Friday, July 2, 2010

Once Upon a Time 3/06

Following on with yesterday :
I was mostly reared by an old fashioned (in today's terms) father. Of course I took on his values as he passed them on to me. In turn when I reared my children, I had tools as it were, from my dad. However it was and whatever value system he had in rearing me, were the same values I used in rearing mine. Life is largely that way I suppose. You as a child, (either in relationship or in age) do as you have had done to you. After all, that is what you know best...the patterns with which you were raised.
My son told me not too long ago that he noticed he unconsciously was, as he put it, channeling ME when dealing with some matter or other, with HIS son. Common sense tells you that you "go to your training" as they say where I work. What you learn, no surprise, that's what you do.
I as a person believe that having children is a privelege. The most precious experience given to one. That is a core belief with me. As with most things, that is my opinion and you know what they say...everyone has one. :)
I had expectations with my children. I conveyed those expectations to them. I was the parent, they were the children. I had a grave responsibility to them. Their role, as Cheryl more or less mentioned in a comment was to be children and learn, not miniature adults. Not to be my friend nor my confidant. One makes mistakes and does that sometimes, but one hopefully becomes aware of that error and ceases. My role was to be a parent and teach. You have to take the time to explain consequences of actions as well.
Expectations need to be instilled early. Very early. There should never be any doubt what you as a parent expect, strive and hope for with your children. As Patty said in a comment, you do your best in teaching those expectations for them, what's right and what's wrong. You try to be consistant in those core values and she mentioned, you hope they retain those values as they go along and mature and that they resist peer pressure and impulse actions. That's what strengthens them to deal with life's pressures. That is really all you can do. You show, teach and exemplify, tell consequences..then you hold your breath and hope they follow through.
You can't run after them, guard them, guide them after they are out in the world. So you do your best to arm them up for the battle before they go. I tried my best to do my part to the best of my ability. After that, it was up to them as individuals. They are the ones who have full credit for making right choices. It was always up to them.
And by the way, as a follow on to the blog that started this, speaking to learning and consequence, as each child became old enough to drive and attain a car...they paid for the car and they paid for their insurance. I didn't do it and told them why. They needed to learn the cost of actual living and responsibility. And they had a talk with the insurance agent (which they hated) before they started so that they knew the financial consequences to me, and the tricke-down effect on them if our resources were strained more than they already were, if they drove carelessly.
If you give them everything (that you can afford) then they never get the opportunity to learn what it's like to anticipate, to earn their own treasures, to be patient, or to deal with disappointment.
Gotta go to work.

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