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None of this advice is original with me. I'd like to thank Jud and Linda Sasser—whom I've lost track of over the years—for being the first to provide an example of excellent children and the first to give me advice.
Advice for teenagers came from watching Gideon and Faith Dickerson and Teshuvah and Mercy Hartle, whose children have grown up to be excellent and reliable servants of God.
As far as books on parenting advice go, for young children I was helped by James Dobson, as well as Michael and Debi Pearl's To Train Up a Child. (Ad Notice: I get a small commission if you use the links to buy the books mentioned in this paragraph.)
Parenting Advice for Young Children
(Up to Around 12 Years Old)
- Discipline: Clear lines and consistent correction. I've seen harsh correction and very mild correction work as long as it was consistently applied and the children knew the lines. There's a middle ground that's much easier on the parent than either extreme, so I opted for that.
- Love: Love is spelled T-I-M-E. There's no replacing it. Blow this one, and you leave the happiness and godliness of your children to chance.
- Usually I say there's only two, but really, you should marry a good wife. She made up for all my failings. It was hard for me to get it wrong.
Parenting Advice for Teenagers
In this case, I didn't ask. It didn't dawn on me it might be different than for smaller children until my oldest was close to his teen years. I had friends with wonderful teenagers, so I took note of what they did. This one's real short.
- Be their friend (their wiser, older, advice-giving friend).
- If you did the pre-teen years right, you can really blow the discipline side and it won't matter.
If you did well with your pre-teen, you'll be able to reason with them like you would an adult when they're teenagers. You have to let them do some exploring and learning on their own.
(Don't take that too far. I've seen teenagers that, one, needed some lack of discipline as pre-teens made up for, and two, who got into bad situations and bad influences and needed firm guidance to get back.)
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