As The Twig Is Bent

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree (Author Unknown)

There are three mistakes that parents sometimes make when raising children: they love them without disciplining them; they discipline them without loving them or they neither love nor discipline them. What happens to children who do not receive proper love and discipline? If we love our kids but fail to discipline them, they will grow up lacking self control and shame us. If we discipline our children without loving them, they will often become bitter and resent us. If we neither love nor discipline; young people will fill their lives with self-destructive tendencies. When parents neglect the proper instruction of their children, they seldom become a blessings. This carelessness of the parents leads to rebellion in their children.

The most basic and primary need of children is quality time with loving and nurturing parents. According to Josh McDowell, "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." 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. "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters." (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, wife of John F. Kennedy)

Quality time invested in the life of 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 you observe things that cause concern, check your parenting techniques. Don't stick your head in the sand and hope for the best. Many adult problems stem from childhood neglect, hurt and abuse from parents.

A parents greatest challenge is to conquer the will without breaking the spirit of a child. Proverbs 22:15 in the New International Readers Version says, "A child is going to do foolish things, but correcting him [or her] will drive foolishness far away from him [or her]." 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 often enough, so supplement your efforts with a strong faith in God and diligent prayer. You will succeed as you love and take time to care.



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