The first five years are critical in a child’s overall development. Within this time frame, a child can embrace one of two realities: he/she grows up experiencing love and security and trust in his parents or he/she is not held and nurtured… he/she is placed in the arms of strangers who are not connected to him/her… his/her family is torn apart by rancor, insecurity, turmoil, abuse, alcoholism, divorce… he/she lives with step-parents in whom he/she feels no bond and step-siblings whose presence threaten his/her place with his natural parent.

If seeds of love, security, and trust are planted early, the child’s inner spirit is literally welcomed into life, which can be seen in his/her face. He/she is a child who knows within the depth of his/her being that he/she is cherished and wanted. The other type of child; however, like many of those who come to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, grows up with an emotional vacuum or hole in his/her heart, and by the time he is a teenager, that vacuum is filled with rage. That hole will be filled with something. Often that something is drugs, or sex, or food, or anything, that will seemingly cover the emptiness, but without love, security, and trust, that emptiness will remain. To be a diligent parental steward, you must invest into your child’s life. If you do this during the first five years, you will reap the dividends of that investment as your child goes through the difficult teen years.

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