It is the truth.
Our kids will learn not just by what we say, but even more by what they see us do. Have you really thought about that?
Because when I take a moment to consider this truth – really think about it – it kind of freaks me out!
Of course they will not BE me (praise God for designing us all uniquely!), but they will learn what is right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, respectful and disrespectful, kind and unkind, loving and unloving – all of this and more – they will learn from watching me and the other people in their lives.
These are 4 of the many things I hope my kids learn by doing life with me and their daddy:
1. Life Skills
Life skills are so often overlooked. Teachers learn to teach. We average parents get no manual on how to teach!
But truly, our kids need to learn to confidently do everything it would take to own or rent a home and be an independent adult – that means cooking, cleaning, earning money, keeping up with car maintenance, hanging pictures, managing bank accounts, and the list goes on and on and on.
Life skills – our kids need them!
This one is hard because it causes Tim and I to consider – really consider – how respectful we are to each other.
In my experience, it is the college students whose parents lacked respect for each other who have the hardest time respecting professors, coaches and bosses.
Respect in the home generally translates to respect in the world outside the home.
I was born with a heart that cares so deeply about kindness, and it grieves me to witness such blatant unkindness in our world today. Just a few weeks ago, a senseless shooter drove by the Boys & Girls Club in my home town and opened fire on a crowd, killing 3 innocent lives and wounding several others.
Honestly – if the heart of that shooter had a shred of kindness to consider the implications of this act on the parents, siblings and friends of those who died – would they have done it?
The best example of kindness I have known comes from the life and parenting of Kara Tippetts and I urge you to take a look at the life she lived too.
Kindness can go so far in the world in which we currently live.
I dream of moms and dads everywhere intentionally raising kids who care about and practice kindness. I picture a proverbial wave of kindness that just overwhelms and drowns all that is evil in our world. Can we rise up and raise kind kids together?
I remember growing up afraid. Not an overwhelming fear, but always tentative and unsure.
As my kids embark on the journey of their lives, I want them to be confident in who their God designed them to be, and their ability to handle life’s curveballs.
This means exposing them to a God who designed them with a plan and a purpose. Reminding them that He gifted them with a mind and body equipped to do good in this world.
But I also know I cannot be there WITH them for the rest of their lives.
It feels natural for a parent to protect their kids from hard consequences.
For example, a failing grade after we have seen our kids work hard at the assignment makes us want to march in to school and yell at the teacher.
The problem is that our kids will make mistakes and fail in the real world, and it is our job not to protect them from these things, but to teach them how to persevere through them.
Confidence often comes from the core belief that “I can handle anything life throws at me”. It comes from knowing that it is okay to ask for help. From trusting we have a God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
There is so much more I want my kids to learn from doing life with me. But life skills, respect, kindness and confidence are four of the big ones.
What do you hope your kids learn by doing life with you?