Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Key To Your Child's Heart

I've just finished a book Matt's mother gave me. The Key To Your Child's Heart, written by Gary Smalley, has been enjoyable, and a learning experience for me. I suppose it put into words many of the thoughts and feelings I've had regarding child-rearing and being a parent. In this post I will highlight one lesson I agreed with and one I felt was a bit out of touch or too old fashioned. Gary Smalley opens the book by describing how the spirit of a person is open until something or someone has caused it to close. As parents, it is our responsibility to help keep the spirit of our child open. An open spirit allows a person to learn about themselves, love others and embrace their path in life as an able-minded human being. Gary Smalley describes many ways we can close the spirit of our child and never get it open again. As parents, it's inevitable that we have moments where we cause the spirit of our child to close, but in those moments we must do our best to regain the confidence of that spirit and encourage it to open again. After reading this, I realize how I myself have had parts of my spirit closed by others or circumstance. As a parent, I must overcome the hurt, rejection and pain I have experienced in life so that I can have a fully open spirit for my child. My child must learn to forgive and move forward as I should also. Gary Smalley also speaks of breaking the will of the child. Although I understand that he means well, it frightens to me to think of being too hard on my child or diminishing the personality God gave him. If the Lord gave Lucas a strong-will, I don't want to break it... I want to foster it and teach him to focus that energy into something positive. As a means of breaking the will, Gary Smalley speaks of spanking, until the child has given in or resigned himself. I find this slightly disturbing. I believe my emotional response is due to my own upbringing and overall sensitive nature. This book has encouraged reflection and discussion amongst Matt & I, which is the ultimate goal. We want to be parents who encourage Lucas to love the Lord and love himself. If both of these goals are met, I will feel like I've done my job.

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