The experts say that who we are is 50% nature and 50% nurture.
No matter how you look at it, we have a 50/50 chance of raising a happy, well-adjusted child
who will become a happy, well- adjusted adult.
The best opportunity we have in building character is when our children are young and less influenced by the outside world!
As we go about our daily lives we become so busy that we sometimes miss opportunities to teach
our children some the greatest lessons in life. Lessons about right from wrong, owning mistakes,
or the importance of our choices and simple skills for taking care of ourselves.
I don't hold myself out as an expert. No, I am actually someone who came from an upbringing
in which let's just say I was left to learn these lessons by the grace of God and inner strength.
Not complaining because instead of following in my parents footsteps I somehow managed to learn
from their mistakes. If you have parents who were born in the 30's and 40's you know that this generation was notorious for raising children with a "Seen and not heard" and less seen the better attitude!
There is something to be said for figuring things out on you own. However, I believe that balance helps especially today when information comes at our children at a much faster pace.
This is why I feel so strong about family meals. I am not June Cleaver! But try I very hard to have as many meals as a family as possible. It doesn't matter what you're eating as long as you have some quality time to talk about your day, your feelings and your fears. I can't stress enough how important this is.
It's worth taking the time to arrange things to make it happen!
Which brings me to manners! If you are lucky enough to have a couple of meals with your family I recommend the following: Insist on phones and television off! Including Mom and Dad.
Another thing that I am very passionate about is understanding the importance of bonding with your children through hobbies or everyday activities. Children can learn so much about life when you
make "together" time. For a better picture of what I mean take these examples:
A Father fishing with his son is not about the fish!
Throwing and catching a baseball with your son is not about him making the travel team!
Filing and polishing your nails together is not about the color of the nail polish.
We can teach our children so much about life in our daily routine when we're aware of the benefits!
So I say no matter how old your children are, make a list today and try those things TOGETHER.
Make matching bracelets
Paint a picture
Make a paper airplane
Make a house of cards
Give the dog a bath
Teach your child how to clean the floor, toilet or the inside of your car
Show them how to use the washer and dryer
Set a proper table
Make a summer dress on the sewing machine
Have your child make the grocery list by taking inventory, planning meals and
let her help you do the shopping from the list.
These are the things that you and your children will remember and carry with them throughout
life. It also gives you the greatest opportunity for influencing them in positive ways!
I call them "Simply Good" Life Lessons.