My goal as a parent is to raise children that are whole people in themselves. Ones that don’t need to be attached to, or validated by others. I want them to actively invest in their own well being. To have them think, and analyze and identify for themselves why they feel the way they do.. to soul search and know why they believe what they do. To seek truth and not just idly accept anything put in front of them without researching it for themselves.
I want to raise kids that are reasonable enough to be able to respectfully question it all and be willing to make adjustments in themselves first whenever needed. To be able to remove the blinders that cause so many to stop being effective people.. to stop growing. The tendency to point outwards and automatically decide that any fault is always from an outside source. In most cases our failures are only failures when we’ve given up or are content that the state of affairs is final. When we’ve decided we aren’t going to put anymore effort into taking the next step to work it out or resolve the issues. This life is a work in progress. The only real failures are those instances where we know we did something wrong, but don’t take any further action.
I want for my kids to actually put their own effort into creating themselves and building real character as they go along. Not because they have to “prove” their worth to anyone, but because they simply realize that in the long run, the more they figure out how to correctly cope with things now, the easier time they will have dealing with challenges later.
I want to inspire my kids not to be so reliant on what they believe themselves to be “entitled” to. I want them to understand that having to work towards goals isn’t “suffrage” or “tragic” … its simply real life. To understand that every single positive “God given right” we experience in our life today, is actually a result of an effort someone made at somepoint.. we don’t actually “deserve” anything simply because we can breath, but that we should always support making a positive impact so that “decency” is the norm… so that our future children have a more stable place to start from.
I want my kids to know what it feels like to really be proud of themselves for putting in the sweat and tears because in honesty it is a more satisfying way to live than to have things handed to you. To learn that it is those that shake it off, learn from mistakes and try again are the ones that succeed, and to follow that example. That complaining all the way doesn’t actually help them to succeed, .. but persevering does. To understand that even negative thoughts and negative energy only serves to slow us down.. To really know that they have full power over how much they allow themselves to be slowed, by the attitudes they decide to take on for themselves.
I don’t need my kids to “need” me or stay with me forever, I want them to be self-sufficient and have enough good sense and character, that they are enjoyable for anyone to be around when they “grow up”.. wherever they choose to be. To encourage them to actively strive to cope with whatever life throws at them in the healthiest way possible.
These are all thoughts that came to mind this morning when I realized that the older I get, the more apparent it becomes to me that there is a real difference between “being patient” and “coddling” people. I think many people are mixed up about what “patience” actually means, and how it should be used.
We would all be better off if we encouraged health in others. Everyone wants “better” for their kids.. but what gets confused it seems is that “ease” or “convenience” isn’t necessarily “betterment”. We don’t inspire this younger generation by making everything easier for them. It seems sometimes that the scale has tipped a bit, and instead of making our kids lives easier by guiding them in how to best surpass their challenges, or cope more correctly through guidance, some parents instead choose give their kids “things” to make their lives more “fun” or “convenient instead.
At one point I remember being told by a family member that I should let my child “get away” with some bad behavior.. “because they are just kids”. My response to my family member was simply the statement that it is my job to raise my kids to eventually be well equipped and decent adults. I’m not raising kids to remain as kids… I’m raising my kids to work towards their potential, and I shouldn’t confuse them by changing the rules on them some where down the road. No matter how “cute” it seems right now.. it definitely won’t be “cute” at twenty-two.
To “coddle” doesn’t ever actually help the individual. It only enables that person to continue to stay in that difficult and unfortunate situations, and to me that is not being loving towards them. If I don’t encourage them to look for the root of the problem, and actually try to conquer their hardships.. it only allows them to hide from it. Enabling, or entertaining their sense of helplessness does nothing to actually help resolve that issue for them. In fact, in most cases it only serves to spur it on because they often react to the attention. They associate their helplessness with the coddling they receive, and subconsciously find ways to garner more and more of that kind of attention. Sharing or inciting drama becomes a “high”, so instead of resolving the actual issue, they begin to use it to “feel better” from the attention it brings them. This is not healthy.
I can (and should) be patient and understanding that someone is experiencing a hard time, or that they could use a helpful hand. . I’m more than happy to help encourage, or inspire people to be able to make meaningful changes for themselves, allow them to vent, and/or offer positive solutions if they ask. To give guidance to how they could more healthfully cope with issues in the future both with or without outside help. The key is to make sure that the “hand” you give serves to inspire them to initiate the healthy change they need to make, rather than doing it for them. People gain no personal confidence, understanding nor experience by having things done for them.
When it comes to our kids.. the most valuable gift we can provide them is guidance.. so that after we’re long gone, they will still be able to have a clear head and heart in how they should act, react and evolve. I hope that is what they remember most about me, is that if they have an issue, I hopefully taught them how to navigate through it in the most healthy way possible.