Have you ever seen someone start to weed his garden late in the summer when the weeds are already taller than the plants? You know it means a great deal of backbreaking toil for him."
Not only that, but in many cases the roots of the weeds and the legitimate plants have become so intertwined that it is practically impossible to remove the weeds without damaging the plants.
Yet, if the weeds are not removed, the fruitfulness and beauty of the garden will be marred. Surely a frustrating predicament!
But, as you reflect on the matter, you realize that you could have avoided such a situation by taking the job of weeding in hand at the proper time.
During the vital growing days of late spring one could, with a minimum of labor, have kept the weeds out of the garden patch and so given the flowers and vegetables a chance to develop strong roots.
At those earlier stages one could have covered the whole garden ten times with his hoe in the time it now takes to weed one row. Yes, such a gardener has weeding problems and they are now big.
But, do you know that, if you are a parent with young children, this could apply right in your own backyard, so to speak?
You have often heard it said that children grow like weeds. But they should properly be fruitful plants, and they need protection from the encroaching weeds of bad influence.
So, what kind of gardener are you? Do you put off dealing with the minor problems of your kids until they have assumed major proportions, until their solutions are beyond your ability?
All too often children go to father or mother with some small problem, only to be brushed aside by a parent who feels too busy to be bothered.
It may be only a simple question the child has, or a request for guidance on some project, yet the attitude of the parent threatens to undermine that child’s future.
To whom else can the youngster go? True, the question may be considered inconsequential by the parent, but to the child it may be quite important.
In the early teen years a teenager who has often been treated this way may well have bigger problems to tackle, but he or she has been made to feel that his parents have no time for him, and, besides, they have not maintained that close family relationship that would have made it easy to go to them.
A boy or a girl may have been keeping company with a group his own age and noticed them doing things that did not seem right.
If only he could have felt free to approach his parents for advice! But no, somehow he has had to muddle along on his own.
How could he or she talk to his parents about such intimate matters anyway? By now they have become almost like strangers to him.
Too late he has become involved in bigger trouble, and the parents are only aware of it when the police come calling.
How wise, then, to start handling problems in children while they are still small, while you can still solve them!
In this way you can regularly weed out all undesirable things from the life of your child.
You can, at the early stages, forestall the probability of them becoming lawbreakers.
You can develop a family relationship that can be likened to a beautiful and fruitful garden.