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Parent Trap

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

(Author Unknown)

Three mistakes that parents often make when raising children: they love them without disciplining them; they discipline them without loving them; they neither love nor discipline them. As a general rule if we love our kids but fail to teach them discipline; they will grow up lacking self-control. If we discipline our children without loving them, they will become bitter and resent us. If we neither love nor discipline our offspring; a majority of them will fill their lives with self-destructive tendencies. “When parents do not instruct their children, they seldom become blessings” (Thomas Watson).

The most basic and primary need of children is quality time with loving and nurturing parents. “God loves your children through you, but if you’re not available, how can He love them? Acceptance and appreciation tells the child that he or she is of tremendous worth. And I can only express my acceptance and appreciation through being affectionate and available” (Josh McDowell). We prepare our children with love and discipline, to deal with the pressures and stresses of life, teaching them to be responsible with blessings and to exercise patience in times of difficulty.

“The cruelest form of abuse is neglect” (Crandall Miller). Investing quality time in your children will go a long way in protecting them from embracing harmful attitudes. The behavior children exemplify today is a reflection of what they will be tomorrow. When your child’s conduct concerns you; change your parenting techniques. Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope for the best. Our adult problems started when we were children and grew with us.

The greatest challenge of a parent is to conquer the will without breaking the spirit of a child. “A child is going to do foolish things but correcting him or her will drive foolishness far away” (Solomon.). It is impossible to love your child without discipline, but you can also make a great mistake by disciplining without love. Even your best is not enough so supplement your efforts with a strong faith in God and diligent prayer. You will succeed if you love and take time to care.

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