DEAR ABBY: I'm a 46-year-old father of four, married to the same woman for 23 years. Being a parent is not easy. I know that child abuse statistics are soaring these days.
I've enclosed a prayer that came to mind one day in the midst of the daily chaos. If it causes one parent to pause long enough to avoid verbally, emotionally or physically hurting the child he or she loves, it will have been worth the effort of mailing it to you. -- JUST ANOTHER DAD IN ARIZONA
DEAR DAD: Rest assured, your effort was not wasted. I love the prayer -- and so will my readers. Read on:
PRAYER FOR A TIRED, IRRITABLE PARENT
Healthy children make lots of noise.
They sing, they shout, they belly laugh, they fight, they bang things together, they bounce things, they cry, they scream, they make lots of noise.
They play loud.
God, bless my healthy children. Give me new ears, ears that hear the music of their noise.
Give me new understanding, understanding that doesn't crush their spirits with my intolerance and oversensitivity.
Give me a new Peace, a Peace that is grateful for the sounds created by healthy children.