FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 25, 2013) -- This week's article will cover the subject of the parenting. I would venture to say that next to marriage, the decision to have and raise children is probably the most important thing you will ever do.

Raising children does not come easy, nor does it come cheap, but it yields wonderful memories and moments if you know that you have done what you could.

The goal of parenting should be to create a secure relationship with your child from Day 1. What is very noticeable and interesting is that a child has an attachment behavior built in, and it is activated especially by pain, fatigue and anything frightening, and also by the mother being or appearing to be inaccessible. In attachment theory, this is all about protection.

It is highly crucial for mothers to be available and responsive to their children. A study was made and it was noticed that "infants whose mothers have responded sensitively to their (baby's) signals during the first year of life not only cry less during the second half of that year than do the babies of less responsive mothers, but are more willing to fall in with their parent's wishes."

So, it turns out that children will be better adapted socially by the way they are treated by their parent or parents. The principle is referred to as the law of sowing and reaping. Another example from this principle is that if the children's mothers respond to their children's distress signals and provide comfort, these same children will also respond to the distress of others.

It is also very interesting that how mothers were raised in their early years creates a negative impact on how they raise their own children. There was a study done in London many years ago that revealed, "women who, during their pregnancy, give a history of having been separated from one or both parents before the age of 11 years are particularly likely to have marital and psychological difficulties after their baby's birth, and also to have trouble with their infants' feeding and sleeping."

Unfortunately, a parental bond can be one of abuse. There was a study done at Oxford (1975) upon 25 children who had been physically abused. It goes on to say, "children who had been abused were significantly more likely than their siblings to have been the product of an abnormal pregnancy, labor, or delivery, to have been separated from their mother for forty-eight hours or more soon after birth and to have experienced separations of other kinds during their first months of life."

Hopefully by now you see the high importance and impact of how the parent affects the child and how that can lead to either negative or positive consequences to include the next generation. A secure relationship means quality time with your children; being responsive, being engaged and being available.

If you are struggling with parenting skills, there are many good resources to enable you to be the best parent you can be, such as books and workshops. This will take time and work, but the dividends are well worth it.

I highly encourage you to strive to be the best parent you can be. Remember, they only grow up once and they grow up way to fast! Children are a wonderful blessing of God and He has entrusted you to raise them properly.

There will be a wonderful opportunity at the Fort Rucker Spiritual Life Center for fathers to spend quality time with their daughters April 27 from 5-8:30 p.m. It is called the Purity Ball. It will be a wonderful time and includes a special speaker, dining, dancing and a photographer to capture the moment.

Those who are interested can call the religious support office at 255-2012 to get more information and tickets.

Fathers, this will give you a great opportunity to be with your princess.