Thursday, February 26, 2009

Raising Children

Don't raise them to be good kids. Raise them to be good parents.

There's not much market down the road for being a Good Kid. It's not a great job qualification, and I doubt it plays well in personal ads. This is because the qualities of being a good child are not a complete overlap with being a good adult.

I am not just being cute here. There are times in raising a child when they have to take risks, to make a decision and stick with it, enjoying or enduring the consequences. You increase this slowly, certainly. Children should be let in on the decisions you are wrestling with long before they take any active part in them. But that focus on where they need to be at age 20 needs to be ever in your mind. Their short-term need - even your short-term need for them - may be for the quieter, predictable, well-behaved circumstance.


Donna B. said...

Fulfillment as a parent happens when your grown children become appreciative of the things you made them do or let them do.

It's a fine line to toe teaching your children to not need you and letting them know you'll be there if they do.

Anonymous said...

Bravo to both of your comments, AVI and Donna B. You should write a book to help enlighten both extremes - the "seen but not heard" type parents, and the "I wanna dress and act just like my teeny son/daughter, and be pals forever young"

terri said...

Very apropos for me.

Yesterday my youngest child was very sick and the oldest had to walk home from school by himself for the first time ever.

I was a nervous wreck until I saw him coming down our street.

Then, I found out that he had not only walked himself home, but had taken "Mark"...a 6 year old kid who we've been keeping an eye on...all the way to his house and made sure he got home safely.

And then...this morning when his brother was ill and complaining he was thirsty, he poured him some Sprite to try and take care of him while I was out of the room.

I just need to remember these things when he's talking back to me later on today....which is bound to happen about 100 times.

still...well-behaved has its advantages. :-)

Boethius said...

I could not agree with you more, AVI. Now that my children are all productive, hard-working, civic-minded, God-fearing adults, I eagerly await the day they get married and have children of their own.

They will be great parents.