I believe the most effective way that a parent can help their child or prevent future misbehavior is to have an effective prayer life for your child. Below is one such prayer.
Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interpreting them or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them to be to me.
Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistake, or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me. May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power.
Let me not tempt my child to lie or steal. And guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.
Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. And when I am out of sorts, help me, Oh Lord, to hold my tongue.
May I ever be mindful that my children are children and I should not expect of them the judgment of adults.
Let me not rob them of opportunity to wait on themselves and to make their own decisions.
Bless me with bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm.
Make me fair and just and kind. And fit me Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Dr. Charles M. Wood, II is an accomplished instructor of psychology and religion at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. He is a Christian counselor in Logan — serving, ministering, and donating his time to people from all denominations.
If you would like to contact Dr. Wood, please write: The Logan Banner, c/o The Good Life With Dr. Wood, P.O. Box 720, Logan, WV 25601; or call (304) 752-4658. All letters addressed to Dr. Wood will be forwarded to his office.