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By Garrett Pekar
It is funny that the record of our relatives is called a “family tree.” Human life is nothing like that of a tree. Trees are a beautiful part of creation, but people are God’s focus.
Both people and trees grow old until eventually dying. Both produce seeds for the next generation to live on, but that’s where the similarities end.
Trees don’t raise their seeds. This simple fact creates a bottomless chasm separating them from people. As if skin and bark wasn’t enough of a difference, trees just drop their seeds to the ground, paying no attention to whether they take root in good soil or on rocky ground.
It takes loving parents to raise a child successfully. According to the Facts for Life Web site, a publication by The United Nations Children’s Fund, the first eight years of a child’s life are vitally important. These early years are the foundation of future health, growth and development. Children learn more quickly during this time than any other in their lives.
The Web site also states that babies and young children develop and learn more rapidly when they receive love and affection, attention, encouragement and mental stimulation as well as nutritious meals and good health care. Talk about the importance of good parenting–it can literally make or break a child’s life.
The nourishment of a loving family ensures a child’s ability to succeed and be happy in the future. Care, comfort and communication are just a few important pieces of a family that glue them close together and make them strong.
Discipline is another extremely important part of raising a child. Parents should not beat their children, of course, but spanking a child for doing something wrong is the best way for them to learn proper behavior at a young age.
Most parents who spank their children do not do it because they want to hurt them. They do it because they have to teach them right from wrong. They do it out of love. A young child does not learn anything from timeouts or other ridiculous punishments. If anything, they take advantage of the situation. Spanking is a form of discipline that teaches children how to behave themselves and how to treat others. The values instilled by spanking will stay with children throughout their lives.
The most important thing parents can pass on to their children is their religion, their faith in Jesus Christ. If faith is introduced to a child from day one, the child will rarely stray very far from the Lord. Reading Bible stories with children is one good way to help them learn who God is and how Jesus lived his life on earth.
Looking back on these past 18 years, I feel the greatest sense of pride and love for my parents and how they raised me. They taught me everything and gave me the opportunity to grow.
I have been extremely blessed with caring grandparents as well. If they had not raised my parents with love, values and faith, my life would be completely different. It is up to each child to one day keep the cycle of loving parenting unbroken for their own children. It isn’t really that difficult when you have a great example to follow.