Recently, I wrote down a list of qualities that I would like to nurture in my children. I wrote them down because I want them to be right where I can see them.
It's so easy to just let the days pass me by - to think, "Oh, I'll work on that tomorrow" or "Next week, I will focus on such-and-such..." But, in my heart of hearts, I want to be more INTENTIONAL than that.
I am 100% convinced that these early years matter deeply. Parenting from birth to age 5 is a sobering and significant task. So much of what I do...of WHO I AM...today will shape who my children are tomorrow.
I'm certainly not perfect. In fact, that's the whole point of this. I am confident that the most crucial thing that I can do to help my children become compassionate and productive adults is...to work on my own character.
Have you ever noticed that your children are at their very best when YOU are patient, positive, selfless, and merciful? Yeah, me too.
This weekend is not about how I can MAKE my kids become better. It's about changing myself so I can give them all of the resources that they need to go out and change the world for good.
YOUR TURN: What qualities would you like to nurture in your children?
As posts are published, I will add them to this post so that you can have a comprehensive spot to see my entire round-up.
All of your posts for this theme were great. Nice to read and remember for myself as well as my son. You're so right about modeling the behavior.
It was a crazy weekend/weekstart so I started at the end of this series and worked my way forward. Thank you for a series of well-written, thought provoking posts. I too desire all of these things for my children and so much more - to be confident in their ability to conquer any problem, to be good listeners, true friends, to be leaders in their community, to not be satisfied with the mundane - but to reach for the stars. But most of all - to be loving.
When I think about how I want my child to behave, the type of person I want him to become, and his overall character, I automatically think about how I act. Am I showing him these things? Am I treating him as I want him to treat others? You are very right to say that working on your own character is the way to shape your children’s for the better.
Confidence, compassion and joy are at the top of my list of hopes for my daughter!
I hope my children will always care more about others than themselves. And that they do for others out of their own desires to make others happy and fulfilled, rather than doing it to make themselves feel better.
Truly, if you act out of love - out of a truly honest place - then you'll never be let down by other people. If you do things for others expecting something in return, even a simple thank you, you'll often be let down.
So - really - being selfless men of God would make me the happiest Mama around!
I try to instill in my children to do their best and that is all one can ask! Mostly, I try to be a good example and stress how important it is to be
a good human being. Thanks, Cindi
I tell myself daily - Patience and Self-Control!
I just stumble upon your blog today by one of the Company Girls with Home Santuary. Your girls are absolutely beautiful.
I have 4 children and the qualities I would love for them to develop are; patience, courage, grace, confidence, kindness, and honesty.
These are also qualities that I am still trying to improve on, even as an adult.
I think this is the ultimate truth: we can't change others we only can change ourselves.
Great post! I arrived at your site from Amy's Finer Things. I strive to foster honesty, happiness and strength to do what they know is right. I look forward to more posts like this one! Thanks
Your daughters are so beautiful.
I hope my children always have a heart for others and know that we grow in greatness and strength thru our mistakes. I hope they will always have mercy for others and not be quick to judge, but rather see the best in people, and ALWAYS understand good intentions (in themselves and others.) I want them to love God and be able to let that show as they live their lives.
I can't wait to hear what you have in store for us. When I think about how I want my child to behave, the type of person I want him to become, and his overall character, I automatically think about how I act. Am I showing him these things? Am I treating him as I want him to treat others? You are very right to say that working on your own character is the way to shape your children's for the better.
So, what do I try to work on in myself in hopes that it will rub off on my little guy? Compassion, honesty, selfless love, strength, and kindness come to mind. I'm often a big flop, but at those times I figure that if I was perfect the shoes would be too big for him to fill. So, a little imperfection here and there hopefully lets him know that it's okay to be human...as long as you get up and try again.
My comment is unrelated, but I wanted to let you know I just discovered your blog and I look forward to checking in regularly. :)
It's going to be a fabulous weekend...I can't wait to see what you have in store.
One of the biggest qualities I try to instil in to my children is acceptance. I want my children to love people for who they are...not judge. It takes all different kinds to make this world go round, and thank goodness for that!
I let them know each and every day, they can do whatever they set their heart out to do.
I want for them to be honest, honest to others, honest to themselves. And, above all else, I want for them to know that they are loved, always.
Oh this is going to be an interesting set of posts! I can't wait to read them all! I get so humbled and, frankly, a little scared thinking about the impact of every action and word on my children.
I hope for my children to be confident and independent, yet modest and appropriately vulnerable.
I hope for my children to be kind and strong.
I hope for my children to be positive and patient, yet driven and determined.
I hope for my children to be honest and straightforward, yet tactful and compassionate...
The list could go on and on...
I hope to be positive and foster happiness, integrity and a quest for wisdom in my 3 girls!
I want to help them find our WHO they are and be confident in that. They are each so different, so unique. I want to help them be who He created them to be.
A friend put it "they are not blank canvasses for us to paint OUR picture on". It helps me to look at it that way because.
I'm excited about this theme too.
That is such a powerfully written post-A lot of people should take your example and think like this!!
Most of them think they HAVE to be perfect, but there is no such thing as perfection-Normal is perfection and that's saying a lot because normal isn't really existent either. Lol
All you can do is be positive in your approach and that's success right there!
Stephanie, this is probably one of my favorite post. Because everyday we think about how to make our kids better and we forget ourselves. It is essential that some qualities be instilled in kids at a very young age because as they grow the window of opportunity closes and then the society will wonder who raised that child.
And it all bores down to our own qualities as parents. For instance when you mentioned that article about reading more books, I wasn't too happy with myself because if my child doesnt see me reading books, i doubt she would want to pick up a book to read. I am so glad I am not the only one thinking this way.
To every mom out there, lets work on living our lives in full awareness that our kids are watching.
I can't wait to read the rest of your posts on this topic. Yes, I really notice how my little guy can be at his best (or worst) depending on me. I agree these early years are so, so important. "Sobering" and "significant" are great descriptors about parenting this age. "Daunting" comes to mind as well--and almost always "pure joy" and "wonder" :-)
Qualities I would like to nurture in my children: compassion, understanding, a love for God and others, a healthy assertiveness, generosity, a love for learning and for hard work, humor (but never at the expense of others), thankfulness, adventure, confidence, the list goes one. . . . Like I said, it can be daunting . . . but what a privilege to have this task of parenthood, inspiring us to be better people and to love large.
I totally agree and cant wait to read what you have to share. It is so obvious when I lose my patience my daughter loses hers. When I am quick tempered she is as well. Yet when I am calm and patient she (usually) finds calm and patience. It is not easy but takes daily reminding and intention!