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Marriage and Family

The Greatest Treasure

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08/01/2009 - A few weeks ago the Weather Channel played a segment addressing the issue of kids being left in the vehicle during hot days. At that point, there had already been a few children who had died in the heat. In attempt to provide parents with a tip to help them remember their children in the back seat, the reporter offered the suggestion of placing your wallet or purse in the back next to the car seat. The idea is that as you reach in the back to grab your wallet or purse, you will then notice the car seat and remember to pull the child out.

This troubles me because, as a society, we have begun to value our material possessions more than children. This is also evident within the numerous households that find children raising themselves as both parents work long hours in order to maintain an affluent lifestyle. Children are, at times, taught to place great value in material possessions. They are provided the latest technologies and spend countless hours with their belongings and very few hours with the family. Please understand that I am not criticizing buying children the newer technologies, but rather the priority and time that they take as opposed to the focus placed on relationships within the family.

As I mentioned in the last issue, the next few articles will focus on some of the aspects of strengthening the parent-child relationship. One important aspect is for the parent to genuinely value the child no matter their age. A parent can easily become frustrated with their children, especially teenagers, and begin to see them as a "trouble maker" or a "nuisance". Beneath this frustration, the strengths and qualities of the child are buried. When this happens the interaction at home becomes tense and distant.

If you find yourself in a situation described above, take a moment to think about all the attributes and characteristics you truly appreciate about your son or daughter. Focus on their importance because of the simple fact that he or she is your son or daughter. Their very existence is one of value. The purpose is to start seeing your child as they truly are, a blessing to the family. They will make mistakes, they will make poor choices, but this doesn't change their importance. When interacting with your child, whether in leisure, daily affairs or disciplining, do so through the lens of their value.

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