A question for all parents…
Have you carefully considered what you should be teaching to your children?
Many parents never stop and give careful thought to this question. They never make a real attempt to actually identify the qualities they should teach and develop within their offspring.
You probably don’t think of yourself as a liar. However, the chances are you lied (or stretched the truth to the breaking point) this very day – either to someone outside your home or to someone in your family. Statistics show that the average person lies about twice a day. Kids average lying about three times a day. Ninety-six percent of the people in a Reader’s Digest poll admitted to lying…most of the time to family and friends.
We live in an indifferent world. As a result, people treat each other with various levels of respect and, sometimes, outright disrespect. You may have even behaved disrespectfully to others in front of your children. Unfortunately, we all do it. We also make great excuses for why we need to be disrespectful, possibly the leading excuse is: “Because she/he did it to me first!”
Before looking for ways to develop the fine art of self-control in our children, it may help to find a common definition for this character trait. When we say self-control we often mean the ability to be quiet or stop throwing a temper tantrum, but the more important aspect of self-control is self-mastery.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of these lines as a child, I’d be very wealthy today. Chances are, you’ve heard them too. Remember how it made you feel when an adult exhorted you to behave, have good manners, stop fidgeting or obey the rules? Sometimes it was boring, and at other times maddening, but mostly meaningless. Remember the feelings of righteous indignation that blossomed somewhere in the region of your chest, when you felt you were right — and that they were the ones who were wrong?
I believe it’s possible to create enough trust and rapport that instead of hiding mistakes or trying to get away with wrongs, teenagers would be honest and seek the guidance they need and know that they won’t be penalized for doing so. I also realize nothing ever happens as expected.
How do we, as moms, dads and other caregivers, stand in this breach and prevent our young from making choices that could affect them negatively? This is a question parents have been asking themselves for millennia. First, it helps to distinguish between the different needs and growth stages of girls and boys.
Before my new job was set to begin, I began seeking daycare services in earnest only to find that most of the good places were full, others bordered on being scary and the really nice ones cost more than our rent each month. But, the more I researched the various daycare centers and visited who knows how many of them, I began to discern some patterns. I also learned some lessons that might be useful to young, inexperienced, unprepared parents like the one I was then.