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Parents often focus on their child’s academic development and their proficiency in extra-curricular activities. John Rosemond emphasizes that parents must first teach them the three R’s of respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness.

As we hear the childish bickering between the President of the United States and the Speaker of the House it’s reminiscent of an elementary school spat. So how can we avoid such behavior in the future? It’s up to us as parents to teach our children.

Children must learn that they do not command center stage. As children learn to respect their parents, they will learn to respect other adults. Children should have chores so they can learn responsibility. Parents should not do for children what children can do for themselves. The three R’s enable children to develop a genuine sense of self-worth and self-respect.

Some of you who may be wondering, “What if my children are older, is it too late?” It’s never too late, but you’ll need to do that which you’ve been reluctant to do in the past – you will need to make your children unhappy. This involves having the children assume full responsibility for their behavior. Responsibility often involves consequences, so you must stop protecting them from the consequences of their decisions.

This helps children face reality. As a parent you must be consistent in your follow through. Beware of sympathy toward your children, but dispassionately adhere to the standards. You must let go of guilt for past mistakes since sympathy may result from guilt. Stop blaming yourself for past mistakes and strategically move forward. Your children may be unhappy and parents conclude that if my children are unhappy then I must be doing something wrong. The truth is when you confront irresponsible behavior, unhappiness is the result.

It’s been said that a coach makes you do what you don’t necessarily want to do, so you’ll become what you always wanted to be, and so it is with parents. Hang in there parents, the next generation needs you to fulfill your responsibility.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

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