When children are raised in dysfunctional families it is not only detrimental to the entire family, but society also pays a hefty price. Sadly, poor parenting skills continue to be passed down through several generations. The encouraging news is there are millions of successful parents who are raising their families in a secure and loving environment and it’s refreshing to see them in action.
During a recent motel stay, we were enjoying breakfast in the designated self-serve area. A family with three very young boys arrived and selected a table near us. We later learned the excited, pajama clad boys were ages 4, 2, and 1; a handful for any parent! A highchair was located for the youngest boy, and Mom and Dad corralled the two older boys as they excitedly pointed to food items on the counter, especially the frosted donuts with sprinkles. In all of this chaos, the parents were remarkably calm and patient, never saying an unkind word, just showing unconditional love for their family. It was a joy to observe such excellent parenting skills. Soon, everyone was seated at the table ready to dig in.
Dad must have taken the first bite because the 4-year-old blurted out, “Daddy, we forgot to pray!” Dad immediately put his fork down, gave a quick apology, and asked the boy if he’d like to pray. The whole family joined hands, bowed their heads, and the boy quietly said a short prayer. It was obvious the boys were being raised in a loving family with strong morals and values. Mealtime prayer was routine for them, whether at home or away.
Hearing this outburst from a 4-year-old was affirmation there are indeed young parents striving to provide a healthy, stable home for their children. How different this world would be if all families were as caring and functional as this one. This brief encounter was a classic example of, “out of the mouths of babes.” We can learn much from the little ones.