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SUCCESS STORIES // THE RINES

When John and Becky Rine have their baby in August, they will begin to practice what they learned from their parents about child-rearing.

"I think it's really important to make sure that your kids know you love them and that you're there for them," says Rine, 28. That is the lesson he learned from his parents, Chuck and Susan, who live in Dade City.

John and Becky expect their first child in August. Becky, 24, is a teacher at Pasco Elementary. Though they intend to surround their baby with love, they also want to impress strong values on their child.

John says he plans to teach his offspring "the importance of working hard for what you get and that things don't always come easily."

He was valedictorian of his Pasco High class; his brother Jay, 27, graduated 20th. Now, John is a labor lawyer at Alley and Alley/Ford & Harrison in Tampa after a stint with the Pasco public defender's office; Jay is a corporate pig farmer in Rocky Mount, N.C.

Chuck and Susan, both 50, are veteran educators. They expected their sons to be on their best behavior at school and to bring home good grades.

Occasionally, that didn't happen.

"John got spanked the first week of kindergarten," Susan says, recounting the story with relish. Her elder son wanted to go home where he wouldn't have to share things with the other kids; back then teachers and principals spanked youngsters who misbehaved.

Chuck, Susan, John and Becky laugh at the tale. A sense of humor, they agree, comes in handy when raising children.

"I think it's important to instill in (your children) that life doesn't have to be all that serious and that you should have a good sense of humor about it," John says.

Doing things you don't want to do comes with parenting, the Rines say.

For instance, Chuck spent three years coaching soccer, a sport about which he knew little.

"Susan talked me into coaching soccer," he says. "I hated it. At the first coach's meeting, all of the other coaches were asking questions. My only question was how many kids do you put out there at the same time?"

Chuck and Susan say it's also important to be interested in the things your children are interested in.

And, when it comes to tricky situations children get themselves into, they found the best approach was to make their sons work through those themselves.

Susan would tell them, "Yes, this is a difficult situation and I know you're capable of handling it."

"You never do yourselves a favor by bailing your kids out of those kinds of situations," Chuck adds.

Looking back on how she and Chuck raised their sons, Susan says, "I feel pretty satisfied with what we did."

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