DEAR ABBY: My father, the late Wilferd A. Peterson, wrote an essay that I feel is needed by parents who are floundering in this day of terror in the schools. I have heard on the radio and seen on television the same idea expressed in various ways, but none expressed it as well as my father did in his essay.
The "Art of Parenthood" was published in "The Art of Living Treasure Chest" (Simon and Schuster), but I would be pleased if you would print it in your column. -- LILIAN PETERSON THORPE, PINEHURST, N.C.
DEAR LILIAN: Your talented father offers valuable advice in this essay. I am pleased to share it with my readers. Read on:
THE ART OF PARENTHOOD
by Wilferd A. Peterson
"Of all the commentaries on the Scriptures," wrote John Donne, "good examples are the best."
In practicing the art of parenthood, an ounce of example is worth a ton of preachment.
Our children are watching us live, and what we ARE shouts louder than anything we can SAY.
When we set an example of honesty, our children will be honest.
When we practice tolerance, they will be tolerant.
When we demonstrate good sportsmanship, they will be good sports.
When we meet life with laughter and a twinkle in our eye, they will develop a sense of humor.
When we are thankful for life's blessings, they will be thankful.
When we express friendliness, they will be friendly.
When we speak words of praise, they will praise others.
When we confront failure, defeat and misfortune with a gallant spirit, they will learn to live bravely.
When our lives affirm our faith in the enduring values of life, they will rise above doubt and skepticism.
When we surround them with the love and goodness of God, they will discover life's meaning.
When we set an example of heroic living, they will be heroes.
Don't just stand there pointing your finger to the heights you want your children to scale. Start climbing, and they will follow!
DEAR ABBY: April 30 is a "memorial day" for many Vietnamese people, because we lost our loving home country, Vietnam, due to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.
I would like to express my appreciation to American individuals and the families of those who supported and sacrificed for my country during the Vietnam War, and to those who opened their hearts to welcome us, the refugees, to resettle in this country.
Your sacrifice and generosity deserve blessings. -– PETER TRAN, GARLAND, TEXAS
DEAR PETER: Thank you for a beautiful letter. It will be particularly meaningful to Vietnam veterans, as well as the families of soldiers who died in the conflict.
I have found Vietnamese people to be upstanding and hardworking, and we are enriched by their presence.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600