Principal’s Perspective: Put Your Marriage First
Raising Happy, Healthy Children
The marriage enrichment class we are hosting February 23 and 24 will bless you and your children. A strong marriage creates an atmosphere for children to grow secure, responsible and kind.
We have been sold a bill of goods on so-called “quality time.” We’ve been led to believe that children require constant attention. Psychologist John Rosemond knows that being a good parent is really about helping children to successfully leave their parents. Interdependence describes a healthy relationship between the parent and child. Dr. Rosemond presents an easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow Seven-Point Plan to bring out the best in every family member.
Dr. Rosemond advises all parents to:
- Put your marriage first (Children feel secure when their parents have a loving marriage).
- Expect your children to obey (Consistency will allow calmness).
- Establish responsibility by assigning chores (Work alongside your child).
- Don’t be afraid to tell your children “no.”
- Eliminate unnecessary toys (Toys should make the child do 90% of the activity).
- Encourage creativity by minimizing TV and computer viewing (Neurology studies state tv, smart phones & computer screens are not good for brain development in children younger than 12).
- Respond calmly to problems as a good character builder, so kids develop confidence to tackle life’s challenges with prayer, calmness, and self awareness. (All Bible heroes went through unfair & painful experiences that built his/her faith, discipline, and love.)
Dr. Rosemond’s words can sound harsh to post-modern minds, but consider what is really being said. The greatest kindness we can offer our children is to guide them towards a healthy interdependent lifestyle. Parents should look forward to the day that their children are happily married (or securely single) and responsibly employed.
So, how do parents influence their children’s future success?
The first step parents must make is to be aware of their own emotional needs and behaviors (healthy marriage promotes healthy thoughts). What the parents consistently model before their children will have a lasting influence upon their development. Parents must have a healthy understanding of their role, and keep a healthy separation between their needs and the needs of their child. Rosemond believes parents from 50 years ago were more adapt at creating responsible barriers between themselves and their children. He sees too many children running the homes and manipulating their parents’ guilt.
Well known author, Dr. James Dobson, agrees, “Today’s parents often overprotect their children from adversity.” He has seen these children grow into young adults who are unable to cope with the challenges of careers and family, because they never were allowed to struggle with problems. They have failed to develop perseverance, empathy, and confidence.
Over the last fifteen years, I have observed two Christian families with seven children in each family. Both couples placed their marriage before the children. The children cared for one another and enjoyed being with their parents throughout their teen years. The parents were very affirming and practiced consistency with their children. Children were taught to obey the first time without complaint, to assist in the family chores, to love one another, and to believe that with God all things were possible. The results were that each of these 14 children grew into mature, joyful and responsible adults (Note: Both sets of parents also believe each child’s faith was still an act of “free will.” The parents believe regardless of their best efforts, each of the 14 children could have chosen to reject their parents’ faith and virtues. Good parenting increases probability of a child’s faith and obedience, it does NOT guarantee success.).
We can really help our child by following the seven steps that are listed above to become the confident and joyful person that God intended them to be. We will dance with joy at our child’s wedding, or when our first grandchild is born, knowing that our child possesses the character and the skills to live well for eternity.