Teaching our children

               One of my young sons just brought me some tiny stuck-together Legos to unsnap.   As I helped him, it occurred to me that he had asked for me help instead of trying it himself because I am an adult and, in his mind, more capable than he.

               But then I remembered that even as a child I used to unsnap rows of thin, tightly connected Legos for my brothers.   I guess it’s something I’ve always been good at doing.   Since I was efficient at the task, they continued letting me do it, and I was glad to help.   After all, the way my brothers treated me growing up lead me to believe that my worth–my value–was intrinsically linked to how useful I was.   That is, I felt that what I could do for others was what endeared me to them and made me worthy of them.   This harmful notion hindered me when I began dating;   coming of age, I slowly began to recognize how harmful and objectifying this view is.   No person’s worth or value should be judged by their behavior.   In a world of economic significance–checks and balances and bottom lines–it often seems that one’s abilities, skills, and character become one’s currency for material measurement.   But the interpersonal relationships that ought to be crafted between us, specifically the sacred ties of families, marriages, and intimate relationships, ought not depend on the false notion that what one has to offer determines how much one is valued.   These days, I am happy to have finally begun rejecting this notion as I endeavor to teach my children that they are intrinsically valuable and worthy, no matter what they do.   Next to imparting the principles of my faith that I hope they will accept as their own, the single most important thing I wish to teach my children is that their worth is not dependent on their behavior nor on what they can do for me, their siblings, or society.

               What is the most important thing you want to teach, or feel you have taught, your children?

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2 thoughts on “Teaching our children

  1. to answer your question,. what is the most important thing that you’ve taught your children… I believe that in all five of mine, the girls were treated the same as the three boys, in that they were told that nothing was beyond them if they wanted to try.. I also instilled in them the idea that telling lies was not a good thing either, and that to deal truthfully with all their questions was the correct way to bring them up..Although my marriage after many years did break down, I took no sides, and as a result both their dad and my current husband get along very well, and relationships are all settled and calm. Life is very hard without making it harder, so my kids all know that nothing comes without effort and as a result they have all achieved good jobs, happy relationships and an energy to succeed in life as well as relationships.. I’ve been lucky as it was all a bit of trial and error, but it worked out fine in the end***

    This blog is utterly elegant in your style of writing and you raise very interesting questions…..
    and I will be back to read more… have a super weekend.. xx

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    • What good insights into your children’s upbringing, Jeannine. Equal treatment, honesty, a good work ethic, and self discipline are wonderful values to teach children, and it sounds like you are reaping the benefits from it now that they’re grown. Thank you for visiting the blog and taking the time to leave a comment!

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