A father was trying to teach his young son the dangers of drinking. So he filled a glass with whiskey, another with water, and dropped an earthworm in each glass. The worm in the water lived. The whiskey worm curled up and died.
“What does that show you, son?” “Well Dad,” he said, “it shows me that if you drink alcohol, you won’t have worms.” Ah, kids! If you’d like a little advice on child rearing you’ve tuned into the wrong station, because I’m about to give you some horrible advice. An old African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. But I think it takes five steps to raise the village “doofus.”
Here they are:
1. Make your home a miserable place to be. Don’t celebrate good times. Avoid laughter at all costs. Make sure your face looks like you sleep in a pickle jar.
2. Spoon-feed them religion. Tell them answers, but don’t ask questions. Snap at them whenever they step out of line.
3. Gossip without ceasing. Roast the preacher. Stew your boss. Talk about other people’s problems, don’t admit to any of your own.
4. Show your kids that they are less important than your work, your car, and your golf game. That church attendance is less important than sports.
5. Avoid reading the Bible and praying together. Turn them loose without a road map, road signs, guardrails, a centre line, then be amazed when they crash.
You won’t have to look far to find bad examples of parenting. That’s why those who get it right stand out.
Rick van Beek’s daughter Maddy has cerebral palsy. She’s unable to walk or talk. But Rick’s desire to give Maddy a rich and exciting life inspired him to quit smoking and get in shape. Today, Rick competes in marathons and triathlons as “Team Maddy.” He pulls Maddy in a kayak when he swims, in a cart when he cycles, and pushes her along in a buggy when he runs. Rick says: “Call it inspiration, call it motivation…I call it LOVE…she is my heart and I am her legs. Though someday she might not physically be able to be there with me, she will always be in my heart, quietly cheering me on.” Way to go Rick.
Regardless of the home we come from, we have a perfect heavenly father who loves us. In fact, 1 John 4:19 tells us that, “We love because He first loved us.” He’ll give us the ability to make our homes places of laughter and hope, places where God is honoured and kids are loved. So laugh a little today, would you? Praise a preacher, turn off a TV, take a child for a walk. Make sure it’s your child. You may even want to take them fishing. If so, make sure you find yourself a live worm.
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