Children’s happiness must not be the driving force of the home

by Reb Bradley at Family Ministries

Yes, we love our children and want them to be happy, but an over-preoccupation with “happy” children is helping to bring down our culture. Our homes, our schools, and our communities have become child-centered – we pander to their desire for fun and gratification, wanting them kept happy at any cost. This has resulted in our children’s will-to-be-gratified thriving into adulthood, and has created a culture of teens and adults with an over-exalted sense of their own importance. With the priority everyone has given their gratification, they have developed the perspective that the world revolves around them.

Do not misconstrue what I am saying – I want children to be happy. Nothing uplifts me more than seeing a joyful child laugh and smile, particularly my own. What I am saying is that we must not live to gratify our children’s desires and make our leadership decisions based on their responses. In my years of traveling the country presenting parenting seminars, the happiest children I’ve seen are always those who are secure under their parents’ loving authority. They obey the first time they are spoken to, and know they will be rewarded with the trust of their parents when they obey or reap a disciplinary consequence if they disobey. They are happy, because they find safety within the boundaries established and enforced by their parents. They are at peace because they do not have to carry the load of helping their parents run the home. Needless to say, homes with secure and peaceful children have far less strife and sibling rivalry – they are happier places to be. None of this should be a surprise – our children are just like us – stress is minimized when we believe someone else is shouldering responsibility.

Click here to read Bradley’s whole message entitled, Raising Good Citizens.

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