During World War II, a friend’s father held office in London, returning occasionally to the United States to visit his family
During one of his brief stays, his father noticed that he was playing sandlot baseball without a mitt. So he promptly went out and purchased one. The only problem was that the mitt was right handed and his son was a lefty.
You guessed it: A close bond did not exactly exist between this father and his eight year old son. Imagine: A father not knowing whether his son was right or left handed!
In the business world, this dad was respected and recognized as a “success.” At home however, he was an abysmal failure, having sacrificed his family for his career.
Last night my wife and I dined with a couple whose twenty-three year old daughter is being held by the authorities on felony charges.
During the course of the meal, the father (also a “successful” businessman) related how he had sacrificed his children during their formative years for his career. To compensate for his failings, he and his wife routinely indulged their offspring by catering to their slightest whimsical desires, while continually rescuing them from the consequences of any deviant behavior.
The results? Agonized parents whose daughter views them with great disdain, while facing the strong probability of spending several years in jail.
SUCCESS… BUT AT WHAT PRICE?
May I ask you some questions?
- Does your spouse feel you are spending adequate time with the children?
- Are you aware that “quality” time with your offspring rarely occurs without the requisite “quantity” time?
- Judging by the quality of your present emotional bond with your children, are you developing in them a healthy sense of self-worth, or do they feel by your emotional or physical absence that they are not worthy of your time?
- If you are blowing it with your kids, what is the core issue you are choosing to not deal with: Pride? Fear of failure? Greed? Or what?
“Discipline (Literally: Instruct, correct, reform and reprove) your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death… A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.” (Proverbs 19:18; 17:25)