No. 858
The Next Password is Egg



If you are a parent and have children, young or old, are you happy with your parenting skills? While a very simple question, it strikes at the very heart of why so many of America’s children get in trouble, feel insecure, and often run with the wrong crowd, which leads to some very serious consequences down the road. It is safe to say that most parents love their children and want the very best for them but simply lack the parenting skills necessary to create the kind of environment where their children turn out to be model citizens and all that entails.
Along these lines, a Kansas reader sent me column reprint by the late Ann Landers that features an alphabet of child-rearing ideas. While it was written many years ago, attribution is given to Jo Frisbie Von Rachl in Pasadena (I assume California.) If she were still here, I am sure Ann Landers or the original author would not mind if I shared these ideas with you.
It begins: A is for Accountability. Hold your children accountable for their behavior. B is for Boundaries. Set specific limits and make clear the repercussions if these limits are exceeded. C is for Consistency. Hold to the same principles and practices.
D is for Discipline. Make the punishment fit the crime. Never discipline in anger. E is for Example. Children are in greater need for models than critics. Set a good example. F is for Forgiveness. Practice it and teach the importance of forgiving. G is for Giving. Teach the joy of giving, not only to family and friends, but to strangers in need. H is for a sense of Humor. Keep your sense of humor. Promote laughter with your children. I is for Imagination. Be creative, and play with your children. Make up stories or songs when you read and sing with them. J is for Justice. Be fair, and insist that they be fair, also.
K is for Knowing your children’s friends and their parents as well as their teachers. L is for Listening. Listen to your children. It will teach them how to listen to others, and their thoughts will give you insights. M is for Morals. Be sure your own standard of conduct is sound. N is for No. Use it and mean it. O is for Outdoors. Provide as much outdoor activity as possible. Teach respect for others. P is for Pressure. Reduce the pressure on your children, but insist they maintain high standards. Q is for Questions. Pay close attention to their questions, and give answers unless they demand more. R is for Respect. Show respect, teach respect and earn respect.
S is for Source of Strength. Share your own faith or beliefs with your children. T is for Togetherness. Have special designated times to be together as a family – but know when to let go, too. U is for Uniqueness. Understand the uniqueness of each child, and let that child be who he or she is. V is for Voice. Tone of voice can convey more to a child than the words spoken. W is for Words. Keep your word. Promises broken destroy trust. X is for Examine. Examine constantly and be aware. You is for You. Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. A happy parent helps a child to be happy. Z is for Zowie. Who would have thought they would grow up so quickly?
Well, there you have it, An Alphabet of Child-Rearing Ideas. No doubt about it, there is some great information here for any of us parents, grandparents or guardians who will use them. You may have thought about Love and Honesty being in the list but it was assumed these were already in place. I want to end this column with my very best wishes and words that I believe are most appropriate; “when your children shine, what a nice reflection on you.”
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)

The Next Password is Egg