Abraham - Lessons in Living
FATHERS HAVE A BIG CHALLENGE
One of the questions I often ask men who have raise children is, "Would you do it any differently?" I listen carefully and try to learn from those ahead of me in their earthly pilgrimages. Do you know what? The changes they often share are so easy to implement even today. No matter where you are in the parenting process. One father summed it up this way. He said,
"My family’s all grown, and the kids are all gone. But, if I had to do it all over again, this is what I'd do:
I would love my wife more in front of my children.
I would laugh with my children more--at our mistakes and our joys.
I would listen more, even to the littlest child.
I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection.
I would pray differently for my family--instead of focusing on them, I'd focus on me.
I would do more things together with my children.
I would encourage them more and bestow more praise.
I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness.
And then, finally, if I had to do it all over again, I would share God more intimately with my family; every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day I would use to direct them to God."
So What Are We Missing?
In a study conducted several years ago, sociologists Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck, of Harvard University, identified several crucial factors in the development of juvenile delinquents. They created a test that can, with about 90 percent accuracy, predict future delinquency of children 5-6 years old. They listed four necessary factors in preventing juvenile delinquency.
1. First, the father's discipline must be firm, fair, and consistent.
2. Second, the mother must know where her children are and what they are doing at all times, and be with them as much as possible.
3. Third, the children need to see affection demonstrated between their parents, and from their parents to them.
4. And fourth, the family must spend time together as a unit.
In a similar report, but from a Christian perspective, Dr. Paul D. Meier, a Christian psychiatrist, wrote that the key to right parent-child relationships could be summed up in five things:
1. Parents' love for each other and for the children;
4. A good parental example; and
5. A man at the head of the home.
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