|We always knew that our ultimate|
job was to raise our children so they
would be ready to leave home...
and to prepare ourselves so
we could handle it when they did
A positive note!
After yesterday's negatives!
Hopefully you will be able to glean something from the things we somehow managed to do right.
- Taught them about Heavenly Father and Jesus
- Taught them about the importance of families
- Taught them about making choices and the consequences of their choices
- Taught them about prayer and repentance
- Taught them to see and appreciate the beauty of nature---even bugs and weeds
- Apologized to them when we made a mistake, because we did (and do) make mistakes
- Corrected a decision we made if we over-reacted or reacted too quickly and made the wrong decision (like grounding them for life)
- Tried to be consistently consistent
- Established rules and enforced them
- Respected, taught respect, and expected respect
- Attended 78 back-to-school nights and every other school function
- Supported their games and activities
- Did not have double standards
- Did not bribe
- Expected obedience
- Had them pay for their own auto insurance and gasoline when they started to drive
- Had them pay the extra expense if they wanted a higher priced item than we were going to provide for them (for example: we provided enough money for decent, functional "tennis" shoes as they were called in those days----If they wanted a nicer, fancier pair they used their own money to make up the difference
- Assigned chores to be done as their contribution to the family unit
- Provided "jobs" they could do for pay when they needed extra money
- Never asked them to lie for us for any reason (including "tell them I'm not home" types)
- Gave them permission to say "My parent's would kill me if I did that" in any situation they were uncomfortable with, for an easier way out (It wasn't a lie since we had given blanket permission; we just became the "bad guys")
- Set limits and curfews as necessary
- Had a plaque hanging on the inside of the front door with the reminder Return With Honor
- Always let our babysitter or children know where we were going and when to expect us home, and left a contact phone number when possible.
- Called our babysitter or kids if our location/plans changed or we were going to be home later than expected
- Said I love you frequently
- Tried to criticize the act and not the child
- Never withheld love when angry
- Realized that our kids were not perfect, and did not take their side when they were wrong
- Went to bat for our kids when they had been wrongly accused or taken advantage of
- Encouraged them to discuss problems and concerns with us
- Tried to be forthright and fair when they did come to us
- Worked very hard to not compare one with another nor discuss one with another. We can honestly say that we never said "Why can't you be like your..." or "act like your..."
- Kept promises
- Tried very hard to never make a threat we weren't willing to follow through with
- Downplayed the monetary aspects of gift-giving occasions
- On occasion, when we didn't feel good about a gift they wanted even if it was in line price-wise, we gave them money so they could purchase it themselves. Sometimes, with money in hand, they decided the original want was not worth it...and other times it was really what they wanted and they bought it
- Never made demands on them for visits or holidays, etc. when they married
- Encouraged them as newlyweds to start their lives a distance from their parents so they would learn to be a couple who relied on each other----and were a couple distinct from being viewed as "such and such's child and their spouse"
As they were growing up, we never forgot, not let them forget, that we were the parents. We never tried to be peers. We were not afraid to be disliked for our decisions.
We strive, however, to live so they will never be disappointed by our actions.