Raising children is a wonderful thing. It is one of the most important things that needs to be done on the planet earth. Children, literally are the future and how we raise them in a large part determines what the world of tomorrow will be like. If it is to be done well, it is not a job for the faint of heart. Child raising is hard and often unrewarding work for many years.
Steven Covey, of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, advised that one should start with the end in mind. When raising children, that means, when raising your children think about the kind of people you want them to be as adults. If you make your parenting decisions with the end in mind, it helps you to look past temporary problems or setbacks and keep the big picture in mind.
My children tell me that I am mean or unfair when I make them write an essay about why they were fighting with a sibling. I get the same response when I assign an essay on the meaning of respect when they fail to show it. I don’t get upset at their responses because I keep the end in mind. I want my children to become adults who treat themselves and others with respect. I want my children to be adults with excellent oral and written communication skills. When they get into discussions about problems with my parenting methods I tell them to write them down and share them with their shrinks when they are thirty-five.
The way I see it if the worse my kids can say about me is that I made them write an essay every time they did something wrong, I did a great job as a mother. Years ago, I had a secretary who got into a minor car accident on the way to work. Two of her friends in the car were going to the emergency room. She said she would be an hour late for work. I advised her to take the day off and go to the hospital, she would still get paid for the day. Her response amazed me. She said, “My mom prayed for me, I will be all right.” I was so impressed with that who set of circumstances. What a wonderful mother than her prayers sent her daughter to work instead of the hospital. I wanted to be that kind of mother. I wanted my children to believe my prayers and to have a strong sense of faith. So, I prayed over every boo-boo. When I did, they always felt better. They had faith in my words. No matter how bad, if I prayed over them, they always said they felt better.
As parents, we must begin with the end in mind. We have to realize that we help create the adults our children turn into. So, the question for you this serene day is what will your children’s shrink say about you when they are thirty-five?