Rules without relationships leads to rebellion. And that’s my theme. I hammer that home everywhere I go, starting
with my own family and my grandchildren. But you know, when you start to build a relationship
with a child, there’s several things you need to know. One is this: It is never too late. It isn’t. I don’t care how old your child is. I don’t care if your
child’s thirty years old, a drug addict, in prison, and a pimp. And you say, oh that’s ridiculous. Look, it’s a lot easier to
reach someone like that than to reach an indifferent teenager. It is never too late to start the art. Now sometimes it’ll take
a little longer. Why? You have more history to overcome. But you know also what I’ve learned? As that child
gets older, you often can bridge that history a little faster. But the other thing you need to remember in raising children: all of you women know this, a lot of men don’t, but most
women know it, if you don’t have a child like this if you’re a woman, you know someone that does have a
child like this. You might be married to one. But there are some children literally born hard to raise. You wonder if you ought to put them back in and cook them more! But there are. I could list some children from the moment they
were brought home from the hospital they were difficult. And it had nothing to do with the parenting skills. I wrote a book on this that deals with
it, it’s call the Disconnected Generation. You know what science calls a child like that?
Get this, it’s a child born with a bent twig. That’s what they call a child hard to raise. And you know what science says? The same thing as the Bible. The best thing to keep that child from
going into violence, drugs, alcohol, whatever, is to keep building that relationship around that child.
And often, not all the time, it will straighten that twig out. And what I encourage you, if you have a child
hard to raise—don’t give up, stick in there, because it can take years before it comes back to bless
you. But if that twig, as they say, doesn’t straighten out, at least building that relationship with a child will be the greatest thing
you can do for that child to keep them from going into antisocial behavior. Again, here’s the principle: Rules without relationships leads to rebellion. Or you can put it this way: Truth without relationships leads to rejection.