Thursday, January 31, 2013

Raising People, Not Children

Looking down at your new born baby is something that is indescribable. You vow to protect that little life. Spoil it some, cuddle lots, and never let them feel any pain.

Then they turn 2. Then 4. Before you know it, you have a 16 year old. That 16 year old is a result of every cuddle, word, and toy you ever gave them. It's not so easy to influence that 16 year old. Before you know it, they will leave home.

 Looking down at that new born, we can forget that one day they will be an adult. They will have to make their own choices, and live with the consequences, both good and bad.

People are always amazed at how helpful and polite my boys are. They are not perfect. They are loud.... (Anyone want to give me shares in Tylenol? I could use it!) They fight, after all they are boys, but they stand out in public.

Here is a perfect example. We are in the grocery store. With 5 kids, I am focused. I want to get in, and get out as quickly and quietly as possible. 2 kids in the basket, 3 kids walking close to me. I have taught them to stay close, but they are kids, so my eyes are on them. All of a sudden, Little P darts away from me. I turn just as I hear him say "Excuse me Ma am, you dropped this." He is handing a women something that fell out of her cart. No one asked him to. She didn't even know it fell. He is on it. A perfect gentleman at 9 years old. We are then stopped by people saying how rare it is to see a child so helpful and polite. We stand out.

My boys are taught "Ladies first." They hold doors for me, and any other people we come in contact with.
My boys have chores. It is Little P's job to start the van, carry laundry up and down the stairs, take out the garbage, and put the garbage and recycling out on garbage days. He gets no allowance. He is happy to help. He only gets toys, games and gadgets on his Birthday and Christmas. TV is only for after his school work is done. Does this make him deprived? He is happy. he is responsible.

Some times we forget that our children are not children forever.What kind of adult will they be? Shouldn't that be our main focus as parents?

How many times have we seen teenagers and judged their lack of work ethic, their lack of responsibility, and  shaken our heads. Yet as a society, we give our children everything for nothing.

When I was growing up, the big concern was watching too much television. A child having a television in his or her room was a concern. Now we have a generation of children with iPads, cell phones, and computers in their rooms. Parents spend all their time engrossed on their technology, so it seems acceptable that the children do the same.

We have a generation of 30 and 40 year olds still living at home, unemployed, playing video games and having Mom do the laundry.

In my province, teachers are discouraged from using red ink to mark papers, or fail a child in school. In the work place, we see people that want a raise for showing up late each day. It might not be that way everywhere, but this is my reality. Is it the teachers fault? How can we blame the teachers for what goes on at home? What can we expect from our children if we don't teach them?

Don't misunderstand me. My boys both received tablets for Christmas. I don't have a problem with kids having "things." I have a problem when I see a 12 year old kid pushing past me and my children while texting.  Or seeing a 7 year old out alone at 10:00 PM on a week day. What does this teach that child is acceptable when they enter the workforce? Come to work tired, sit and do nothing, and get paid? It's OK if you don't do it right, we just want your self confidence to be high.

Children will not be children forever. They are a piece of clay. Each day of their lives, we as parents, grandparents, and teachers are moulding them. Do we want them to stay children at 40? Or do we want them to be confident, competent adults? The choice is ours. We are either raising children, or raising people.

13 comments:

  1. How true this all is--When I was growing up--this is how it was--period--homework first-then outside to play with my friends-heck I didn't get my own landline phone until I was 13 and that was because my Dad needed the house phone for business--I still remember that pink princess phone-but I was definitely monitored--homework done? Unless I was calling someone for help with that homework!!

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  2. I would much rather raise my son to be strong and confident while making the right decisions in life to benefit his future :)

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  3. I totally agree. Children are like sponges, they take in everything including what you think they missed and at some point in their lives it all comes out. So, it's best to teach them right while they're still growing.

    Dee Mauser
    http://www.bellasavvy.net

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  4. Sooo agree with you! As a young mom, it's sometimes hard to teach the right decisions by making them myself.. but I try to improve that everyday!

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  6. Total agreement here! I love spending time w/my kids and seeing them mature! We try very hard to teach them to be kind and responsible for their own actions.

    Liberty
    http://www.mindingmymatters.com

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  7. I totally agree with you! My kids do there own laundry! I love hearing comments from others about my kids!

    http://www.thesavingswife.com

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  8. My 16 year old will hold the door for anyone coming, he will go out of his way if it is someone with their hands full or with kids to open it. He always picks things up and returns them, he was spoiled as a child though he has grown up to appreciate things. Both of my kids only ask for fruits and vegetables in the stores which is great though they do get junk food from time to time. Even with as much as we do as parents, there are so many influences that also determine the outcome of how they turn out, they do become their own people. I have seen kids from the same family with a pastor for a father, one followed dads footsteps, one became a great business owner and one a felon though all were raised the same. Teach what you can and pray for the best.

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  9. It's so important to teach children about manners, earning their own money and learning how to be a good citizen.

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  10. You know, if everyone raised their kids like this the world would not be such a mess. Respect seems to be a thing of the past and that is a huge issue with me. I do in home childcare and it is a major pet peeve of mine. I have to jump in a lot when the kids disrespect their parents while they are still in my home. The parents say nothing but I make sure that those kids and parents know that that kind of behavior will not be tolerated in my home. Kudos to you for teaching your kids to respect other and teaching them to be responsible. Being responsible is another problem with the younger generations. Oh, I must stop now. lol

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  11. What a coincidence: we also have 5 kids (2-7 years old)! It's good that your kids are learning manners, as these are so important.

    Jenna Em
    www.snymed.blogspot.ca

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  12. I love that title!
    You are so right! It starts with the caregiver. I am blessed to have 4 children and they are the most polite and respectful children. I am lucky!

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  13. Oh sister I hear ya on this one! I have a 10 year old who is working toward receiving my old ipod! I believe in hardvwork. Kids these days have it to easy!

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