Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Shalom...and Supernanny

What has happened to our country? Or, more specifically, to parenting in our country? Not to mention marriage.

There are a 101 philosophies in being an effective parent. So many resources at every parent's fingertips. Yet, it seems so many don't have a clue how to raise a child. Discipline is a dirty word in so many homes, where children run the household, not the adults.

It seems television has caught onto this and decided to do something about it. Enter Supernanny, where "JoJo" steps into the lives of a new family each week...and not just any family, but one in utter chaos...and restores order.

Her methods are simply, really. Almost common sensical. Yet, they are effective. At the beginning of each episode, you think there is no way this family can be fixed, but she does. Every time.

Of course, parenting isn't quite as easy as they make it appear in a one-hour episode. But I'm amazed at just how out of control these families have become. Kids throwing things, kicking their mother, biting siblings, and even breaking valuables. Kids so wild, you might swear they are possessed.

But you know what it ultimately comes down to? The parents. These children are starving for their parents attention, even their discipline.

Another show has come out recently that even takes this further. Shalom in the Home, where a Jewish Rabbi visits families and attempts to restore peace. And where does he begin? You guessed it. The parents.

It is the marriage relationship that is top priority in any home. You love and respect your spouse, and parenting will become a whole lot easier.

I've heard people say how you could never love anyone in the way you love your children. Your children are your own flesh and blood. They are bonded to you in a way no other relationship can be. Yet, I have to disagree.

Children eventually grow up. They leave the home, find spouses of their own. Through it all, the one constant in the home is--or at least should be--the marriage. My wife is top priority. And that means ahead of the kids. Likewise, I should be top priority to my wife. Ahead of the kids. Because as much as I love my kids, they will, in fact, leave me.

And it is because, in fact, my wife could leave me that only emphasizes the amount of effort we need to put into the marriage. Anything and everything that can be done to strengthen that relationship is the greatest importance. And when your children seen how in love his or her parents are, they will feel secure. They will understand what unconditional love is. They will ultimately leave your home, and cleave unto their spouse, living up to the example you set for them.

If you haven't had a chance, take a look at Supernanny and Shalom in the Home. No matter how strong your marriage is today, no matter how successfully you parent, there is always something to learn, some way to improve. Thinking you have "arrived" is a sure sign your relationship will grow stale. Don't let that happen.


No comments: