It's not a fault of your kids when your flaws begin to show in them. As parents, we have to be humble enough to recognize those things that our children get from us. It's not always the fault of the world, the music, the chosen friends, or the media! We, PARENTS, are the primary teachers, instructors, counselors, advisors, care-givers, spiritual leaders, role-models, and providers for our children. Having children should never be looked upon as "the thing to do," a way of financial gain, or the unwanted consequence of selfish pleasure seeking!! How we raise our children SHOULD mean the world to us!! Think about it. They will be the world once we are dead and gone. The leaders of tomorrow reside in our homes TODAY!!
Rather than allow our kids to make OUR mistakes, let us catch them before they fall and set them up for successful futures. HONESTY is key. We have to be a bit transparent while they are young and more transparent when they are older. Our lives are testimonies. Creating a firm foundation of honesty and trust between you and your kids will mean a lot to their future. They should be able to trust your advice, all the days of their lives and KNOW that their best interest is what you are all about. PATIENCE is another key, especially when you see yourself rising up in them; that self of yours that you thought was conquered and left dead in the past. When that old you rises up in your kids, it's magnified by the world of today, and as much as I hate to say it, much of the old school ways of dealing with it have no true effect on it. Yes, we have to come up with different angles while holding on to the base foundation of moral truth.
I often think about my kids, more now, while they are spending the summer with their mother. I CLEARLY see me, all up in their attitudes, good and bad. I see my own stubbornness in them, as well as my thought patterns. When their anger flares up, I know it's me in them. There were times when they saw me angry and I made no attempt to hide it. There were times they saw or heard heated arguments between their mother and I, that should have never taken place around them. Children take in so much of us when we think the things we are doing are harmless. EVERYTHING we do affects our kids in some way or another. I am certain that 10, 15, 20 years from now, they will recall, remember, and remind me of things I did or said while they were still very young. I know this for a fact because I do it to my parents.
God created us in His image and likeness. It's not much different with our kids. They are OUR image and likeness. We must take the same approach with our kids that God takes with us, the parents. We must be everything we can be for them. We have to LOVE them the way God loves us. We HAVE to show them the same mercy, grace, and forgiveness that God shows each and EVERY one of us. We have to hear them out, just as God hears our prayers. Simply put, God is THE parent's guide to raising kids. Just think about it.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams