There is one question that has haunted parents for centuries. Here it is: Are children gifts from God - or instruments of slow torture? Actually, they are both. Parenting has moments of wonder, excitement, and enrichment -- broken up by long stretches of exasperation, total chaos, and suffering.
As you begin parenthood with a newborn baby, you just want this little person to survive. You sneak into the nursery every thirty minutes to make sure the little thing is still breathing. You meet every need of this small, helpless creature.
When your child hits the twos and threes and is systematically destroying your home - piece by broken piece - you begin to wonder if you will survive.
When your child moves into junior high and becomes a teenager, you know you're not going to make it. You realize with horror that the roles are reversed: You are now a small, helpless creature at the mercy of a far superior force: hormones.
If you and your ungrateful, hostile, and attitude-challenged teenager survive through high school, two things happen. One, your health is broken. Two, you must now spend your retirement savings on college. Talk about a gamble! All that money for a kid you're not even sure is going to turn out well.
With your health broken and your money spent, you must spend your declining years praying that one of your kids will have pity on you and take care of you. That's the main reason Sandy and I had four kids. We figure at least one of them will look after us when we're in our wheel-chair years.
This brief overview of the parenting process is tongue-in-cheek. But there is truth to it, isn't there? Parenting is an extremely difficult job. Just about impossible, really. It seems as though we are often at the mercy of our children. Once they get out of diapers, kids can cut quite a swath of destruction and mayhem through our lives.
Life is difficult enough without children. Add children and you've got real trouble. As wonderful and precious as children are, they are also selfish and naturally gravitate to behaviors which are bad for them.
And our society has plenty of bad behaviors for them to choose from! Dr. David Clarke's Winning The Parenting War! offers specific, how-to principles to help parents maintain their sanity and raise healthy kids.
Designed for parents of newborns through teens, Dr. Clarke's book includes these topics:
The Five Musts for Effective Parenting
Building Self-Esteem in Your Child
The Truth About Teenagers and What You Can Do About it