The Art of Parenthood
ďOf all the commentaries on the Scriptures, wrote John Donne, ďgood examples are the best.Ē
In practicing the art of parenthood, an ounce of example in worth a ton of preachment. Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say. When we set an example of honesty, our children will be honest. When we practice tolerance, they will be tolerant. When we demonstrate good sportsmanship, they will be good sports. When we meet life with laughter and a twinkle in our eye, they will develop a sense of humor. When we are thankful for lifeís blessings, they will be thankful. When we express friendliness, they will be friendly. When we speak words of praise, they will praise others. When we confront failure, defeat, and misfortune with a gallant spirit, they will learn to live bravely. When our lives affirm our faith in the enduring values of life, they will rise above doubt and skepticism. When we surround them with the love and goodness of God, they will discover lifeís meaning. When we set an example of heroic living, they will be heroes. Donít just stand there pointing your finger to the heights you want your children to scale.
Start climbing and they will follow!
Wilferd A. Peterson
How Love Raises Children
When you thought I wasnít looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasnít looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasnít looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I knew that little things are special things.
When I thought I wasnít looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.
When you thought I wasnít looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasnít looking, I saw tears coming from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but itís all right to cry.
When you thought I wasnít looking, I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasnít looking, I looked and wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasnít looking.
ďA personís true character is revealed by what he does when no one is watching.Ē
Excerpt from "The Measure of Our Success:
A Letter to My Children and Yours"
Marian Wright Edelman
There is no free lunch. Donít feel entitled to anything you donít sweat and struggle for. If you see a need, donít ask, ďWhy doesnít somebody do something?Ē Ask instead, ďWhy donít I do something?Ē This world needs more shepherds and fewer sheep.
Never work just for money or power. They wonít save your soul or build a decent family or help you sleep at night.
Donít be afraid of taking risks or being criticized. If you donít want to be criticized, donít say anything, donít do anything, and donít be anything.
Donít be afraid to fail. Itís the way you learn to do things right.
Remember that your wife is not your mother or your maid but your partner and your friend. Raise your sons to be fair to your own and other peopleís daughters and to share parenting and household responsibilities. Teach them to clean up their own mess, pick up their own towels and clothes, take their dishes off the table and put things back where they belong for the next person.
Be honest. Struggle to live by what you say. Be moral examples for your children. If you lie, they will lie too. If you snicker at racial jokes, so will they.
Teach them good manners. ďPleaseĒ and ďthank youĒ are very important words. Being considerate will take them farther in life than any college degrees.
Letís be clear on the fact that alcohol and tobacco are killing more people than cocaine. Itís time for consumers to speak out and put a stop to the marketing of sickness and death to our children.
Be confident that you can make a difference. Donít get overwhelmed. Sometimes when I become frantic about all I have to do, I stop and remind myself to take each day as it comes and to break the formidable challenges into manageable pieces.
Never think life is not worth living, no matter how hard it gets. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote, ďWhen you get into a tight place and everything goes against you and you think you canít hang on a minute longer, donít give up, for that is the time and place and the tide will turn.Ē
Choose your friends carefully and stay out of the fast lane. You were born Godís original. Try not to become someone elseís copy.
Remember that you are in charge of your own attitude. The only person you can control is yourself. You have a role to play every minute of the day. Have you ever noticed how one example, good or bad, can prompt others to follow? How one illegally parked car can give permission for others to do likewise? How one racial joke can fuel another? How one sour person can ruin a meeting? Well, the opposite is also true. An anonymous sage correctly said, ďThe world needs more people who do not borrow from integrity to pay for expediency, whose handshake is an ironclad contract, who are as honest in small matters as in large ones, who know how to win with grace and lose with dignity.Ē