What I want my children to learn from me.
I’m not very handy around the house. I can replace a light bulb or hang a picture but that’s pretty much the extent of my handyman abilities. Don’t even ask me about a car. I know you put a key in it and it goes forward and backwards and you have to put gas in them sometimes. I didn’t have a strong father influence growing up and no one was around to teach me about all of those things. So I know I will not be able to pass those things on to my children.
There are a few things I do want to impart onto them though. I want my children to be kind, generous and loving. I want them to be the kind of people that make others feel better just from being in their presence. Trustworthy, compassionate and full of integrity and to love Jesus with all of their heart. With that there are three main lessons I want my children to learn from me.
1) How you treat people. I will never tell my children to treat people the way they want to be treated. I say this because in my experience, there are some people who want to be treated badly. They thrive off the negative attention and are only happy if they are miserable. What I tell my children is to treat people in way that if Jesus came back right now and stood next to you, you would not be ashamed to explain to him how you were treating someone.
2) There is no such thing as a participation award. If you did not earn it you do not deserve it. I want my children to win, but I also want them to learn how to lose and be okay with it. To win and lose with grace. Too many people today have this righteous sense of entitlement. “You owe me because I’m me” mentality. No one wins all the time and I believe learning to lose is essential. I do not want my children to spoil someone else’s achievement by throwing a fit because they didn’t win.
3) The last value I want to give to them is probably the most important. The only time you look into your neighbors bowl is to make sure that they have enough and not to compare what you have to them. This one is especially hard. I get caught up in this one all the time. It’s really hard to not compare what others have to what I have. I have been working on this with my daughter. She is very focused on what others get and what she doesn’t and it drives me insane. When my children do something that is asked of them or expected of them I will usually reward them with a few skittles. Lately I have been giving them unequal amounts to teach them an important lesson. For instance If my kids come out in the morning and their beds are made, I will give my son 5 skittles and my daughter 3, and I will make it obvious that there is a difference. 9 out of 10 times my daughter will complain and throw a fit. At this point I take the skittles back and tell her I really wished she could be happy with what she has and even happier about what her brother has.
Even though they are difficult for me to remember on a daily basis, these are the three most important things I cant teach my children.