by Francis J. Kong
October 10th, 2011
Let me do something different this time.
Let me present to you 12 steps guaranteed to train your children to be delinquent, or your money back.
Parents help their kids chart their life’s direction.
I’ve had the privilege of sharing the same speaker’s platform with many of our country’s most brilliant business personalities as well as government officials and I would be amazed just by their introduction alone. Their resume would read this way: Graduated top in his class from the State University…took up his masters in Stanford…got his doctorate on philosophy at Harvard…continued a different course of education at Wharton…and the list goes on and on.
I would interview them asking how they are able to accomplish so much in short a time. And the reply I got from them was always the same. That early in life their parents have already helped them chart their direction in life. And that their parents were very strict and disciplined people. And today, with this background and training they have accomplished much in life, and they also live a life of discipline.
This is why parents need to help their children chart their direction. If not, we will not have the right to confront them one day with this lamentation, “Why don’t you have any direction for your life?”
I see today a great number of kids who lack discipline. Their motto in life: “If at first you don’t succeed…try something else.”
And then I’ve had some of my well-meaning friends reveal to me: “You know very well, Francis, that when we were small we were poor and our lives were difficult. And because I have tasted poverty, I will never allow my children to experience the same.”
This Neanderthal wisdom is hard to beat!
I would respond this way. “Well, congratulations. If that is your philosophy on parenting, you have just succeeded in wrecking your children’s future. Have you failed to understand that the reason why you are successful today is because you’ve had the distinct privilege of having gone through the discipline of living a challengingly difficult life? And now you are refusing your kids that same privilege by providing them everything they want?”
The Chinese have a saying:
Grandfather starts a business.
Son expands the business.
Grandchildren destroy the business.
Grandfather started with nothing. Built the business from the ground up. Father got good education. Applied science to business and expands it. Then both generations spoil the grandchildren now that the business is well established.
And the grandchildren grow up having no idea what difficulty is; proceed to destroy the business.
How I have seen this happen time and time again.
The Bible says: Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
PROVERBS 22:6 (NIV)
The surest way to make it difficult for our kids is to make it easy for them now.
I was invited to dinner one night after a couple of speaking engagements in Dumaguete City a couple of years ago. Everybody seated on the round table were successful people in their respective fields of endeavour. Business people, bankers, other professionals. After a sumptuous dinner we began exchanging notes.
The conversation turned to reminiscing the times when they were kids and how their parents treated them. Without a single exception, all of these successful people came from very strict parents who taught them the value of hard work. All of them. And this is why disciplining kids works. This is why the Bible says: “He who does not discipline his child does not love him.” And the same Bible declares: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
Source: Why Don’t You Grow Up ….Dad?