Dad, if you succeed in making a good living but fail to teach your children how to live ‘right’, your success will be empty, and you’ll end up living with regrets. The average child spends six to seven hours each day on the internet, or watching television, or interacting with their peer group. And every minute of it is creating their value system and moulding them into the person they will become. So be there for them! If you have to sacrifice materially in order to develop them spiritually, it’s a trade-off you’ll always feel good about.
Dorothy Lawe Nolte wrote words that every parent should carry with them: ‘If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight. If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy. If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty. But, if a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence. If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate. If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice. If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.’
Solomon, who was a father, put it this way: ‘My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice!’