[Steps on soapbox]When I think about whats involved in raising a child, I wonder how many parents have forgotten the goal of parenting. It's not to provide the greats toys or the most elaborate memories. Raising a child isn't about finding a way to always be their best friend. The whole purpose for raising a child is to teach the child how to live on their own.
I know, I know. That's shocking. How can I think of such a terrible thing? It's true. I hope and pray every day that my children grow up to be successful INDEPENDENT woman.
My wife and I strive everyday to teach our children personal resposibility and self reliance. Why? Because when they are adults, those are the two skills they will need most.
Too many parents these days try extremely hard to be their kids best friend. I watched Mom pick up her son at our daughters daycare. The daycare provider explained how the child had spent most of the day in time-out and their behavior was completely unacceptable. How did this mother handle the situation? She bent down to her son's height, looked him in the eye and said, "Oh dear, you've had a bad day? Why don't we go out for ice cream after supper and see if we can cheer you up." WTF?
I looked at the daycare provider and gave her one of those, "OMG - did you see that?" smiles. We talked about this after the Mom had left. We wondered if we should have said something. There may even be people reading this right now that are thinking, why is that so bad?
What lesson did the mother give to the child? "You were very naughty today. It's because something is making you sad. It's not your fault. Let's go celebrate."
In our home, if we get a bad report from a daycare provider, the punishment continues at home. We respect the people that spend time with our kids. Our kids need to learn to respect them. As we say here, "Who's the boss?"
These are big lessons for a child to learn. Children are way smarter then most people give them credit for. They learn these lessons very well. Parents the let a 4 year old walk all over them are doomed when that child is a teenager.
In front of our kids, we try very hard to be good examples. We try to never blame others for our misfortune. We accept our decisions, even the bad ones and we take their consequences. I'm quite sure I'm not perfect in this message, but I try extremely hard to live up to it.
I'm hoping to talk more about the subject of personal responsibility. It's a lesson we all need to understand. This concept shapes my politcal views. I worry about our nation and our societies desire to have the goverment protect us from ourselves.
Isn't this the best gift we can give our kids? To believe in themselves, to take care of themselves and to survive on their own.
[steps off soapbox]