Abundant life, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood

My Boys Became Men

Logan, Hayden and Madisonhttp://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2013/05/17/10-things-i-want-my-kids-to-know-when-theyre-older/  (Just click and subscribe!)

Logan, Hayden and Madison

I subscribe to BETTER LIFE COACHING BLOG BY DARREN POKE!  I love getting and reading his blogs.  Here is todays that I thought I would share with my own readers.  It is something I can relate to as being a mother of four boys. 🙂   As I have watched my boys become men, we tried to instill these same values in our sons and hope you do the same with your children.  Please read!

Cute boys!  I remember those days, treasure those days and glad they are well on their way in preparing and making their own families.  At 21,23,25 and 28 those years just flew by.  We are now awaiting to be the Memma and Poppy of being grandparents. 🙂

10 Things I Want My Kids To Know When They’re Older

Frederick Douglass once said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Being a dad is one of the biggest challenges of my life.

I have three awesome kids, Hayden (aged 8), Madison and Logan (both aged 5) and raising them to become adults who are able to confidently make a positive contribution to society isn’t always easy.

They didn’t come with a manual and whilst I want to be the best dad I can be, I know that I fall short of my own expectations far too often.

One statement that I used when the kids were very young was that “we’re not raising children, we’re raising 25 year olds.”

The idea is that when I focus on the short-term, I can become reactive and make decisions that suit me at the time.  But when I think about the long-term consequences, I discipline them better, give them more attention and help them to become better people.

As I said earlier, I don’t always get it right, but there are 10 things I want my kids to know when they’re older.  If Karen and I get these right, we’ve done OK:

  1. That they are loved – Karen and I don’t want our children to ever doubt that they are loved.  We tell them every chance that we get and try to find meaningful ways to show them.  They may make mistakes and we may disagree with their decisions, but we will always love and value them.  As they get older, learning their love languages will help us in this challenge.
  2. The value of hard work – Life wasn’t meant to be easy and I want my kids to know that there is value and meaning in work.  Will Smith tells the story of his father getting Will and his brother to build brick walls during their school holidays to keep them busy and give them a work ethic.  That may be a little extreme (and we don’t need a brick wall), but I want them to know that anything worth having is worth sweating for.
  3. How to persist through challenges – I don’t want to raise quitters, I want to raise fighters.  I want to show them how to overcome the inevitable challenges that will come across their path, not just give up.  Needless to say, the Donkey in the Well story has already been used a couple of times and they’ll know it well by the time they’re 25.
  4. Good eating habits – With a dramatic rise in childhood obesity in Australia and the long-term health consequences associated with it, we have a responsibility to teach our kids good eating habits.  Teaching good eating habits is also about teaching them about delayed gratification.  It’s about making sure that they understand that whilst junk food tastes good for a moment, there are negative consequences if they keep doing the wrong thing.  They may not appreciate it now, but they’ll thank us in the years to come.
  5. Kindness towards the less fortunate – This is a value that Karen and I hold dear and I want my kids to understand how fortunate they are.  As a family, we sponsor a child in Indonesia and want them to be grateful for what they have and generous towards those who have very little.
  6. How to encourage others – This is another important value for our family and I would love for them to become natural encouragers who build each other up and identify the good in others.
  7. Not to take themselves too seriously – Life’s too short to live with a constant sneer.  I hope that I can teach my kids how to laugh at life at themselves and occasionally, even at me.  Whilst I want them to be able to work hard, I also hope that they can find great joy in music, art, sport or other interests.
  8. How to work where they are passionate – They will each work for approximately 100,000 hours during their lives and we would love it if they could find careers that they loved.  I have no idea what that looks like yet (although Hayden aspires to be a zoologist), but hopefully we can help them to find purpose and meaning through doing work that they can get passionate about.
  9. Good manners – It’s not that hard to say please, thanks and excuse me.  It’s not that hard to be considerate of others’ feelings.  Hopefully, we can role-model good manners and help them to understand the importance of being polite.
  10. The grace of God – My faith is a huge part of my life and I pray that my kids would know that not only are they loved by their imperfect parents, but they are loved by their perfect creator.

This isn’t an exhaustive list and there are other things that I would want them to know (supporting the Richmond Football Club is not negotiable), but they are my top priorities and by keeping them in mind as I parent, I pray that I can make decisions that will help them when they’re older.

What values do you want for your kids when they’re older?

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