Reflections on Raising "Adults"
We all try our best raising our kids…right??
We try different means and methods… and hope for the best!!
Who knows what will or will not achieve the results we were hoping for….only time tells…
Last week my kids went off on their own for the first time, flying without mom and dad to another country ! For a playdate/ fun birthday surprise !
Yes – they were bursting with excitement to get to spend a week with friends without their parents.
They were indeed not without “parents”…as our friends took them in under their wings for the week…oh boy…did they know what they signed up for?
Well – it was their idea and they arranged everything. How lucky were these kids??
While they were gone, I had time to sort out a few things and was digging deep into some archives to search for something when I found these papers from a couple of years ago…
It made me smile.
It was not kids’art. It was their interpretation of my “parental input” by lack of a better word.
They date back about 4 years, when me and the two of them sat together and talked about relationships amongst other things – in one of my attempts to not raise KIDS, but to raise ADULTS…as me and my husband keep on reminding ourselves through the years.
This chat most certainly was on good relationships on the playground at school, making friends etc. as I recall one of them having issues with this at the time.
There are “pointers” ..sort of suggestions for them…but then there are the “rules” – the non negotiable things ….
Yes – I do this to my kids…you can laugh or applaud now….
And then I ask them to feed back to me in their own way how they understood/ interpreted what I was trying to say.
This is probably the reason why I kept these papers all these years !!! To reflect back one day on how they applied their minds to this…
Or wait, maybe it was to have proof that I did in fact tried, if it turns out that my efforts were to no avail…
I don’t write it out anymore and they draw it out either… this was when they were 6 and 8 – just to remind you !!!
I even tried to help the teacher, by listing the things he could do in class to be a good student – when I got a little note from her one day….
And then there was the “how to put this in ACTION…”
Yes – obviously I threw in a few “these things you gotta do at home if you wanna keep Mommy sane” ????!!!
…and yes, why would I NOT sneak in a …”keep the house neat and tidy?????”…. I am a bit of a neat freak??? (can I say that that one did not make quite the impression I was hoping for??). I constantly find towels on the floor, messes everywhere and even a little report back from my friend that my son left his clothes on the floor at their house. Oops. And..Sorry, friend ! I did get many other positive reports from her to make up for that one !
Well, we are a religious family, so bringing up kids in such an environment also included a few pointers on how to make a special time for God and where He fits into all of this in our daily lives or where we fall short on our own…or as parents.
Those just a few notes from one of my efforts to help these kids gain perspective on life in the way me and my husband see it..so that they can one day apply what we taught them…. decide for themselves and hopefully keep the good and throw out the bad and go beyond the mistakes we made….
This week I could not help but wonder – how many of these things that we have gone through over the years have made enough impact to fully equip them for the world out there? Surely they interact a lot with others on a daily basis and on playdates..and I don’t keep that close an eye on my kids to control their actions and responses. But they are starting to go off on their own in little bits and pieces and it is more and more up to them what choices they make on a daily basis.
This is where we as parents have to trust, that they will be reminded of what they were taught – from our best intention and efforts. And there will be parts that needs some shaping up still in the years to come…. And their will be some parts of their personality and behaviour that will develop beyond what I taught them…in a good OR a bad way.
But, I trust in my heart that they were good company…remembering many of the things they have learned…and most of all – I am happy that they did something right in the first instance on shaping their friendship and relationships up to this point – something well enough to get invited to someone’s house for a week !
I am thankful for friends who took them in..and I am thankful for my kids and the years we have had together up till now to talk about all these things and I am looking forward to another couple of years, in helping them become their own in this world to engage in meaningful, pleasant and lasting friendships !!
I feel blessed to have been able to be a parent and try my hand at this. What a priviledge.
Do you feel the same way about raising kids?
Or if you don’t have kids yet and plan to have some – are you looking forward to raising them? Or is this a huge mountain ahead for you?
Well – a little advice from me then…
I believe that there are only 2 things you need to give your kids – ROOTS and WINGS !
I have tried to give them some roots..to keep them well grounded by explaining the mechanics, the rules, our set of principles.
I am working on their wings…. but is with great anticipation that I see them flapping them already, starting to take off on short flights …and eventually have the sky as their limit.
I love them dearly. It is an exciting and extreme privilege to raise kids… I mean…raise adults for this world we live in.
Do you have any wisdom to share with me? Please do.
If you have complaints about my kids – sorry, my inbox is full.
If you have lovely things to say about them..you can leave a million comments on this blog !
P.S – No copyright on my book above on “parenting”… feel free to use on your kids ! It comes no charge and no copyright.Not often you get something for free, right? :-))Ilze