Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
Charles R. Swindoll

I love this subject.

It’s a loaded subject.

Because it’s uncomfortable for many parents.

It forces them to think.

It forces them to stretch.

…and for many, it encourages feelings of guilt.

Is that a good thing?

Usually, I’d probably say no, but not in this case.

Because if you’re a parent who tends to form their opinions based on popular culture, society norms or what’s psychologically ‘healthy’ (a.k.a. “approved my the mental health quack community”), you should feel a sense of guilt.

…because chances are you’re doing more harm than good to your child.

Jaime, How Can You SAY Such Things!?!

I can say such things because we live in a world where the proof of our choices as parents runs amok around us.

I can say such things because fortunes and industries are formed and built around pitting your child against you.

I can say this because once kids rebelled in dress, manners and physical appearance to ‘be different’ and to ‘stand out’…but now being clean, well dressed and well mannered IS standing out to be different!

Look, the truth is, if you can’t walk out into society and see the problem youth around you in under 10 minutes, you either live on a farm and don’t associate with the outside world, or you’re the parents OF those problem youth.

In short: Don’t play the victim to circumstances you created.

Here’s The Point: We’re All At Fault!

There isn’t a parent out there who doesn’t screw up.

Those who claim such are shrinks…and we don’t listen to them anyway, so relax.

You’re among friends here.

Parenting is a process and it’s always in motion.

What we should understand is what children actually need.

Not what they want, mind you.

What they N.E.E.D.

HINT: A new iPhone is not a need.

HINT: An Xbox is not a need.

HINT: The latest shoes, pants or sugar cereal is not a need.

Yet we, as parents often give in.

And when we give in, we run the risk of having that line between want and need blurring in our minds.

Where letting the kids watch a show was a treat or reward now becomes a babysitter so we can do…whatever.

Ice cream or candy suddenly becomes a way to get the child to stop screaming so we have peace of mind.

Yet we not only reward bad behavior this way—we also condition our kids to act accordingly.

So What DOES A Child Need?

The list vary, of course, but every child requires at least three main things from you, and they are:

  • Love
  • Security
  • Education

Sound simplistic?

Think again.

When I bring this up, many parents jump to the conclusion that they are already doing these things through buying the child gifts, maintaining a standard of living and saving for college.

That’s not what I mean.

Love

What does love mean to you?

When my wife and I had to take our child to court, we didn’t have a lawyer.

Everyone around us did.

Kids who were caught doing all sorts of things…illegal and even damaging things, all there with their lawyers.

And with every breath, we heard parents making excuses for their kids, some of what they admitted were guilty of various crimes, the lawyers responding that they would do all in their ability to free the children from receiving punishments for their willful acts.

Not us.

My child was there to stand before the judge, to admit fault and accept responsibility for bad choices made.

Why?

Because we love our child.

It was the right thing to do.

It was the best thing for our child.

The result was that the judge, to say the least, was VERY impressed with our child (and us as parents) and not only had mercy, we were put into the state’s best programs to assist us.

Do your actions and decisions build a stronger, more responsible child, or plant seeds of future problems?

Security

The first response I get from most parents when I mention security is a standard of living.

Yes and no.

What I mean about security is stability.

What can your child count on?

Can they talk to you?

Do you protect them from the elements, from nakedness, from ignorance?

Do you spend time with your child?

Do you have a schedule your child can rely on?

Do YOU, mom or dad, have the stability of character?

Think about that.

What type of environment do you create and strive to maintain for your child?

Again, do your actions and decisions build a stronger, more responsible child, or plant seeds of future problems?

Education

I didn’t go to college.

Neither did my wife.

Now, I had 2 scholarships, but I chose not to exercise them.

Why?

Just didn’t see anything worth learning that I couldn’t learn in actual life.

Am I against higher education?

With the exception of the socialist agenda being pushed, no.

Is college a requirement for success?

Nope.

I’ve made six figures with the skills developed through hands-on experience.

But this isn’t what I meant with education.

Your child should be taught by you.

To read.

To write.

To think, deduce, question, ponder and ask questions!

That’s NOT the responsibility of our failed education system or public school teachers who are more interested in their retirement than you kid.

It’s YOUR responsibility!

…and you have opportunities each and every day to expand the brilliant mind of your child, just through conversations.

So I’ll ask you one more time: Do your actions and decisions build a stronger, more responsible child, or plant seeds of future problems?

Have something you believe is an absolute need for a child that I haven’t covered here? Let me know in the comments!

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