Everyone is capable of creating a wonderful family, and “Raising Children That Other People Like to be Around” is structured around five simple principles for which I have had the audacity to create the anagram “S.M.A.R.T.” There are five letters so that they can be counted on one hand, and I used the word SMART because it’s positive and easy to remember. The principles are the most important behaviors that influence the way our children see us – and, as they become adults, the way they see themselves.
As parents, our job is to:
Set an example.
Make the rules.
Apply the rules.
Teach in all things.
Children make us life-long learners – not only by sharing the events of their lives, but also by keeping us in touch with ourselves, the things we believe in, and the ways we react to those events.
The book describes a process, referencing anecdotal information that affirms or teaches a specific lesson, regardless of the age of the child. There is no doubt that many of our children’s adult strengths are the result of lessons learned when they were toddlers. With some solid concentration in the first few years, you can set yourself up for a very pleasurable life-long parenting experience. After all, if you pour the right foundation, and create some solid scaffolding, the buildings you build are going to stand up to almost any storm.
“We made them from scratch,” we say to each other, and this book is the closest I can come to giving you our recipe.
For JoAnn and me, it sometimes seems as though every minute we have is devoted to our children. But after all the teacher conferences, sporting events, carpooling, and homework supervising, the loving memories seem too fleeting. As we look back on all those years, we can barely remember many of the details because, as JoAnn says, “The days crawl, and the years fly by.”