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Published:August 12th, 2009 21:56 EST
Training Children:Formula of X input to Yield Y output

Training Children:Formula of X input to Yield Y output

By Ignatius Fernandez

Some parents imagine that X training input should yield Y output in their children. Married for 40 years, and parents for 39 years, my wife, Mabel, and I learned a lesson the hard way. There is no formula that works, because each child is unique and every situation different.

Training children is a tough journey over unfamiliar terrain. Even with a road map, a sturdy vehicle and adequate fuel, we could be forced into making unplanned stops and putting up with unexpected delays. We pass changing landscapes and milestones, but the rigour of the journey takes its toll and we want to give up. That is when we are challenged. We cannot take our hands off the wheel; we cannot get off. That is the way it is meant to be. We get few tangible rewards. Only some effort and much trust.

People who know Mabel and me and our four grown sons, who now have their own families, compliment us as a model family with exemplary children. It is nice to be complimented. They expect us to acknowledge the compliment that they pay our skills. But we give an answer that surprises them. We tell them that we know many good parents who end up having not-so-good children. Why? Because they rely on their strengths. We have not.

The lesson we learned was that, it is the Lord who completes and perfects our efforts. That begs a question: Why is it that some parents who trust in the Lord, still fail in their training roles? Because trust is all or nothing. Trust the Lord only when we are confronted with a problem and at other times act as we please - that is a contradiction. Trust is surrender. Let Him take charge, because He reserves His best for those who let Him take charge. His mother Mary showed us what surrender was; and is. Others who followed Him with unconditional love have walked the same road Mary did. Does it mean that we hand over charge to Him and watch Him work wonders? No. We do our bit.

The Swedish Proverb explains it well : God gives every bird its worm, but He does not drop it into the nest. The bird has to work for it. So, trusting Him, we take appropriate steps to guide the children on a path leading to BASIC VALUES. Character matters.

Humility is not make believe. Cooperation does not have an agenda. Courage is not bravado. Learning from mistakes is a sign of greatness. Hard work is important. Excellence calls for sacrifices. There are no shortcuts. When we have done our part, the Lord will step in to complete and perfect our contribution.

Training Children: Do It Now