Love Children And Guide Them.
Save Punishment For The Issues That Can Cause Them Permanent Harm.

There is no obvious course to enroll in to learn how to be a parent. Your first child often becomes the training vehicle for the others. I had spent a short time in the military and observed that strong disciple made the system work. It seemed obvious to me that some of these lessons applied to raising children. In a very broad sense I suppose it does, but not as it comes out of the book. With our first child we started with an assumption that children live in an adults world and need to learn how to behave in that environment. As an example we left our good belongings on the coffee table and did endless hand slapping to keep the little guy from touching things. With the other two we took everything off the coffee table and spent the time on more constructive things than hand slapping for this type of issue.

>When it comes to touching things that will burn, running into the street with cars present and the like, rapid and sharp punishment is in order. In non-crises times love and other rewards can be used to reinforce good behavior that will keep them from harm, but when imminent danger lurks quick action is needed to leave an indelible impression. If I had to do it again I would cut the punishment by 90% and raise the hugging and acknowledgment a thousand fold.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved