We all want the best for our children and that includes being healthy, well balanced and ready for society. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.
I don’t know about you but I was never given an owners manual when my wife and I had kids. Consequently I knew practically nothing about children. But after 30 years of raising children I now have a good perspective on some important skills or traits we parents need in order to have healthy, well-balanced children.
The number one skill or trait I feel was most helpful throughout the years of raising children was the maintance of my spiritual life.
Whatever faith or belief you possess make sure you incorporate it into your life and that of your children. We humans need time to pray and or meditate on a regular schedule. It helps us to relax and focus on what is important.
The spiritual life also helps to maintain balance in your life so you aren’t always focusing on yourself or your family. It helps to be active with a group that shares your beliefs and station in life.
Insist on Spending Time Together on a Regular Basis
I have always enjoyed spending time with my family because it is important in the grand scheme of life to employ simple, fun tactics to help bond a family together.
We have enjoyed bowling, cards, table games, sports and cooking as a family. I have four children and am proud to say they all know how to cook. Not just boil water but all the basics and in how to prepare a meal. When we get together at any holiday we all prepare to feast and enjoy each other’s cooking. Then sit down and play a game.
Columbia University houses The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) and they have discovered in their research that families that eat dinner together on a regular basis are less susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse.
Hate the Sin, But Love the Sinner
I try hard when my children get in trouble not to make them feel like I dislike them personally. I discuss with them why I dislike their action but it’s because of my love for them that I scold them. That is hard for them to grasp at times but they know that their father is on their side and they need to correct their behavior or face punishment.
My youngest is in High School and just got this speech. I am not sure he understands completely but I am sure it won’t happen again soon.
Allow Your Children to Share in Trials and Tribulations of the Family
We have always been open with our children about our financial affairs. When we hit a rough patch and need to tighten the belt we always discuss why with our children. I believe it gives them a since of security to know that Mom ands Dad recognize this problem and if they say it is going to be ok then it will.
This helps when trying to instill a sense of frugalness into their life. They understand that people go through these economic periods and that it is not because they failed but they need to adapt to the changing times.
Families are Units of Love
As a couple we have always been very public about our affection towards each other and our children. My 26 year-old hugs me as a greeting almost every time he comes to the house. He told me when he got married that he was looking for a relationship like his mom and I have had for 38 years. He got married but put off the marriage celebration for three months so his youngest sister who is overseas could be there as well.
These are areas we all need to improve and to maintain for the benefit of our families.