Keep Your Body Moving—It’s Good for You

Keep Your Body Moving—It’s Good for You

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Inactive people have higher risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. But exactly why is hard to tell, since they tend to have other health problems as well, like obesity. How can you determine the specific effects of inactivity?

To find an answer, researchers at the University of Missouri recently tried a novel approach. They told active, healthy people to stop moving around so much and then measured what happened.

February’s issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published the results of the study. They found that when these healthy volunteers cut the number of steps they took each day in half or more, their blood sugar levels became erratic.

These people usually exercised 30 minutes or more on most days, and their blood sugar levels typically remained level and steady. But within days of curbing their activity level, their blood sugar level began to spike significantly after meals—and more so with each successive day of inactivity. Such spiking has been linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Thankfully, the body returns to normal, steady blood sugar levels once a person returns to regular activity.

The reason for the spiking in a sedentary person makes sense: When we exercise, our muscles need more fuel and draw sugar from the blood. When our muscles aren’t in use, more of that sugar remains in the bloodstream.

When that is the body’s default condition, serious problems emerge. “We hypothesize that, over time, inactivity creates the physiological conditions that produce chronic disease,” John P. Thyfault, who conducted the study, told the New York Times.

So what should you do? Keep moving, even if in small doses. “When I’m really busy, I make sure to get up and walk around the office or jog in place every hour or so,” Dr. Thyfault says. “You don’t have to run marathons,” he says. “But the evidence is clear that you do need to move.”

Galaxy Filled With Homeless Planets

Galaxy Filled With Homeless Planets

NASA

Recently scientists have dramatically upped their estimates of how many planets there are in the universe. The March Trumpet issue discussed the latest research estimating that each star is being orbited by an average of 1.6 planets—which would mean that our galaxy alone hosts 160 billion of them.

In January, science’s prediction of just how much real estate might be out there expanded many times more, with the suggestion that our galaxy is filled with homeless planets.

A group of scientists from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology presented evidence that, in addition to those planets orbiting stars, there may be up to 10,000 times as many planet-sized objects flying freely throughout the Milky Way galaxy—called nomadic planets.

The study of planets outside our solar system—termed extrasolar planets or “exoplanets”—is exploding right now. Just 22 years ago, none were known; now, thanks to technological developments, that number is 2,000 and growing by the month. Most of these planets orbit stars, but last year, astronomers found a dozen planets that don’t orbit stars.

Using a technique called gravitational microlensing (the refocusing of a star’s light by planets passing “in front” of them) and other observations, kipac scientists say the ratio of nomad planets to stars is at least 5:1, but could be much higher, even as many as 10,000:1.

“Louis Strigari, leader of the team that reported the results to the Royal Astronomical Society, suggests that some of the planetary orphans could even retain enough heat for microbial life—if they have enough tectonic and radioactive processes to generate heat and enough atmosphere to retain it,” the Register, an online technology publication, reported on February 27.

Scripture tells us that God does nothing in vain. Though Earth is the only planet supporting physical life at present, God does have a plan to “plant the heavens” (Isaiah 51:16). The existence of “wandering planets” shows that there is much work to be done before any of that real estate could host life. Nevertheless, our ever increasing awareness of the vastness of the universe and its limitless potential should ignite our imaginations for what the future holds.

Britain’s Drug Violence as Bad as Latin America’s?

Britain’s Drug Violence as Bad as Latin America’s?

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Drug gangs and organized crime have taken over parts of British cities in the same way as they have in Mexico, Brazil and the United States, Prof. Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board, said as the organization’s annual report was released February 28.

“We are looking at social cohesion, the social disintegration and illegal drugs. In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which develop which become no-go areas,” he said. “Drug traffickers, organized crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas. Examples are in Brazil, Mexico, in the United States, in the UK—Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester—and therefore it is no good to have only law enforcement, which always shows it does not succeed.”

His statements provoked outrage from leaders and law enforcement in the three cities, who denied that any “no-go” areas existed. Ghodse later backed away from his comments, telling the Manchester Evening News that he meant to say Manchester had problems with drug gangs in the past, but he didn’t mean to imply it still had no-go areas.

However, British society does have a festering problem with its youth—the English riots demonstrated that. Local leaders may be in denial, but Ghodse may be more right than they’d like to admit.

Australia Flooding After Record Rains

Many areas of New South Wales and Victoria, Australia, flooded on Thursday following several days of heavy rains. The areas experienced the heaviest rainfall in decades, and dams are full to bursting.

New South Wales local media said that about three quarters of the state is either threatened by imminent flooding or already underwater. State Emergency Service volunteers are warning many residents to stock up on supplies or evacuate their homes.

In Sydney, the Warragamba Dam is nearing its maximum capacity for the first time in 14 years. Officials are planning to release the water late Thursday in order to prevent damage.

“We need to release that water to protect the structural integrity of the dam,” the Sydney Catchment Authority’s Ian Tanner told reporters.

However, spilling the dam will put parts of western Sydney under flood watch.

In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, God promises that when we obey Him, He will provide rain in due season when and where it is needed. The flooding underway in Australia is not random and senseless; it is yet another result of mankind’s persistent refusal to obey God’s law.

The Obama Administration vs. the American Constitution

The Obama Administration vs. the American Constitution

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The government’s new health-care mandate is a stunning assault against the Constitution, against freedom of religion, against conscience, against life.
From the April 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

The Obama administration is taking an ax to America’s freedom of religion. It has deliberately picked a fight with religious Americans and the Catholic Church in particular in a move that should alarm Americans of all faiths.

The president has mandated that employers provide health-care coverage for all employees. He is now also demanding that this coverage include birth control: free sterilizations and access to all fda-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions. Of course, Catholic doctrine forbids all of these practices, and even many non-Catholics likewise oppose abortion, including the “morning-after pill,” on religious grounds.

The government doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter how upset religious leaders get, whose conscience is violated, or whose beliefs are trampled. The president has settled the issue: Abortion-inducing drugs are every woman’s right—even if God Himself disagrees.

Attacking Freedom of Religion

When the Department of Health and Human Services first published this proposal last August, Catholic leaders were among those who objected the most strenuously, calling it “an unprecedented attack on religious freedom.” Efforts to stop the law failed, and in January, dhh Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that it will go into effect in August. She offered one bizarre, meaningless concession: Religiously affiliated organizations like hospitals and universities are allowed an additional year to “adapt” to the change. They won’t have to betray their convictions until August 2013.

Predictably, people were outraged that Americans are going to be forced to pay for things they morally oppose. The administration knew this would happen, and President Obama “retreated” to what was surely his pre-planned position. Supposedly to appease those with religious objections, he announced in mid-February “a solution that works for everyone.”

What “works for everyone” is not to back off the demand for free abortifacients, sterilizations and contraceptives in all federally mandated health-insurance plans. “Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services—no matter where they work. So that core principle remains,” the president explained. “But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company—not the hospital, not the charity—will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles” (emphasis added).

So the “free” pharmacological abortions are still ordered by law, but the insurance company must pay for them and can’t explicitly bill the employer. Most likely it will recoup the cost simply by charging the employer higher premiums. And the employer is still required to provide free access to services it views as sin. The president did not try to “accommodate” religious freedom; rather, he demonstrated himself to be completely intolerant of dissent.

There are no exceptions for religious insurance companies, self-insured religious employers, non-profit employers who are religious, or non-religious employers (such as small business owners with personal convictions). Any American who simply does not want his or her money paying for someone else to get sterilized or to fatally poison a human embryo will pay stiff fines for obeying his or her conscience rather than the law.

This is not just morally wrong, it is constitutionally wrong.

Governing the Government

This president is hostile toward the original intent of the United States Constitution, and this is just the latest example. The First Amendment guarantees that no law will prohibit an American from free exercise of religion. But in the president’s view, a woman’s right to have recreational sex and enjoy cost-free access to pregnancy prevention/termination trumps the constitutional right to act according to one’s religious beliefs.

The Founding Fathers had such an abuse of power in mind when they wrote the Constitution—a document that is now getting almost the same dismissive, infinitely subjective treatment as the Bible itself.

The liberal view is that human nature is fundamentally good and should be given room to flourish. The realist—and biblical—view is that human nature is fundamentally evil and must be conscientiously governed. Thankfully, the Framers took the latter view. That is a big part of the reason that the system of government they created, while imperfect, has stood for over two centuries and done much to guarantee the success of the United States of America and its people.

The Founders realized that government is necessary in order to check the evils of human nature in society. They also recognized—having fought and bled in order to free themselves from a tyrant—that firm limits on power are needed in order to check the evils of human nature within the government.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist 51, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

In the Constitution, the American Founders established a system that successfully governs the government.

The fundamental means by which the Constitution accomplishes this are representation, separation of powers, and limited government. The first of these puts the ultimate power in the hands of voters. The second lies in the checks and balances the Founders created through interaction among three branches of government. The third comes in the form of enumerated powers. For example, Article i, Section 8 of the Constitution outlines the duties of Congress. If it’s not listed here, Congress can’t do it. And the head of government—very unlike a monarch—is voted in, carries out his constitutional duties for four years, and can be dismissed at that point, if not before.

Remember, these fundamental restrictions were borne of a realistic understanding of human nature. But right now, these restraints are under the knife.

Attacking the Constitution

Upon entering office, the president must solemnly promise that, to the best of his ability, he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That is required by the Constitution, which also says that “senators and representatives, and all executive and judicial officers … shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution.”

Far too many of these leaders have taken that oath—and then done the opposite! The current president has, to the best of his ability, smeared, ignored and undermined that founding document!

America’s most powerful leaders today fundamentally disagree with the charter they are meant to uphold! In the eyes of the president and his top leaders, the Founders’ limits on the government, which protect the nation from human nature, are obstacles preventing them from remaking the nation according to their own perverse ideals (article, page 5).

This thinking is not unique to the 21st century. Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn points out that the seeds of this anti-law thinking were sown a century ago by Woodrow Wilson, who viewed the Constitution’s doctrines of limited government as obsolete. “Wilson argued that progress and evolution had brought human beings to a place and time where we didn’t have to worry about limited government,” Arnn said. “He rejected what the Founders identified as a fixed or unchanging human nature, and thought we should be governed by an elite class of people who are not subject to political forces or constitutional checks and balances—a class of people such as we find in our modern bureaucracy. This form of government would operate above politics, acting impartially in accordance with reason” (emphasis added).

Here is the crux of it. This thinking trusts in human nature and human reasoning. It sees nothing that needs restraining. It is so confident in its own correctness that it seeks to operate above the law. Today, with a government that is fiercely following this philosophy, it is plain to see the problems that can result.

Casting Off Restraint

Right after Mr. Obama was elected, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote on this subject in the January 2009 issue: “The Founding Fathers created the Constitution to limit the government’s power because they had lived under a tyrant who decided, according to his own whims, what was fair for the people and what wasn’t. The Constitution gave them a certain protection from evil human nature. The Founders based this charter on certain biblical principles, not just human reasoning.”

What began with Wilson and blossomed under Franklin Roosevelt is now reaching its apex: transcending the limits imposed by the Founders, and perpetually increasing the government’s power as a guarantor of “positive rights.”

Today the federal government acts, for example, as though citizens have the “right” to material goods and services—housing, education, health-care, abortifacients—giving the government the obligation to take resources from other citizens to pay for them. This represents an enormous expansion in federal power at the expense of the rights and freedoms of individuals.

The president is bypassing the democratic process with growing impunity. The legislature is blowing past its constitutionally enumerated powers and continually enlarging its mandate. And the judiciary is torturing the Constitution’s language to force ever more bizarre meanings into it, thus bringing it into conformity with its own liberal plans. These efforts are just getting started—and are quickly gaining momentum.

These leaders are shucking off the constitutional system by which the government itself is properly governed. Why? Because of their basic, fatal misunderstanding of human nature. Because they reject the crucial need for human beings to live subject to God’s law and, in this case, even the law of the land!

Essentially, this thrusts the door open to the very abuses of power the American Founders had fled and worked so diligently to prevent. It destroys the rule of law and replaces it with the rule of men. In the end, human reasoning reigns supreme. The whim of the tyrant becomes law.

The Tyranny of Human Reasoning

Lest you think there is no cause for concern that circumstances could descend to that state, consider again the administration’s latest ruling—not only mandating that all Americans receive health-care coverage, but also that in it, insurance companies must provide free sterilization, contraception and pharmacological abortion.

This ruling imposes breathtaking constraints on private companies, placing them at the mercy of governmental whims. It forces individual citizens to enter into contracts whether or not they want to. And it undercuts the Bill of Rights’ protection of free exercise of religion, compelling anyone who disapproves of these practices on religious grounds to compromise their beliefs.

Why is the president making such sweeping moves, sacrificing such pillar American freedoms? Simply because he believes it is the right thing to do.

Insurance companies that reduce the number of pregnancies will help their bottom line, the president contends. This new regulation labels birth control—including sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs—as “preventive care.” “That means free check-ups, free mammograms, immunizations and other basic services,” Mr. Obama explained. “We fought for this because it saves lives and it saves money—for families, for businesses, for government, for everybody. That’s because it’s a lot cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat one.”

There is something chilling about this reasoning when applied to human life itself.

Many people believe—correctly—that human life starts at conception and stoutly oppose drugs that induce early-term abortions. With this law, the administration isn’t just making it possible for a woman to take such drugs—it is forcing all taxpaying citizens to indirectly provide her with these drugs for free. And the president praises the termination of the pregnancy—what could be a fertilized ovum or human embryo—for its cost savings. Like catching a cancer in its early stages.

He’s right in one sense: Terminating a pregnancy is certainly cheaper than raising a child. Death is cheaper than life.

This president is solidly in favor of abortions (what he calls “reproductive rights”). As an Illinois state senator, he voted against a ban on what is called partial-birth abortion—and then went a step further: He opposed a bill to protect the life of a newborn that managed tosurvivethat grisly procedure. Take a moment, if you can stomach it, to imagine what that would actually mean within the walls of an abortion clinic!

Now this man holds the highest office in the land and is dictating the nation’s health-care law. His administration is deftly couching this latest mandate in noble language like “women’s health,” “preventive care” and “reproductive services” (as if anyone who opposes it is against women’s health). But it is the product of some truly ignoble thinking.

How else can you explain the government so pitilessly steamrolling over deeply held religious objections as though they are utterly baseless, undermining constitutional protections and even alienating voters in the process?

In pushing his radical social agenda, the president is so convinced of his own righteousness, none of that matters. From his perspective, the centuries-old doctrine of a church with a billion believers is a fringe view, and freedom of religion is just a bump in the road.

Where This Is Leading

This is just a single example of the dangers posed by throwing out the rule of law.

“A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse: He will be thrown, and the nation along with him,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Pence in September 2010.

This exploding development calls to mind the darkest period in the history of ancient Israel—the period of the judges. As the nation turned its back on God and His law, it suffered curse upon nightmarish curse. Scripture uses a simple description of the moral and intellectual climate at that time—one that rings sickeningly true today: “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

Quoting that verse in 2001, Mr. Flurry wrote, “This was the condition of our biblical forefathers—just before their nation collapsed and they went into slavery!”

Watch for history to repeat itself.

Parents! Take Charge of Your Child’s Incredible Potential

Parents! Take Charge of Your Child’s Incredible Potential

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They possess dazzling promise. Be honest: Will your parenting help them attain it?
From the April 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Facebook published a list of most-shared articles in 2011. The stories most often passed on to others dealt with parenting advice or other parenting-related issues. This means multiple thousands of people have high interest in nurturing their children. That is great news.

It is obvious that many parents expend a lot of money and effort transporting children to dance lessons, music lessons and sporting events. However, a close look at article content on Facebook’s list reveals that there is little about the nuts and bolts of the life-altering parenting skills necessary to help guarantee a child’s success for a lifetime.

All children possess amazing promise. No sum of gold can equal the value of what children can attain when put in the proper environment and provided with ample challenging opportunities. Yet, no child is capable of mapping out a fantastically successful future on his own. Every child needs the help of loving and involved adults—in particular, the parents.

But parenting is more than providing music, dance and sports lessons. Sadly, because of this lack of robust parenting, children, parents and society as a whole are suffering.

How concerned are you about your child’s future? What steps are you taking to help him achieve his fullest potential? There is one critically important step you must take to ensure your child attains his incredible human potential. Do you know what that step is?

The Latest on Parenting

Just reading a couple of article titles from the Facebook list easily shows that there is something radically wrong with today’s parenting: “Parents, Don’t Dress Your Girls Like Tramps” and “Permissive Parents: Curb Your Brats.

Excerpts from several more articles are even more revealing. Lisa Bloom, in her article “How to Talk to Little Girls,” wrote, “15 to 18 percent of girls under 12 now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down ….” Amy Chua tells us in “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” “… 70 percent of the Western mothers said either that ‘stressing academic success is not good for children’ or that ‘parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.’” Ron Clark, an award-winning teacher who started his own academy in Atlanta, Georgia, stated in “What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents”: “For starters, we are educators, not nannies. We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don’t fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer. I have become used to some parents who just don’t want to hear anything negative about their child …. And if you really want to help your children be successful, stop making excuses for them.”

Although these articles and others like them discuss the problems and challenges parents face, none digs deep and asks critical questions like: Are our parenting methods causing the problems parents face? Or: How do we fix modern parenting?

You can waste a lot of time and energy reading articles about parenting problems similar to your own. You may get some encouragement, but unless you find a solution that works, your own parenting problems won’t improve.

In order to help your child achieve his fullest potential, you must become a very effective parent. This is your primary responsibility while your children live with you! Time is wasting.

Time to Face Reality

Robert Fritz, in his book Creating, writes: “When I first began to teach people the creative process, I assumed that people would have some difficulty in forming the end result they wanted, but that they would have no difficulty in noting where they were since reality is always there to see …. [W]as I wrong … when it came to accurately describing current reality, people often did not do as well.”

A lot of parents assume they are doing a pretty good job of raising their children. If you feel this way, it may be time to take a second look. Be honest with yourself. Are you accurately describing current reality?

Only one article on Facebook’s list actually identified the cause for today’s poor parenting—by candidly stating that parents are too permissive! In his article “Permissive Parents: Curb Your Brats,” cnn contributor L.Z. Granderson colorfully listed the socially unacceptable infractions children of permissive parents commit regularly: 5-year-olds running rampant in public places like restaurants, grocery stores and airports—even on airplanes. He reported seeing “a small child slapping her mother in the face,” and hearing other children telling their parents to “‘shut up’ and ‘leave me alone’ at the top of their lungs.” Granderson expressed deep frustration at having to be in a public place with families where the parents have to tell their children “to ‘sit down’ a thousand times.”

We have all shared similar uncomfortable experiences. Granderson concludes that the poor fruits of permissive parenting are one of the reasons why many people do not like children.

Amy Chua does not use the word permissive, but heavily implies it in her article. Comparing Western parents with Eastern, she wrote, “[T]he vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be ‘the best’ students, that ‘academic achievement reflects successful parenting,’ and that if children did not excel at school then there was a ‘problem’ and parents ‘were not doing their job.’” By the way, Amy Chua took a lot of flak for her views on parenting, which many people viewed as child abuse. Although some of her views are extreme, much of what she says is just like the old-school parenting my parents used with me.

What is permissiveness in parenting?

Permissiveness Explained

Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives one definition of permissiveness as: “deficient in firmness or control: indulgent, lax.” That definition well describes permissive parenting. When parents do not use firmness in controlling their child in either the home or public—when they are indulgent, simply giving the child everything desired, and don’t require much in the way of obedience—that is permissive parenting. A permissive parent has great difficulty saying no—ever!

This method of parenting does not work. You won’t find a book titled Permissive Parenting, or How to Be a Permissive Parent. But the fact is, permissive ideas are spread throughout many books, promoted on television and seen in movies. Permissiveness has been encouraged throughout Western society for decades. It began with the young adults of the 1960s who wanted unrestrained personal freedoms for themselves and their children. Through the revolt against “the oppressive establishment,” massive social changes in morals, sexuality and traditional values engulfed and reshaped the way churches, schools, governments and families did things. Freedom was in—control, law, order and rules were out.

As society has freed itself from restraints, we have created a horrible monster that is devouring us with alcohol and illicit drugs, epidemic crime, killer sexually transmitted diseases, and children who hate us and are killing us.

Robert Shaw, in his book The Epidemic, shows that the fruit of faddish parenting—which is permissive parenting—is now plain. He writes, “Far too many children today are sullen, unfriendly, distant, preoccupied and even unpleasant. They whine, nag, throw tantrums and demand constant attention from their parents, who are spread too thin to spend enough time with them. Feeling guilty and anxious, the parents in turn soothe their kids with unhealthy snacks, faddish clothing, toys and media. Many kids, even very young ones, treat their parents with contempt, rolling their eyes and speaking rudely.” Naturally many parents are upset at the negative daily struggle with their children. Yet few are willing to admit the real problems lie with them.

As a result, Shaw tells us, “A host of new ‘clinical diagnoses’ have been invented to explain why children seem totally spoiled, untrained and unsocialized, and an incredibly large number of children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) and bombarded with psychoactive drugs.” Isn’t it time we wake up to the fact that permissive parenting cannot be fixed by stuffing our children full of pills?

Shaw courageously says that the tragic slaughter of students and teachers at Columbine High School (and so many other schools) should be attributed to the failure in modern parenting. Wouldn’t you agree, parents, that it is time to get control of our broken families? There is a way.

Regain Control

The Prophet Isaiah, through the inspiration of Almighty God, was able to see into our day and write down in his book a nearly word-for-word description of what we read in our newspaper and magazine headlines concerning our frightening problems with our youth: “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable” (Isaiah 3:5).

Isaiah prefaced this statement with a detailed description of the breakdown in leadership—in society and in the home. The mighty man,the judge, the prudent and ancient are all gone. When strong leadership is stripped from us, we get a mess like permissive parenting and a society full of crime, immorality and violence. Just a little honesty tells us that our Western world is headed for a titanic crash.

Yet notice that the prophet does more than simply warn us. He also diagnoses the problem, and thus indirectly gives us the solution: “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (verse 12). Isaiah tells us our family life has been turned upside down. If we truly desire to fix our parenting problems, we have to turn the family right side up!

The Prophet Jeremiah encourages us: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). All parents need to quit experimenting and get back to the old path of effective parenting.

The old path of parenting requires that you first reestablish adult authority in your home. In traditional marriages (the only true marriage), this means that the father must be restored to his respected position as chief. Permissive progressives detest such a thought, but this is the only way to set the family on a course for success. A loving male in authority in the home cures many ills.

Sadly, due to untimely death and a high divorce rate, not every child can have a two-parent family with a dad as the head. However, firm and loving authority must still be established in the home. Children need well-defined rules and regulations to help them govern their behavior. Parents today have trouble saying no to their children. Every human being must experience and accept being told no sometimes. Establishing clear and firm boundaries for children gives them a sense of security that helps them thrive. For example, children should be taught not to draw on walls, climb on furniture, or throw food. Children should be taught how to maintain their bedrooms and other personal spaces neatly and to respect the property of others.

Above all, apply the Golden Rule while teaching your child: Be sure your children learn to behave the way you wish other children would. The public will love you for doing this!

Love Your Children

Young children and teenagers require ample amounts of love in order to achieve their potential. When children do not receive deep love, affection and attention, they wither like plants in drought. Realize that children who are not loved struggle to love others.

Parents must be sure to show their love daily. Parents should tell their children they love them often. But true love is more than just saying it. Loving your child means that you give warm affection and undivided attention. Undivided attention is not sitting in your living room watching television with your children. Playing indoor or outdoor games together, assisting with homework, and talking together at a sit-down meal are examples of undivided attention.

Many parents think love is simply a matter of buying things for their children. This is far from the truth. A majority of children today are showered with an abundance of unnecessary things. Children wallowing in material things are still unhappy. When asked, many children say they would rather spend a day doing something with Dad and Mom than get some new thing.

Parents who love their children do not let them do whatever they want when they want. This is not love—it is the epitome of permissiveness. Parents must understand that love includes firm discipline when necessary. Discipline is more than spanking. As a child grows older, withdrawal of a privilege can be a very effective form of firm discipline. However, spanking should not be ruled out for young children. Proper spanking should never be child abuse. Recognize that there is a right time to discipline. Direct disobedience is one of those times. Yet, a truly loving parent will never discipline in anger. Never will a loving parent go on a yelling, storming, hair-pulling rampage. That is not discipline. In fact, that kind of behavior in parents teaches a child to be undisciplined. Any such wild, out-of-control emotion will cause your child to disrespect you.

Firm discipline is telling your child why you must discipline him, and then, after administering the punishment, making sure you tell him you love him and only want what is best for him.

Set the Right Example

A large part of loving your child is teaching him. Children learn best by example. Parental example is a critical factor for effective parenting. All children, but especially teenagers, detect parental hypocrisy immediately. Nothing will undermine your parenting more than a bad parental example. Is it really reasonable to expect your child to adopt a standard that you are unwilling to follow? Children turn a deaf ear to the saying, “Do as I say—not as I do!” If you use illicit drugs, or are addicted to alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs, don’t expect your children to be any different. Many parents are permissive in parenting because deep down they know they are setting a poor example for their children.

Children naturally mimic their parents. Children will walk, talk and take on the mannerisms of their parents. Learning takes place through all five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting. All humans learn through repetition, perception and association. This places a huge responsibility on parents. Boys will generally grow up to be just like their fathers; girls just like their mothers. So what kind of man or what kind of woman do you want your son or daughter to be? The character you display to your child will largely determine what he or she becomes.

Parents should provide the basic essentials that children need to achieve their incredible potential. Children need balanced, wholesome food; age-appropriate, quality clothing; clean and uplifting living quarters; wholesome entertainment; protection from moral, physical and spiritual dangers; and a proper education. Develop a definite plan for providing these necessities for your child. Most important, develop a plan to be a more effective parent.

Proper parenting need not be a mystery for you. Time is a precious commodity when working with children—they grow up so fast. Be courageous enough to evaluate your parenting skills now. Permissiveness will never help your child. Make it your primary responsibility to help your child achieve his or her fullest potential. Don’t wait. Take charge of your child’s potential by being the most effective parent you can be.