Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pearl #3

Many parents have applied simple training procedures and gained complete control of their families in just a few days. By restoring order, these parents have eliminated the outward circumstances that provoked everyone to confusion.

It is a blessing to have discipline and peace in the home, but the absence of conflict does not necessarily imply joy. Joy is a positive virtue, not just an absence of conflict. Some are parents are just joyless, regardless of the circumstances.

Here is an example of what I think a lot of people who vilify the Pearls miss when reading their work (or reading other people's criticism of their work, which is a whole 'nother issue...). Their teaching about training and discipline is not an end in itself, it is a means to a greater end-- that of a peaceful, joy-filled home. In other words, we don't train our children to obey immediately and without question because we just want them to, because it's good for them to, because it makes us look good, or to keep them from one day possibly being run over by a car. We train them because a parent-controlled, quiet and well-ordered home is a home where peace and joy can flourish.

That second paragraph is vital, though:

It is a blessing to have discipline and peace in the home, but the absence of conflict does not necessarily imply joy. Joy is a positive virtue, not just an absence of conflict. Some are parents are just joyless, regardless of the circumstances.

So a parent's responsibility is not just to provide an atmosphere in the home of "absence-of-conflict", but to fill the home with joy.

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