The responsibility of raising a child or children is a privilege and one that should not be taken for granted. This exceptional opportunity can be very challenging too. When it comes to parenting, I can say emphatically that no one knows it all. More so, every child is unique even among siblings from the same parents. No doubts, parenting is one job that one learns on the job. You keep trying until you figure out what works for your children. Apart from this, I think there are other aspects you should also focus on while raising them. For example, to ensure that good virtues are instilled in them. By consciously doing this, we will all raise a great and outstanding next generation for a better society!
Sound and acceptable ethics and values that were once learnt from family settings are fast becoming scarce. Core values like respect, honour, self-discipline and others are becoming old-fashioned in our world today. I dare to say that the current generation needs more than technology to build a strong and great society. Several factors contribute to these declining values and good character. Something to note is that we are currently living in a fast-paced world, and our societal systems are fast-changing too. Parents are preoccupied with work and other engagements that limit the quality time needed to pass on the baton of good character and virtues to their children.
Irrespective of the time constraints and the numerous activities one is surrounded by, we need to mould our succeeding generation consciously. Here, a couple of insights are highlighted.
1. Pass on the baton!
In a relay race, one runs a distance and then pass on the baton to the next teammate, and the race continues until the last team member takes the baton to the finish line. In raising children, whether they are your biological children or not, and irrespective of their gender, pass on the baton of wisdom, knowledge, acceptable family traditions/cultures, life lessons, inestimable values and truths to them. Don’t get so busy with life and career that you end up leaving them to struggle with the right values to emulate.
Expose them to the best moral education possible and guide them through their choices. I carefully used the word ‘guide’, hence, avoid imposing things or choices on them; but with the understanding of their inherent abilities, nurture them into greatness. I believe there are some timeless principles you picked up from your parents, that are worthy of passing down to your children. Also, you wouldn’t want your children to repeat the same mistakes you made.
Sometimes ago, I watched a video of a young man who recorded his grandmother bakes their family’s favourite cookies. The grandma told him that the recipe for the cookies had been their family’s recipe for over a hundred and fifty years, and it always turns out to be super-tasty that one finds it irresistible. Right there, I appreciated the fact that it is important to teach children life principles that cannot be learnt in school. In this age of fast food, it is useful to teach your kids how to cook too, else, they will end up living off vending machines, and fast foods, which we know are not very healthy.
Expose them to your family cultures and traditions. Don’t leave them with the mindset of embracing or appreciating alien and unacceptable cultures instead of their sound ideals. Reveal the history, strength, beliefs, and virtues of your heritage and people to them. Show them how to draw inspiration from within. Don’t let them grow up believing another man’s thought. Tell them who they are! Pass on the baton!
2. Create a platform for your children
As a parent, you need to create a platform for your children to build on. You know the saying that one stands on the shoulders of giants, this means to pave the way for them to tread on. Subsequently, they will also pave the way for their children and so on.
The Bible states that “a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children… (Proverbs 13:22). The ‘inheritance’ here goes beyond tangible things to also the intangible things. The ‘man’ in the quoted text represents both genders. Irrespective of how you understand the above quote, it means you have to leave something for your children to start their own lives with. To do this efficiently, first, you should properly train them to handle what you will leave behind for them. If you don’t impart the right virtues in them, they will end up squandering everything.
Even though your parents did not leave anything for you or perhaps you didn’t meet them or even know them, strive hard with good faith to change the story for your family and children. I believe we can be anything if we don’t relent in trying. Nobody will do this for your kids. People might come in as helpers at different stages of their lives, but the foundation will have to be laid by you. Create a platform through sound moral education, investments, savings, and most importantly, train them to handle what you will pass on to them.
3. Practice patience
Parents and guardians will agree that it takes an unprecedented level of patience to raise children. One of my aunts once said to me: “in marriage and raising children; one has to sew patience as cloth and wear it every day to succeed”. You may repeat a couple of instructions or lessons to your kids before they eventually get the message that you are trying to pass on to them. But it is all okay.
Deal with them with understanding, love, and loads of patience. Know that sometimes, good things require time and some patience to reach its full potential. Give them and yourself time. Whatever you do, don’t give up on them. In the end, you will be glad you hung in there for them. While being patient with them, encourage them, show them you are on their side, and also build up their trust in you.
Children aren’t always cute; they will get on your nerves many times, but still, maintain your calm and be positive towards them. Remember that whatever they are doing that is stressing you out will come to an end someday. Be patient!
4. Bless your children!
There is power in speaking positive and encouraging words to people. It is important that you keep speaking positive words over your kids. The joy of it is that someday, they will recollect the kind words that you once spoke over them. Don’t get so angry to the extent of cursing them out. Be positive and expect positive changes in them. Staying positive changes your mindset and helps you navigate through negativities. Endorse them, even when they are not doing well generally or in some aspects of their lives. There is nothing as powerful as parental blessings or goodwill of an elderly one.
One thing to always bring to mind is that you are raising your posterity. It’s like a “relay race”. Don’t let your good values and principles go down without passing them to your next generation. Instil in them the sort of values you would want to see in the future society. When you have done your best, pat yourself on the back and trust your gut, they will turn out great. If they act in the opposite direction of your teachings, don’t worry, the time for a switch to your training will come. Remain hopeful and positive!
Let’s discuss in the comment section and shape the future of our younger generation through our insightful thoughts. I see you dazzle!