Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I was at the park the other day admiring my sweet boys, Daniel and Ian playing on the park equipment, thinking about how Daniel is a pre-teen, and Ian is starting to seriously stepping into his own, being sure to challenge me on every suggestion, or requirement of him. I was feeling so proud of them and their character and personalities, thinking I truly trust Daniel and his stance on life and his moral integrity, I am so excited to see how he will stand on his own and face life apart from us as his own person. It hit me so strongly that I could fully stand in confidence knowing that my son is a well rounded good person, and will do well in life. I realized I needed to start speaking more of my confidence in him and being sure to reassure him that I trust him in his decision making and to speak out loud my pride in him and his good works.
After the park time on our way home I did tell Daniel that I was very proud of him and I did trust him. I could hear his gratitude in the thank you, and I felt so good about the peace I felt as well.
Of course, after that day, I have strongly been pondering this concept. What is our job as a parent in training our kids, how much do we teach them, how much do we teach by living the example?
Well it has started to become more clear, number one:I DON'T HAVE TO TEACH THEM EVERYTHING THEY WILL NEED TO KNOW FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES!
I only need to prepare them with the tools to face the things they will face in this life. These are a few of those things I am discovering:
1. Putting a hunger in them to learn.
By stimulating their minds, not boring them with what I think they should know, not making sure they are getting in every possible detail, but by exposing them to many different ways of learning: computer research, writing, reading, learning from others who love to teach, trying NEW things, seeing how others live their lives, doing something that seems too difficult to do etc...
2. Expose them to the Living God.
God is big enough and powerful enough and loving enough to reveal Himself as we walk them to His door. He says if they knock HE WILL open. I believe our job is only to lead them to the door. I feel that my example in my hunger for God, and my openness in worship, prayer, sillyness and unashamed faith and life in general is the most powerful tool I have to teach them about God. I have found it's so important to teach my kids to hear His voice on their own, because when they leave our home I won't be going with them neither will their Papa, I want them to know they will never be alone. I also feel that asking them a lot of questions instead of just telling and teaching draws them out more than any other way. Exposing them to the Word of God to get their own revelations and experiences.
3. Having a thankful heart.
I believe if they can always find ways to be thankful no matter their situation, they will always thrive and look for ways to solve problems. This will also thwart that nasty spirit of entitlement.
4. Loving them unconditionally.
This of course can mean loving them enough to say no. To put up strong boundaries. Trusting them to try things out and learn from their own mistakes. Believing in them.
Keeping up regular communication and speaking out when I am so proud of them or just love them.
5. Keeping our marriage strong.
In my relationship to my husband I can totally see how important it is to keep our love strong because this is one of the strongest examples they have to learn from for their future lives. When Ruslan and I are fulfilled and loving each other, then we are also MUCH better parents.
I know there's more but these were the basic things that help me keep it simple when I start worrying again that I haven't prepared them enough. I am thankful for the grace we have as parents to learn as we go as well. And I am so thankful that I am not expected to be perfect or teach my kids every single possible thing they will need to know when away from home. :) Phewwww!
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