Having the guts to say "no" when appropriate is also a good way to save your children from what Betsy calls the "It’s All About Me" culture that surrounds us. Far too many parents enthrone their children and constantly reinforce the notion that the world revolves around them. In the process, they create monsters who are a terror not only to others but to themselves, if the rising rates of depression are any indication.

Needless to say, these spoiled children are filled with "self-esteem" (or the modern equivalent, at least -- a counterfeit of true self-esteem). The trouble, as Betsy says, is that "it’s becoming clear that too much self-esteem can create narcissistic, arrogant, even dangerous people." Parents who truly care about their children are willing to train them to be good people -- not let them wallow in self-love.

Why go to this trouble? Because, Betsy says, "Children are not born with wisdom. Wisdom is gained only through experience or through the experience of watching or learning from others and being able to apply that experience to ourselves. These things require maturity, and they require parents, and other adults, who are willing to properly interpret such experiences for children."

That’s why perseverance is crucial. As I say in my own book, Home Invasion: "Seize every minute, find reinforcements, gather all the resources you can, and quickly establish your family in faith, in unconditional love, and in open communication."

It all comes back to that rescue mission. Have you launched one for your children?


Rebecca Hagelin is a vice president of The Heritage Foundation and the author of Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture that's Gone Stark Raving Mad.

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