Far be it from me to claim to be an expert child-raiser, or to fail to recognize that some kids are more difficult to raise, and that some are raised in difficult circumstances. But I believe there’s a basic formula which, in most circumstances, will work to produce pleasant, happy, well-adjusted children and adults.

So here is my own list of must-dos for people who care about how to raise their children:

-Demonstrate (don’t just feel) real love and commitment to them from conception (yes, they can hear you, and they can sense the “vibes”, and how you feel about them and about life ).  Children need to have love expressed to them every day of their lives. Give them plenty of hugs, kind words, praise, and encouragement.

-Treat them with respect. Everyone needs respect, no matter what their age, and it’s vitally important that children receive respect from their parents and family.

-Yes, discipline them, but only when it’s absolutely necessary. Discipline in love, never in anger. DO NOT punish mistakes! I see far too many parents crushing the spirits of their children with harsh words, shouting, derision, threats etc. Some parents only talk to their kids when they’re putting them straight on something. Some parents only smile at their kids when they’re making fun of them. If you will give them love and respect, and if you will live in such a way as to earn respect for yourself, they will rarely need discipline.

-Spend time with them. Take them out and have fun with them. Spending time with them lets them know that you’re interested in them and that they are important to you. Your opinion of them is extremely important to them.

-Treat all siblings equally. Any favoritism, real or perceived, will create resentment and friction. If you work at loving them equally in truth, they will recognize it.

-Protect them from the horrors of human nature, and only introduce them to the ugliness of the world of people gradually over the years. Let them find the joy of living before they witness all the darkness of human nature. Some parents cause their kids to watch hour after hour of the most horrific, violent and distressing scenes on television every day.

-Avoid nagging. Nagging fosters resentment and rebellion. Say it once or twice only and mean it.

-Maintain a stable, committed home – as much as is in your power.

-Teach them by example how to laugh and love life.

-Keep in mind how precious they are, to you and to their Creator.

-Teach them to reason and to think for themselves. Teach them how to learn. The right kind of knowledge inspires kids.

-Allow them to play and to be children. Some parents think that play is somehow a bad pastime. Don’t make them grow up too soon.

-Teach them how to find what they enjoy about the world and what they love to do.

-Be sensitive to their feelings and fears

-Never mock, ridicule or belittle. Keep the teasing light and fun, not hurtful. Let them witness you protecting them from ridicule.

-Avoid leading them into vanity and materialism.

-Apologize for your own mistakes.

-Teach them a little independence

-Teach them to respect others by doing it yourself

-Respect their right to some privacy: don’t pry. Allow them the dignity of being trusted. They  are more likely to be trustworthy if you give them the opportunity and freedom to choose to be trustworthy.

-Most importantly, teach them from the start that there is a God who loves them, that there is hope for humanity, that there is a meaning to life, and that there are such things as goodness, love,  and righteousness. Demonstrate these things by your example.

-Teach them the gospel as early as possible, and don’t “wait until they’re old enough to decide for themselves”, because by then they will have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the religion of the evolutionist and the culture of death. They can and will still make up their own minds later, but at least you will have given them a chance to consider both sides of the story.

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