well equipped to live on their own as a productive individual and one day take care of you.

Be blessed.

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