Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sympathizing With Our Children

I'm currently reading "Heartfelt Discipline" by Clay Clarkson. I've found two wonderful quotes to share with you about sympathizing with our children as a way to lead and gain influence over their hearts. It's really challenging my thinking, as I think I'm much more often sympathetic of adults than of my own children, often "pooh-poohing' their seemingly small troubles. These quotes are making me realize the mistake that's been.

The first is by H. Clay Trumbull, leader in the Sunday school movement:

"It is unquestionably true that in no way can any parent gain such power of his child for the shaping of the child's character and habits of life as by having and showing sympathy with that child...How many parents there are...who are readier to provide playthings for their children than to share the delights of their children with those playthings; readier to set their children at knowledge-seeking, than to have a part in their children's surprises and enjoyments of knowledge-attaining; readier to make good, as far as they can, all losses to their children, than to grieve with their children over those losses. And what a loss of power to those parents as parents, is this lack of sympathy with their children as children."
And this one from J.C. Ryle:

"Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, --these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, --these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart."

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