So you want your cute little baby boy or girl to grow up into an adult who will be an exemplary citizen, a role model to its contemporaries, and an asset to its society. Yes you do!
You do not want your child to grow up to be a criminal, a social deviant, a deliberate, perpetual charge on the State, and obnoxious in the sight of God and man. No, you don’t!
To be clear… it is great that you have good intentions. But, as my grandmother used to tell me, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You have to escalate passive, wishful intentions to the highest level of deliberate, intentional actions.
Put another way, you have to sow what you want to grow. And like the farmer, not only do you have to sow the seed of what you need, but you must painstakingly protect and nourish that seed to ensure that the vultures don’t make it their feed.
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And that’s only the beginning. For after you have planted the seed you want to grow, you must be patient, and must daily ensure that the seed has the right environment in which to grow. And after the first leaves of the plant burst forth above the ground, you must be on the lookout for parasites and vermin, and weeds and predators of all types that will try to destroy your tender plant.
And you are still not done. There will come a time when you have to get a pair of very sharp cutters, and you will have to trim and prune the plant you love. Yes, you will. You will have to get rid of the dead leaves, and possibly even a wayward branch or two… and this you do, not to punish the plant, but to perfect the plant.
And then one day, it will produce the fruit or the flowers or the foliage that the farmer desires.
To be clear… there are many resilient plants that need much less care than other delicate species. But also note this. If you do not want to expend the effort and energy required to protect your seed and cultivate your plant, then you must settle for scattering a lot of seeds. Some will make it above the ground, and others won’t.
Some will be devoured the first day and other’s wont. Some will survive the drought and the parasites and predators. Others won’t. And of those that survive, very, very, few will make it to the shelves of the supermarket as healthy looking, mouth-watering, succulent produce.
Put another way, you can sow, and nourish and protect a few seeds and inspect what you expect, or you can scatter a handful of seeds and take your chances.
When it comes to children, especially in societies that teach that two is better than too many, you can’t afford to scatter your seed. The best choice must be to train up your children in the way you want them to go, with the assurance that when they are old, they will not depart from it.
So here is one of many underlying principles that must provide the foundation for the lessons on child training that are readily available in numerous books and from a myriad of sages.
Drill to instill.
Our children are born into this world in as neutral a state as is conceivably possible, but not 100% neutral. The predispositions and biases that they have are 100% attributable to their parents, and to a lesser extent, to their grand-parents. Put another way, whether because of your genetic contribution to your child, or because you are the custodian of your child’s prenatal and post-natal environment, you are 100% responsible for the training and guidance of your child.
I really want to emphasize this point because too many parents complain that they did their best, but children make their own decisions. They claim that children, like adults, are individuals, and that a parent can do so much and no more. Like so many other devious doctrines, there is a lot that is true in that position, but it falls short of the standard of truth. I will explain.
Have you ever heard the repulsive term “brain-washing”? Have you ever stopped to consider its meaning? The dictionary gives us some insightful synonyms. These include,
indoctrinate, condition, re-educate, persuade, propagandize, influence, inculcate, drill;
Which of these actions constitutes an illegal or criminal act? Do I have a right to persuade, educate or influence anyone who would allow me? Is propaganda a crime? What about drills… are they illegal? Of course not.
I think you are beginning to get my drift… but take your time, I do not want you to prematurely come to the right conclusion.
In the adult world, brain-washing takes place all around us, and quite often, we pay for it. What do you think advertisements are? And who do you think pays for the multi-million dollar salary and benefits packages of advertisers?
You have heard that the constant dripping of the water wears away the stone. Is that not exactly what advertisements are? Why do you think you make your purchase decisions? Do you think your choices are unaffected by advertising, seductive supermarket displays and neuro-marketing? Think again. We are all the willing and unwitting victims of sanitized, perfumed, politically-correct brain-washing.
And what about drilling? Millions of Americans and men and women from all nations have spent time in their country’s military. Is the military a democracy? Does the commander call a round-table meeting with privates and even sergeants, and negotiate strategy? What about the time you rise and shine? What about the number of miles you must run every day… the times you eat, the times you sleep… what you wear, and how you carry your hair? What are the consequences of failing to say, “yes sir”! What is the military meaning of comply, and then complain?
But then is it not true that we all enjoy the precision parade? Are we not fascinated by the synchronized movements of hands and legs and feet and heads? Oh yes! We love to watch the drill… but there is nothing romantic about being drilled.
Our beloved military is really a concentration camp into which most people voluntarily enter for a fixed period of time to be brainwashed and disciplined, so that they can perform at the best levels for which bodies are designed.
To be clear, and make no mistake about this, “brain-washing” and drilling a child when it is young is a lot more humane and painless, than trying to do it when we become adults. You can bend a tree when it is young, but not when it is old. And the results of training a young child are a lot more long-lasting than trying to apply the same training to an adult.
There is nothing unpleasant, and everything productive about training your children. Your country, your community, your child and your creator are all depending on you to do a great job.