Tuesday, July 10, 2012
the ten things we want to teach our children
drew and i made a list the other night, of ten things we want to pray for and instill in our children (don't worry, just one for now, i am NOT pregnant!). when you're raising children, particularly little ones, it's hard sometimes to focus on the bigger picture. it's hard to think about morals and manners and values when your days feel like endless runny noses and diapers and teething, but it's important. so important.
here's the list we came up with:
1) A love for Jesus and His people: a heart for serving and loving others, and a love for the church and it's people. Emmersyn is so blessed to have a church full of amazing people who all love her and pray for her and are modeling Christ-like service for her. Especially in her dad and Papa, who are usually first to the church to set-up, and last to leave after tear-down.
2) Manners and good attitudes: No whining! Nothing is worse than children who constantly whine and interrupt! I cannot count the times at some events when I am talking to someone, and their child comes up and screams in our faces, "MOM, MOMMY, MAMA! MOOOOM!!" it's awful. We are already working with emmy on having a good attitude....lately she has been arching her back and screaming when we put her in the carseat...this is a good opportunity to gently instruct her to wait until she is buckled in.We expect good behavior, not perfection (kids need age appropriate expectations!). We know Emmersyn is capable of a happy attitude and a short attention span. We expect her to be happy during worship at church, but not to sit through a sermon. Age appropriate is key.
3) That we love her, and we will love the things she loves: No matter what path she chooses for a career or hobbies, we will invest in it 100%. Ballet, music, whatever. We will be there, cheering her on. We will also expect her to stick with the things she loves, and we will invest in those things, whether monetary or time. I love the chapter on this in the book "Growing Great Kids". I highly recommend it.
4) We love her, but we love Jesus first, and each other more. We will protect our marriage fiercely. Lord willing, we will weather storms together, as a team, and we will model a picture of Christ and His church in our marriage. We will not let our children divide us, be it regarding discipline, or simply our time. My parents have been married 33 years, and I think I maybe saw them argue once. I know they surely did, but they never let it interfere with us, or split them apart.
5) Empathy: That everyone is coming from a different perspective, and looking at things objectively will save them a lot of grief. (Emmersyn's dad is much better at this than me!)
6) A love for the arts: I grew up in a home where classical music was valued and impressed upon us. I am glad that I played the piano for 9 years, and thankful that my parents played lots of Mozart and Beethoven for us in our growing-up years. My parents pushed us to practice and practice, and even though i didn't love it then, now i know my love for music began there.
7) Responsibility; We will love our children, and provide for all their needs, but they will need to work for the things they want as well. My parents had a half/half philosophy when we were in high school and college, that they would help us with half of a large purchase like a car, but we needed to work to earn the rest.
8) A constant love for learning: Drew's dad is probably the best example of this; he is always looking for an opportunity to teach. Drew has inherited this wonderful characteristic, and I know that our children will love to learn if they're anything like their dad (I also pray they have his sense of direction, and his ability to do math, unlike me!)
9) The love for making a home beautiful: My mom taught us to cook, sew, iron, and clean. I take great joy in keeping up my house, and making it a beautiful place to live. We don't have a ton of extra money to invest in fancy stuff right now, since we are in a rental home, but I keep plenty of photo frames, and fresh flowers in our home. I don't let the house stay messy, and I enjoy being home, where we feel most comfortable. I have a newfound love of cooking, and try to make dinner 6 nights a week. I'm so thankful my mom instilled a love for homemaking in me, and i hope our children learn these skills.
10) A good friend: Both Drew and I have been blessed with lifelong friends in Wes and Teresa. Wes has been Drew's lifelong friend, and has become like family to me as well. Teresa has been my friend for over 16 years, and has stood by me in good times and bad. I pray our children find those people who they will share their hearts with, and who will move them to be more like Jesus.