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The main theme of this column so far has been about how to raise children successfully. The assumption is of course that if you do everything right and just work hard, all will be well. That is an unfortunate assumption because the truth is that no matter how many things you do right, the result may be an ungrateful wretch who breaks your heart or worse.

To explain what I mean, let me tell you a story about my Moma cat. I had his wonderful moma cat that I loved entirely. We had a lot in common. I did not have her "fixed" for reasons that satisfy me and the result was many beautiful kittens who brought joy to a lot of families. Once, she had a kitten that could not be placed in a proper home and had to be put on a farm. You see, this kitten discovered glass quite independently and on his own. He discovered that if he pushed any shiny object to the floor, it would be quite an exciting event and he went around smashing all the glass he could find.

Now, my moma cat gave this kitten all the care she gave any other kitten. When it was hungry, she fed it. When it was dirty, she cleaned it. When it was threatened, she protected it. In short, she performed all the duties of a moma cat. Was it her fault that it turned out badly? Should I have slapped the moma cat every time it broke something? Of course not! The point is that children already are someone the day they are born. They have distinct natures and personalities before you ever see their face. Anyone who has ever looked in the nursery window at a hospital can tell you this.

So, do your best. Give them all the love, wisdom and finical support you can. And, know you did a good job no matter the result. After all, the ultimate choice, good or bad, of who they are going to be belongs to the child.

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