Life’s lessons begin at home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Since the Gates County Sheriff’s office installed a deputy at the high school, I’ve heard several comments to the effect that &uot;marshal law&uot; shouldn’t take place in a school. On the other hand, should a student or a teacher have to worry about personal safety while in an institution of learning?

To those who object to law enforcement on the school campus, I would venture to say that those who are making those comments are probably the same parents who have delegated their responsibilities as parents to school teachers, video games and movies where there are gargoyles, wizards and countless acts of violence.

I would like to say this with love to all of you; there is no one who can raise your child as only you could. If you will take responsibility for your child, there would be no need for peace officers in the schools.

I have seen children, and I’m sure you also have who stand and tell parents they will not do what they are asked to do. That’s part of the problem… the children are asked instead of told to do something and they just do not understand that the parent is &uot;the boss of them.&uot;

Children who disobey parents without consequence cannot be expected to behave themselves and listen to school authorities or for that matter, anyone else in life. Many times, I’ve seen parents throw up their hands in disgust, or when their child starts to cry or whine, they simply walk out of

the room. There is no consequence to such behavior.

Now, before you jump and say that I am pushing child abuse, please let me say that your role in life, according to the Word of God, is to disciple and discipline your child. Have you read the book of Proverbs? It’s peppered with such awesome thoughts as &uot;Spare the rod and spoil the child,&uot; and they tell us that a father who loves his child disciplines his child. They also admonish the child that they should respect their parents so that they (the child) may live a long and healthy life.

Now, as parents, we owe it to our children to discipline them, but with the love of God within us. Just as God will not approve letting a child throw tantrums or simply ignore their parents, He will also not approve your &uot;beating&uot; your child. There is moderation to everything in life and that’s what we must remember when disciplining children.

I have always believed that God made children with that little part of their bottoms padded well for just such purposes; spanking. Think of it this way, how many times do you see your child behave in a way

that you know in your heart is not acceptable and yet, you’ve felt it was less a battle to just let it go? After all, you’ve worked hard all day and been out there fighting the world. You do not need to come home to yet

another battle. Or so you think…

But, consider this; the life of your son or daughter is in your hands. They do not know it yet, but you, the adult know what’s best for them. You as the parents should take responsibility for teaching the child what they do not know. &uot;How I’ve hated instruction,&uot; the Bible says. Of course a child hates instruction. Just like us, they are nothing less than smaller versions of us; smaller sinners.

We are all born in sin and the message from God teaches us that we all fall short of righteous behavior. Now, none of us can be righteous, but we are to strive to &uot;become more perfect in the image of God.&uot; A great part of that struggle involves improving our behavior and &uot;kids&uot; are not born with that

knowledge. They must be taught. That type of teaching begins within the home. It’s an awesome task in life

to raise your child to know that for every bad action on their part, there will definitely be consequences.

You must also encourage good behavior, but do not do it with gifts or money. Not all the time, anyway. Just once in a while. It is far better that you would listen to your child and when they tell you something &uot;good&uot; has taken place, or they bring home a good report card, act like the fool that we can act whenever we see a great football game, or our favorite movie star, or whatever it is that floats your boat.

Grab your kid, hug ’em

tight and let them know just how proud you are.

Now who am I to tell you what to do with your child? I can honestly tell you that making a fool of yourself over your child is something that will make all the difference in the world to their young lives. It will also go a long, long way when you grow older.

I know these things because I lived with alcoholic parents who knew only that their three kids were just burdens to bear. Never any approval… no demonstrations of love. Just buy the kid a new toy and they know you love them. Not! It’s no way to grow up but I can honestly say that I would have traded even

my &uot;Tiny Tears&uot; baby doll for just one hug from my mom… any show of affection or approval. I longed for it. I hungered for a kind word of love.

I was blessed to have a grandmother who was the world to me. She was a lady… a woman of integrity and she taught me all I know about morals, honesty and being a lady. I am grateful to that woman, just as your child would be grateful to you for teaching them.

Take the time to love your child, to teach them right from wrong and to correct their bad behavior. Don’t beat them… just take the car keys, the CD’s, any of the junk they value so much. It won’t be easy and I’m sure you will hear all manner of moaning and groaning and a few slammed doors. I heard it all with my own children.

However, if you will just once stick to your guns and show the child that you are the boss of them, you will begin to notice a difference in them. It may take a year, but wouldn’t it be the best time you ever invested? Don’t expect the teachers, the principal or even the sheriff to take the time that you should have taken with your child. The only thing they have time for is protecting other students from your wild child. Now, who

wants to go to court?