We are a mirror to our children. We discover who we really are when our children reflect what they see.
The video above says it all. It is up to us as parents to model the right behaviors and values so that our children don't repeat the cycle of destruction that we may have left. If you have had bad modelling of parenthood in your own life, it's not too late to make a positive change in your parenting. In fact, your children will respect you for it and likely hail you a hero in their life. If you have a drinking problem, smoking addiction, abusive personality and so on, you are likely a product of your own upbringing and don't know any different. Do you want your children to do the same thing when they grow up? If you are miserable or depressed, so will your children be. If you are happy and charismatic, so will your children be. If you tell a little white lie to get out of a parking ticket or to get out of attending that dreaded community meeting, your children will do the same. If we want to see change in this world, we have to raise children that are going to make a difference.
Inner qualities such as integrity, loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, respectfulness, forgiveness, obedience and charity are the true values that create our real identity. When we possess these characteristics, we become great family members, friends, employees, team members, parents and role models in society. Such principles help us stand strongly against decaying societal values.
These characteristics start with us.
We need to:
· Choose the values we want for our families.
· Model those values to our kids (i.e. be respectful in the way we talk, do the right thing whether others are looking or not.)
· Train our kids on each value, forgive initial mistakes and praise them for getting it right.
· Keep at it until each value becomes an individual auto response and family norm.
We are our children's ambassadors to the world. Without us, they will look to society for the values to define them. Let's develop our kids into loving, giving, joyful, respectful, able, valuable members of society so they can make the next generation better than ours.
By Kristee Mays and Sally Burgess