Raising children

Children are opportunities to teach and make our world even better in the future.

Parents say they want to raise strong children who will make it in the world. Yet in practice they don’t allow children to talk back and question their logic. They want obedience. Being obedient isn’t a trait of strong people.

So what approach can a parent have?

Parents can act more like teachers. Everyday events are all teachable moments. These moments are opportunities to show your children how to think and solve problems. At the same time, through your own example, you display how a strong person handles tough problems. With your vast resources you can hand this responsibility to others but you’d be making a big mistake. There is no better teacher for your children than you.

Speaking of mistakes, there will be times when your children will act spoiled, disrespectful, and refuse to listen to reason. This isn’t unusual. If you fail miserably with most everything you do regarding your children, at the very least do not fail this one: leave an open line of communication with your children. Tell them that no matter what happens, they can talk to you about it without your harsh judgment. Then prove it consistently whenever they do come to talk with you.

Remember how many mean adults there were when you were a kid. Don’t be like them. Be like the few caring adults who all seem to have the same traits: openness, patience, and kindness. They didn’t yell at you but allow you time to talk while they listened. Therefore, they treated you not as an immature kid but as a peer. As such, they motivated you to emulate them and act mature as well.

Life is so varied and unstructured that there is no one correct way to live it. Instead of setting forth a specific path you believe is best for your children, how about letting them decide on where they want to go? The future is unpredictable. You are not a fortuneteller. If your children are happy with their choices and what they do for a living, you have done your job well.