Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Raising G-Rated Kids in an R-Rated World (Part 2)

We saw in the last blog that rules without relationships results in rebellion. Now let’s take a look at 10 principles of effective parenting that will help us find the balance between the rules and the relationship.

Spend time with your children…“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16).

Dr. Anthony Witham tells us that children spell “l-o-v-e”...”t-i-m-e!” I am told that toymakers watch the divorce rate. Why? Because when the divorce rate rises, so do toy sales. According to analyzers, four parents and eight grandparents (rather than two parents and four grandparents) tend to compete for their children’s affections more so they buy toys. Dr. Witham goes on to say, “Children become spoiled when we substitute ‘presents’ for ‘presence!’” Though it is too long to post here, Howard Mann wrote an insightful story I found in one of Dr, James Dobson’s books whose title says it all. It is called, Dad Coming Home was the Real Treat!

It is said of Boswell, the famous biographer of Samuel Johnson, that he often referred to a special day in his childhood when his father took him fishing. The day was fixed in his mind and he often thought about the wonderful fishing experience he had with his dad and the many things that his father had taught him on that special day together at the lake. After hearing Boswell speak of that excursion so often, it occurred to someone to check the journal that his father had kept to see what he said about this fishing trip from a parental perspective. Turning to the date, the reader found only one sentence entered: “Gone fishing today with my son; a day wasted.”

You may recall from your earlier years the song Cat’s in the Cradle by Henry Chapin. It is a song about a dad who was on the road often due to his job and who had no real time for his son. When the kid grows up and dad grows old, he desires the company of his son. However, he finds that his son is now to busy for this relationship himself. The old man than realizes that, unfortunately, his boy had grown up to be just like him. What most people don’t realize is that this song played out in Chapin’s life like a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was actually written by Chapin’s wife who asked her husband one day when he was going to slow down his pace and give time to his son. He promised that at the end of his busy summer he would take the time. That summer, however, Henry Chapin was killed in an automobile accident. The words to the chorus of this song are more than thought provoking. You remember the chorus, don’t you?

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little Boy Blue and the Man in the Moon,
When you comin’ home, Dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, son
You know we’ll have a good time then

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