My youngest son is going off to college in another month or so and with that, my wife and I officially become “Empty Nesters.” Yikes! Anyway, my two boys have been the best sons that parents could ever ask for. We have, without a doubt, been tremendously blessed.
It has also made me think about the things that my wife and I have done as parents as the boys were growing up…the things we said, places we went, principles that were taught, and the many, many other good times that we shared.
We also experienced some negative things throughout our time together. It was through these times that we demonstrated and expressed an importance of relying on the Lord for wisdom, protection, and comfort. We believe that the importance of a strong belief system and the idea of having good character were the basis of raising our kids.
I recently read an article by Charles Swindoll “The Quest for Character” that looked at raising a child from a different point of view…how to raise a child to be a delinquent. I thought that this list would be an interesting thing to share. When I read the different points, I made a mental “checklist” to see if there were any things that my wife and I did or didn’t do when we were raising our boys. You might want to do the same as you read through the following ideas.
1. When your kid is still an infant, give him everything he wants. This way he’ll think the world owes him a living when he grows up.
2. When he picks up swearing and off-color jokes, laugh at him, encourage him. As he grows up, he will pick up “cuter” phrases that will floor you.
3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is twenty-one and let him decide for himself.
4. Avoid using the word “wrong.” It will give your child a guilt complex. You can condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
5. Pick up after him–his books, shoes, and clothes. Do everything for him so he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility onto others.
6. Let him read all printed matter he can get his hands on…[never think of monitoring his TV programs]. Sterilize the silverware, but let him feast his mind on garbage.
7. Quarrel frequently in his presence. Then he won’t be too surprised when his home is broken up later.
8. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. Every sensual desire must be gratified; denial may lead to harmful frustrations.
9. Give your child all the spending money he wants. Don’t make him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you did?
10. Take his side against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. They’re all against him.
11. When he gets into real trouble, make up excuses for yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him; he’s just a bad seed.”
12. Prepare for a life of grief.
I hope this list opened your eyes and heart to some things that you did (or could do) for your children in the future. Enjoy your family and enjoy your time with them.