How can we ensure that our kids will become good people??
Who are you?First of all, are youa good person? I have had to check myself on a plethora of occasions and realise the image I am presenting to my children. What your norm is becomes their understanding of reality and so if you don’t want them to carry on traits of yours, you’re going to have to take them away from the day to day.
So the first step in ensuring you’re doing everything possible to prevent any negativity passing on to your offspring, the best thing to do is to work on yourself rather than them. If I hear my kids acting out towards one another, I ask myself whether they’re just repeating what they hear and what I could do to prevent that kind of behaviour by changing my own.
Providing children with a positive role model may not determine their personality or future actions but it will be their grounds for reflection; their innate knowledge of how they were brought up to be.
No one is, or can be, perfect; what would we measure it on in the first place? All we can do is recognise the necessary grounds for living a positive and happy life.
Show me the love. Whenever a conflict comes to pass with another person, we all need to check our reactions. Are we being kind? Are we acting out of love? Or are we instinctively defending ourselves and acting aggressively? Are we thinking it through before reacting? If we consistently practice thinking before we speak, contemplating what is actually happening before exploding into upset or anger, and realising what the other person is saying or doing and why, we may come up with an entirely new, calmer reaction.
If we don’t act immediately, if we contemplate and resolve quietly we may just be able to reverse the instinctive reaction to blurt out something extreme and instead act out of kindness. See the other person’s reasons, and talk them through. Find a way to give rather than assume any kind of attack is actually directed at you, realise it comes from a reason deep inside the other person.
If we get into the habit of acting from the perspective of love, this is an incredibly positive and effective way to pass this attitude on to our children. Instead of shouting at them when they do something wrong, take a look at what they're doing and why and try to find a rational way to explain to them what it is that is wrong about it. Don’t condemn but rather inform and teach, and ask them to show that they understand - empower them to be in control of their learning and their own actions.
Give not to receive. One thing many a human is guilty of is reciprocal giving; expecting to receive the same as they give. We need to learn to give out of love and kindness and not out of expectation that we will receive the same treatment in return. Teach the children to give for giving’s sake and this will reward them with the concept for the future, to not be hurt when others don’t react in the same way they do, but to know deep inside them that they have done the right thing, from a position of kindness. What other people do lies in their hearts, if they act badly or don’t deliver kindness in the same way, that rests with them.
Present a united front: If you are a couple raising children, one of the best motives they can have to develop healthy, respectful, trust-filled relationships of their own is if they have been surrounded by a united team of a parenting front. Disruption comes in many forms but seeing strain in relationships can be detrimental and hurtful. However, as I’m saying this I do not agree that couples ought to pretend life is a bed of roses, I don’t even agree that kids shouldn’t experience arguments between parents yet what they do need to see and realise is the way such quarrels are resolved. By listening to each other, discussing the matter rationally, and finding a solution as a unit. The other way they need to experience unity is that both agree on the way they decide to raise the child. If one parent says one thing and the other disagrees this can be so disruptive, confusing and cause conflict and siding within the family.
Speak the truth. I am all for honesty being the best policy but as anyone would agree we all lie from time to time. To tell your kids the truth from the word go is hard, but I think it probably gives them more opportunity to realise that there are no grounds for lying, especially within family. To always be honest with them builds an innate trust that will not only bind you for life but will allow them to choose to act the same way with their friends and future families. Trust, honesty and openness go such a long way. But we of course need to show them this for them to realise it.
Manners maketh man. Some don’t seem to think this carries any weight any more, but if a person can carry themselves respectfully in any given situation then surely they will open more doors than they’ll have slammed in their face. I don’t just mean recognising which one is the salad fork at a formal dinner, but knowing how to behave at a royal gala as well as how to act when strolling through a foreign village, has a big impact on how you are received. Knowing how to connect with your fellow humans from any walk of life is a hugely important tool for any person in any situation, and can make or break the outcome being positive or negative. Knowing how to ‘read the room’and carry yourself through any moment is a great attribute. So to teach, or imprint good manners on our children, plus an understanding that we are all different and that is never wrong, is a vital lesson in life.
These are not commandments, and I hope they don’t sound preachy, I just wish someone had given me these ideas when our children came along, or more to the point, whenI came along as its taken me a heck of a lot of learning and listening to even recognise that such a position in life makes it all the more simple, and gives a far clearer viewpoint from which to live it.