TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
stand that they should finish what they start and not hop around from activity to activity, sport to sport, and hobby to hobby, or they will never learn perseverance and to continue through to final achieve- ment.
A word of caution. Avoid at all costs turning your children’s in- terests, talents or gifts into “idols” that you and/or your children un- wittingly worship. This can happen most often where a young person has an unusual or truly extraordinary gift. The parents of such chil- dren must work exceptionally hard to keep their child from becom- ing unbalanced and overly focused on one gift or one interest to the exclusion of all others. Be careful of this, or your child’s extreme gift will sentence him or her to a lifetime of extreme misery!
It could be said that much of the satisfaction of a happy life is about reaching one’s potential, and even more so with special poten- tial. On occasion, and this will be very rare, private coaches may be a help if, when weighed against all other priorities, it fits into the family budget.
Strive to stand behind your children as they explore what they can and cannot do.
The Worst Parental Sin—Spoiling Your Children!
The subject of the last sections introduce a related subject, and one that could scarcely be more important.
There could be no more awful curse to place upon a child or children than to be a parent who spoils. This produces a host of prob- lems in both the character and personality of children that will ad- versely affect them for an entire lifetime. But it does not even end there because the effects will then be transferred and intensified in subsequent generations.
The generation that lived through and experienced the Great De- pression of the 1930s, and that suffered through the myriad of hor- rors, as well as the holocaust (of many nations), of World War II, was left forever changed by what they endured. This is often referred to as “The Greatest Generation.” Among other qualities learned and instilled, these millions were more hard-working, stronger of charac- ter, thankful for freedom, courageous, willing to sacrifice, patriotic, more appreciative of all that others take for granted, and held a com- pletely different perspective toward what people perceive today to be their “rights.”
Where Teaching the Basics Begins
History has shown that the peoples of America, Britain and oth- er Western democracies came through perhaps their gravest trials ever because of the sacrifice of millions (many of whom lost their lives) who thought in terms of integrity, honor and the privilege of freedom. This thinking has been replaced by a belief based on enti- tlement, meaning liberty, material possessions and all the good things of life should be automatic—are birthrights.
But, like every generation, even this “greatest” one were par- ents. As such, they made one seemingly collective, terrible mis- take—they decided their children must never have to endure the rigors, difficulties, challenges and “going without” as they had to experience. This is perhaps likened to the parent who was spanked too often as a child and erroneously concludes, “I will never spank my children.”
The result was a generation, usually referred to as “baby boom- ers,” with less interest in building character and more interest in fo- cusing on themselves and in the accumulation of physical things. But it got worse. The baby boomers in turn reared a terribly spoiled, ego- driven generation that was dubbed “Generation X” because no one had any idea how they would ultimately turn out. The end product was far from good. But it got worse—again. The less industrious, selfish, largely “pain-free” Generation X we saw went on to produce a yet again much worse next generation—and this is true of strength, character, values, selfishness, knowledge, experience, health, and al- most every other measure of success in the life of any human being. If Generation X is immoral—and it is—this one is amoral, and in almost every way.
This newest generation, the “Millennial Generation,” could only be described as infinitely more spoiled—truly rotten! (as you have understood from Chapter Two)—than their relatively barely spoiled baby boomer grandparents just two generations older. Those were virtual paragons of altruism and selflessness by comparison. It is as though the modern generation believes themselves put on earth for the sole purpose of pleasure and partying.
Avoid at All Costs!
Parents, above all, do not spoil your children. Avoid this trap at all costs! If you do not, you are literally sentencing them to be stubborn, selfish, self-focused, ego-driven, rude and demanding, and almost