We made pancakes for breakfast. For lunch we ate the leftover baked potatoes, with chili and a hot dogs, and dinner was served at a family gathering. The celebration was a 50 year Anniversary party for the parents of 12 children. Each of the 12 shared a memory and or experience with his parents. The advice was precious to me. Here are some of the take away points:
1) Don't be afraid to discipline.
2) Allow children to experience the consequences of avoiding responsibility and teach them that responsibilities don't go away even when the job is disliked. (The dishes waited until the child realized running away didn't solve the problem.)
3) "Don't let Christ die in vain, repent today."
4) Keep your bearings - know where you are in the world and in life and in what direction you are heading. The small day to day decisions will get you to end destination if you keep your eyes on the goal.
5) Listen twice as much as you talk.
6) Support individuality.
7) Soap with cayenne is sometimes appropriate when fowl language is brought home. Men can keep there tongues in check even when doing the plumbing, working on cars, or watching a sporting event.
8) When bad language erupts, quietly asking "Did you have to use all that to tell me the problem?"
9) Intervene in the lives of children and do what's best for them even if it means locking horns with the school.
10) Teach children to hold their tempers, "What will it take for you to understand that you cannot act that way. If I acted that way toward you, I would be put in jail for months."
11) Play a guessing game at the dinner table to start discussion. "I am thinking of a scripture." Children ask yes or no questions until they have guessed the scripture. The family then discusses the principles therein.
12) From their example I know that rites of passage are important. Whichever girl was turning 16 was in charge of the kitchen all summer. She cooked for hired hands and the family. The oldest girl clear down to the youngest fulfilled the task. Each child carried the same summer responsibilities as a vote of confidence more than as a hired hand.