My deceased wife and I had four children, now all grown and in God’s work. Mike is a pastor in Houston, Becky is a teacher is a Christian school in Florida; Suzan and her husband are church musicians in the Chicago area and Tammy retired as teacher at the Baptist Academy in Indianapolis to have a baby.
I have not always agreed with the decisions my adult children have made, but I can see the results of their mother’s work in implementing some principles I wrote when she was pregnant with our first born. Many people have asked me for them and I reproduce them for you on this page:
*Never criticize a preacher, principal or teacher in the presence of your children. While
you don’t want to raise mindless robots, they must respect authority.
*Never defend your children when they are wrong.
*Don’t make excuses for them.
*Break their will before they are three years of age or they will break your heart before they are thirteen.
*Never permit them to talk back, but always be available for discussion of any matter.
*Expect them to do what they are told to do when they are told to do it and do so in a cheerful manner.
*Praise them often. They do more good than bad.
*Discipline consistently. Mom and Dad should never argue about discipline in front of the kids. And children should know that discipline will be the same every day.
*Keep your promises and threats.
*Teach them responsibility. They should know how to cook, sew, take care of the house, etc.
*Regulate the television or remove it altogether. It won’t kill them.
*Teach them to do their best in everything.
*Teach them to ask for things politely. It doesn’t cost anything to say, “please” or “thank you.”
*Teach them to be grateful for what they have.
*Never give them anything they cry for.
*Teach them to pay their bills on time or contact the creditor for other arrangements.
*Don’t give them an allowance since it seems to prepare them for the public dole, and only pay them for very unusual chores.
Will those principles guarantee success in rearing children? No, but they are much better than what most parents are doing. Try them. They can’t hurt!
In the early days some of my friends thought we were being too tough on our kids, but in retrospect, I would not have loosened up any. Of course, I would not make the same mistakes again and I would have spent more time with them, especially the two older ones, but these points would remain if I were doing it all over again.
Usually parents breathe a sigh of relief when their children are grown without getting pregnant or getting on drugs, but they are not where they should be if they aren’t serving the Lord.
And I don’t believe we can breathe freely until we see how our grandkids turn out!