I was a high school guidance counselor for twenty seven years, and a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for ten years. Over the years I learned things about families and young people.
In my capacity as a high school counselor students would often come to my office with problems looking for advice. The problems would be new to the students; however, for me I had seen the problem over and over again with other students. From these encounters I learned steps that would bring success, and steps that would lead to failure for the student. For example one day a young lady came to my office in tears over her boy friend. She was upset by the way he was treating her. I was acquainted with her boyfriend, and knew him to be rebellious both in the home and school. I told the young lady that the only solution was for her to break up with her boy friend. I knew she was expecting me to bring her boy friend in, and read the, “riot act,” to him. So when I told her to break up with him she left my office upset with me, still crying her eyes out.
One week later the young lady returned to my office still crying over her boy friend. I asked her if it was the same boy she had talked about the week before. When she yes, I said, “get out of my office, you’re stupid.” Off she went crying her eyes out. A week or so later I met the young lady in the hallway. She had a huge smile on her face and as she passed by she simply said, “I got rid of him.” I could have spent hours counseling with the girl; however, seeing the same situation over and over again taught me the only solution for the girl was to break up with her boy friend. When she did, she found success bringing peace and joy back into her life.
What is the single most important lesson about parenting does your book teach?
I see so many good books advising parents how to raise their children. My book is different. IKE is a one on one counseling session for young people encouraging them to make decisions leading to a successful, happy life. The main theme in my book is obedience to parents. Every student I have known who made it their business to disobey their parents suffered great hardship. We try so many different things to help kids who are having problems. The truth is teenage problems are merely symptoms of the real problem. The root cause of all teenage problems is failure to honor parents. This truth is difficult to accept because it’s too simple. How could it be that obedience to parents is a cure-all for problems teenagers encounter? The proof is in the family unit. I encourage people to look at their own circle of family and friends. They’ll see that young people who obey their parents do well. Those who disobey their parents have problems. I met a parent while shopping one day. She had four children who attended the school where I was a counselor. All of her kids had graduated from high school, and she talked about how successful two of her kids had become. Then lowering her head she said with a sigh, “my other two kids are having all kinds of problems, they would just never listen to me.” My book is not about parents doing something. It’s about young people understanding their role in the family.
What is one thing you “forgot” to add in your book, if you could now go back and add it in?
I wish I’d emphasized more the importance of the fifth commandment to, “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother.” Looking at the Ten Commandments you see that the first four commandments are about our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The last six commandments are about our relationship with each other, it is interesting to note that the first of the commandments dealing with others is to honor father and mother. I teach a Bible study each Sunday at the county Juvenile Detention Center, a lock up for teenagers. During one of our meetings I posed the question, “why did God place honoring father and mother the first commandment dealing with each other?” Without hesitation a young man held up his hand and said, “If we honor our parents, we’ll not break the other commandments.” I thought this was indeed the reason, and for me God confirmed it through the young man’s response.
The commandment to honor father and mother is not a filler commandment. There are indeed penalties for failure to obey it. If a person steals or kills someone is there a penalty to pay? Of course there is, and yet as a society we fail to recognize the penalties our young people suffer when they choose to disobey their parents. Also the commandment to honor father and mother is the only commandment that comes with a promise. Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” Honoring parents through obedience is the key for a youngster to enjoy a long, good life on earth.
How is your book doing in the market place?
Progress is slow; however, the signs are good. Parents who buy the book for their kids really appreciate its worth. Recently an elementary principal invited me to speak at a breakfast for kids and their fathers. There were four hundred plus fathers in attendance, and for the event the principal purchased fifty books. She handed out twenty books for door prizes, and put thirty books in the school library serving as reference material for the parents. A week after the event the principal emailed me to say that the parents in the community were, “raving,” about the book.
At the end of 2009 my book was on display at the Frankfurt Germany book show. As a result of its showing five foreign publishers are considering my book for publishing in their respective countries. In addition to the above, a jeweler in my home town purchased twenty five books to sell in her store. I’ve been to a Christian school in the community, and one of my friends held a book party for me in her home. One thing for certain, “The IKE Disease,” is a huge success wherever it goes. Sales will increase with time.
Do you have testimonials you want to share?
I graduated from Ball State University (BSU) in Muncie, Indiana in 1961 with a degree in education. In 1963 I received my Masters degree from BSU in guidance and counseling. I taught for seven years then was accepted as a Special Agent in the FBI. I resigned from the Bureau in 1978 to begin a music ministry with my wife, Nicki. We wrote and recorded Gospel songs. Eight years later we both return to education. In 2005 we retired from education, and now spent time writing books. We continue to write, and record, Gospel songs sending them out as email attachments to family and friends. While a guidance counselor at a local high school I received two awards. I was named counselor of the year for the entire county in 2002, and teacher of the year at my high school in 2003. On Sunday morning, for the past twenty six years, I have held a Bible study at the County Juvenile Detention.