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be of good quality, and that they must seek it in balance, and at the right time—and that entertainment should never be pursued as a means of escaping problems.

Make sure that your children never disconnect what they think from what they ARE. Explain to them that if they feed their mind with senseless junk, disguised as entertainment, it will affect how they live and who they become.

Encourage Your Children to Be Balanced and Well-Rounded

More and more people lack even the most basic common sense held by most adults of only a generation ago. This is because the majority no longer experience life as widely as most once did.

Many today are conditioned to follow extremes—extreme sports, extreme conduct, so-called “reality television” depicting people doing appalling things (which are actually far from reality), extreme violence, extreme parties, extreme music, entertainment and video games, and even extreme language. The principle of do- ing things in moderation has given way to the need for exhilaration, titillation and achieving a certain shock factor—pushing every lim- it—connected to making everything as graphic as possible.

Your children are witnessing and, whether you recognize it or not, being drawn to these kinds of activities. You will have to resist the trend. If you are teaching your children from an early age to be balanced, they will be less interested in pursuing extremism, and your task will be easier.

In addition, the course of society has trended toward students specializing throughout their education, en route to a career of spe- cializing, often in a very narrow endeavor. Fight the influences—par- ticularly at school—that will try to force your children into making decisions about their future before they are prepared to do this, be- fore, in most cases, they could even begin to have any idea what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I remember well feeling this pressure in high school long before I had any idea about my future career. Emphasize to your children not to become too narrow or overly focused on one thing. Guide them to be balanced in every- thing: hobbies, sports, reading, exercise, games, homework, eating, travel and other aspects of life. Teach them to seek and enjoy a wide range of interests and activities, and that life is more fulfilling when they are experiencing variety in everything.

Where Teaching the Basics Begins


The Danger of False “Tolerance”

A word of caution: Be sure that you do not confuse balance and well- roundedness with tolerance, which today means accepting all views, opinions, lifestyles, values and perspectives. Experiencing widely does not mean accepting widely. While this is addressed in other sec- tions of the book, be sure that your children understand the clear difference between right and wrong—good and bad—and that ex- treme conduct generally translates directly into SIN!

People once knew that they needed wisdom to survive life’s end- less obstacles and pitfalls. Of course, there are many such TRAPS waiting to swallow your unsuspecting children if they are not edu- cated to what can happen when they are least expecting it. Ask God to give you an abundance of wisdom (Jms. 1:4-8). And then expect that He will. If your ways please Him, and if you are determined to obey Him, He will guide you in teaching your children proper bal- ance, to be well-rounded and to experience widely across a broad array of activities.

Strive to inspire your children toward wholesome activities that will broaden their thinking, improve their confidence—and deepen their happiness!

Teach Your Children to Come to You With Questions

Society today (driven by Satan the devil, who hates the family unit because it pictures a relationship he can never enjoy) promotes an- tagonism between young people and their parents—often labeled benignly as a “generation gap.” This hostility includes viewing near- ly all adults as the “enemy,” and the result has been that few children any longer consider it necessary to seek, in search of wise counsel, the opinions of adults.

It is a tragedy that the relationship between parents and children has become a virtual battlefield, with intermittent sniper fire, skir- mishes and hidden landmines. Millions of young people show little or no respect to the people who brought them into the world, and who worked (including fathers and single mothers having to some- times work more than one job) to nurture, feed, clothe and teach them. They are too busy feeling misunderstood—when, in fact, their parents understand them all too well. But many of these parents do

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