Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Raising Children: "Ahah!" Moments ...

You always wonder if you are raising your kids the right way. Am I teaching them the right things? Am I too strict? Am I not strict enough? The list of wonders and worries can go on and on. It is a tough job raising kids and it is one of the most important jobs in the world --in my opinion. You are setting the stage for who they will be for rest of their lives. No pressure right?

Well I am trying to raise smart, savvy, loving and compassionate children. I don't want my kids to just be good followers, who just go along with the crowd. I want them to question the world around them, to seek answers and understanding, and to be amazed by the wonderful world in which we live. I want them to see how they, and the decisions and choices that they make, impact the world. I don't want my children to just blindly accept the information that they are given. Granted, this approach to parenting makes my job as a parent a bit harder: I can't just say "I'm the parent, now do as I say period." all the time and that's the final word. I reserve this for special circumstances. And as they grow and mature, I have to adjust my parenting style. So it is an ongoing process.

While parenting is a tough job: you do occasionally have moments where you can actually see the "fruits of your labor" in the words and actions of your children. I had one of these just the other day.

My children's school has its big annual fund raising event in April. They have items donated from school families, individuals, and businesses to auction off at a big dinner event. They also sell all kinds of raffle and other tickets. One of the tickets that they were selling this year was a "free dress" pass -- this is our first year at the school, so I don't know if they've done this in previous years. Anyway, the school has a required uniform dress code everyday and they only allow a few dress free (less than 10 total) days for the entire school year. So a "free dress" day is a big deal for the kids.

The tickets for a free dress pass were selling for $5.00 a piece. When I asked my oldest about purchasing a ticket she expressed her concern that many students attend the school on need-based scholarship and have large families. She was concerned that these students would not have the means to purchase a free dress pass and that they might feel left out on the "free dress" day. So she questioned whether it was right to sell the free dress passes and she did not want to buy one for this reason. She talked her sisters out of biuying one too.

Talk about an "Ahah!" moment! I was so proud of my daughter. I guess that some of what I'm doing is helping to shape a wonderful human being after all. Praise God! So even though you don't always get immediate feedback parents: hang in there! You're doing a great job! And in an unsuspecting moment you're sure to see some glimmer of hope just like I did.

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