TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
which showed that practicing proper childrearing can result in your children “giving you rest.”
Also, children must learn very early that their parents do not ex- ist for the sole purpose of making them happy—for satisfying their every whim, want and desire. The God-ordained role of parents is to provide for and train children, while instilling in them all the attri- butes, qualities and skills necessary to be productive, successful and happy.
This means that parents must not fall into the trap of thinking that they must buy everything the child wants. (Of course, television ads are not your friend in this regard.) Many do this in an endless, exhausting—and very expensive—cycle. While you may wish to get the occasional really special item your child desires, remember that nothing will remain special if he can have everything he wants.
Educate Your Children in the Art of Communication
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills to acquire, and socializing in a host of different settings is in- separable from life! Being able to communicate effectively will ben- efit your children in countless ways—and for the rest of their lives. It will help them build friendships, open doors for them and help them succeed in the workplace.
The art of communication takes practice. It takes time to learn to accurately and tactfully express yourself, and to communicate well with others. Children will not do this naturally. Most people today use the same words, terms and phrases over and over, generally be- cause they never learned to develop their vocabulary. They continu- ally fall back on very weak expressions. Here are just a few things people say when they do not know what to say next—when they do not know how to respond with something of meaning or value: “You know,” “okay?”, “really!”, “yeah, right,” “you know what I’m say- ing?”, “like…,” “uh-huh,” “whatever,” “and what not,” “totally!” and
Parents and schools once placed a strong emphasis on doing a tremendous amount of reading, particularly of longer books. This greatly enhanced people’s ability to converse across a wide range of diverse ideas and thoughts—as well as to think about those ideas and thoughts. This served to make people familiar with famous au- thors, philosophy, world history, geography, current events and
Where Teaching the Basics Begins
world conditions, great leaders, and so much more—and their dis- cussions reflected depth.
This has all changed. In a world in which millions of teenagers and young adults lead a soap-opera existence, where most seem to discuss little more than an endless stream of shallow, unimportant topics—usually centering around updating one another regarding not much more than the typical “he said, she said” events occurring in other people’s lives—very little meaningful conversation occurs.
I learned the value of expanding one’s vocabulary very early. From the time I reached first grade, my mother required me to get our enormous family dictionary (it was almost as big as I was at the beginning) to look up words that I did not understand. Although it frustrated me then, because none of my friends’ mothers required it, I am now grateful beyond words for this exercise. It is still enriching my life over fifty years later.
Teach your children that they can rise above all of the non- sense—that they can think and talk about bigger things, including important ideas, and what is happening in the world around them that is changing so quickly. Also, encourage them to express thoughts with color and enthusiasm, and to expand their vocabu- lary by learning and using new words. They will discover that oth- ers will find them interesting, and even fascinating, to talk to. They will stand out to those who THINK!
Encourage Your Children to Respond and to Reflect Thoughts and Feelings
Young people in this generation have come to be jaded, cynical and perpetually moody. So many appear to be almost entirely joyless, bored and selfish. Observe a group of typical teenagers, and you will notice that most seem to wear expressionless, emotionless masks, hiding their true feelings. Instead of saying what they really feel, they generally say what adults want to hear. One of the tragedies of our time is that almost an entire generation literally does not know how to talk—how to intelligently express a thought. Of course, not all thoughts are simple. Many are quite complex and require intelligent analysis and a larger reservoir of words through which to convey them than exists in the vocabulary of the average young person today.
Teach your children to be bright and enthusiastic—to respond to events around them. Do not allow them to be cynical or moody, or to