Raising children is hard. If you’re a parent, this is something you know deep down in your bones. As I go around the country teaching and interacting with young people, I see a few common threads, some are a little discouraging, but many are so full of hope. What makes me sad is when I meet children and teens who seem to be lacking in so many essential skills to help them to be successful, but mainly to help them to feel good about themselves which is the key to them being successful. These lacking skills are often; self confidence, integrity, charity, empathy, ambition and social skills. However, where I find hope even when I see the lack of these skills, is in the children’s desire to learn these skills and make them a part of their lives.
Once children understand the “payoff” for acquiring these skills, they are usually very interested and even dedicated in mastering these ideas. Parents, the most important thing for you and I to realize when it comes to helping our children develop these attributes, is to know that our children are not born with them...they MUST be taught by example and by constant discussion and constant praise and reinforcement. Children want to be proud of who they are. Children want to make the right choices. Children want to be good because being good is what helps us to be happy.
So how do we do this? We must look for opportunities every day to show our children the joy we feel by living these precepts. Do our children watch us...
- being kind with words and deed to all those we associate with, especially inside the walls of our home
- live a 100% honest life
- do hard things with grace and gratitude, always believing that things will work out
- serve others continually, always looking for opportunities to do for others
- as we NEVER speak unkindly about others, but instead only notice the good that others have to offer
- as we demonstrate impeccable manners, always striving to speak and act in a way that shows how much we value those around us.
Parents, what do we really want? If you’re like me, you want your children to be happy and successful. We have to invest everything we have; our time, our energy, our prayers and especially our love into the constant mentoring of our children. But when we do, we will ultimately have what money and status can never acquire, and that’s happy children.
Have a wonderful month,