One of my husband’s favorite things to say is “children are the worst investment, because you can put just about everything you have in them and they still turn out bad.”
So true! How many times have we seen this play out? How often do we hear parents say, “we treated all of our three children the same and this one just went their own way.” And this is truly not a reflection on the parents. As parents we can only do the best we can and hope for the best return on our investment.
Family – my family is very important to me. It was imperative to us that we raised children that had our same core values and knew they could tell us anything and could always come home no matter what. I find that in today’s society with so many social distractions for children this can be very difficult to do.
We have been able to do this so far and I really truly attribute it to keeping open lines of communication and honesty. We can’t expect kids to be open and honest with us if we are not with them. If our kids were bad at piano recital we tell them they were bad. If they missed a goal at soccer and lost the game, we let them know that too. We love our children but they are not our friends and we do not give them any undeserved trophies. We are able to bring them down with honesty but of course we are there to console them always.
I think the main thing is to start early – before they go off to preschool. It is important to establish the expectations early on.
Reinforce and reward positive behavior and punish negative behavior. This will make them appreciate your reaction to the wins even more.
Be open and honest with them and in turn they will give you the same courtesy. I want to trust that they are where they say they will be at all times.
We had monthly family meetings in our household from when the kids were very young. This was an open forum where each person (including us parents) talked about what was going on in every aspect of our life – personal, social, family, school/work. This was a free zone where the kids could let us know about issues at school, with their friends or even with us. They could let us know if there was something we as parents were doing that they did not like. This is a place where they knew they could tell us anything without repercussions. Over time, they felt comfortable enough to discuss these things outside of the family meetings.
By all means my children are not perfect and are still a work in progress. But I believe they have been given the tools to make it in life. We have invested wisely in them and hope to have good returns on our investment over time.
My favorite things to say to my kids is: 1 – Always respect yourself 2 – I want to be able to vouch for you always without perjuring myself
Please leave your thoughts below. Let me know if you agree or disagree