Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kids

For the last few days I have been thinking a lot about kids.  How they are raised. How they behave differently than they did when I was a kid. How I want my kids to be when they are adults.  Today my neighbor told me that I had "trained" my son well, then quickly corrected himself and said I was "raising" him well.  I think he had it right the first time. You see we do train - we train our children so that they automatically do things.  Let me explain.
When I was a kid my parents trained me to say "please" and "thank you." I was trained not to lie - even if it meant I would be in trouble. I was trained to never show up to a family dinner empty handed and to help clean up afterwards. I was trained to respect my elders (I would never even think of cursing in front of my grandmother).  I was trained to work for what I wanted and not to expect anything to be given to me.  I was trained to treat others the way that I wanted to be treated.  And the list could go on.  So now, as an adult I say "Please" and "thank you." I say "sir" and "ma'am" and I work. And every now and them I will hear my dad telling me, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" or "if they are talking about you they are leaving someone else alone." 

And I train my children. I train my children not to lie..and I hear my mother telling me, "you may be in trouble, but you will be in a lot less trouble if you tell the truth" and I repeat those words to my children.  I train my children to treat others the way they want to be treated and to work for what they want.  I have trained them to say "please" and "thank you" and we are still working on the "sir" and "ma'am."  And my son works...he doesn't expect for things to be given to him. So when he wants new things he asks for chores to do and he tells his friends he can't play because he has to "earn money." 

Every day I work to be a good parent. I do not do things exactly like my parents did and I make lots of mistakes, but the one thing I do right every day is I love them.  And hopefully as they grow into adults they will take those things I have tried to teach them and pass them on to their children..and train them in a similar way.