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Friday, March 08, 2013

When You Love A Child Get Involved

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What in the world could be more valuable than a child? They are our future, our treasure, and our present responsibilities. What is the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?” Too many people forget that too much of the time. I understand. Life can be hectic. It’s a rat race out there. The economy sucks. Work is a pain. The old ball and chain can be a hassle.

But none of that matters to a child, and what does it matter 30 years from now if you’re late on a bill this week or month? What does it matter, on the other hand, 30 years from now, if you’re late giving the child guidance when they need it or affection when they require it?

A late bill means you pay a late fee, or you have some momentary stress with which to deal. A pink slip at work means that you get a new job or collect unemployment momentarily. However, screw up with a child then the damage can be permanent, and can have ramifications for generations. You don’t even have to go to extreme instances of ignored or hurt children like Columbine. How many kids today grow up to develop addictions or poor relationship skills.

Who wants their child to grow up to be miserable?

So how do we properly raise our children? What can we do for them? What’s the answer? There’s no stock answer, but we start by spending some quality time with what should be the most valuable things in our lives, our kids. A hug now and then doesn’t hurt either.

Kids are fairly easy to figure out. They need attention, reassurance, and guidance. They also need to be educated and taught. All of this can only be accomplished with time, love and attention.

Many parents set themselves up for serious disappointments with high expectations. Too often, parents have lofty expectations for their children and then do little to help their kids meet those expectations. They demand straight A’s on report cards but don’t help them study, make school fun for their kids or make sure they do their homework. They insist that kids do their chores and keep their room immaculate. Nonetheless, they don’t follow-up on them or take care of their own chores. They set goals for kids that they wanted to achieve but never did. “My son will play baseball and be a star’ or ‘My daughter will be a beauty queen or a Doctor.”

Yet they never bother to ask the child if they have any interest in such endeavors, they simply throw their child into a starring role in their own dreams. To nurture and raise our children properly, we must meet them, learn who they are, come to understand them and help them to meet their own goals. You have to get involved with your child, not get your child involved in your dreams or your problems.

The greatest cure for a child’s stress or problems is a hug, a game played with Mom or Dad, or some simple quality family time. However, too often in today’s world, our children are catapulted into adulthood with little or no preparation, and too much exposure to adult problems like drug abuse, physical and mental abuse and alcoholism, drug abuse and substance abuse by young adults has been a serious problem in America in particular for many years. President Regan and his First Lady, Nancy Reagan, instituted a policy called “Just Say No” in the early 1980’s to help combat this issue, so this is not a new problem. Substance abuse at an early age can ruin a child’s entire life. In many cases if not most cases, substance abuse starts in the home.

This doesn’t mean that every teen with a substance abuse problem has a parent with a drug abuse problem, though that is often the case. Young adults with seemingly normal families, with parents who don’t have a substance abuse problem can still get hooked on drugs or can be afflicted by alcoholism at an early age. Why? Because parents, once again, often don’t talk TO their children, they talk at or around them.

The best way to raise a child is to get involved with their lives. By doing that, we affect every decision that they make in a positive way. This doesn’t mean yell at them or keep on them or ride them, so you feel that you’re fulfilling the job of a parent. You have to be a parent, and a friend, and a mentor. You can only do this if you can talk to your children. If you can listen to them, understand them, and RELATE to them, not simply tell them what they must do.

Enjoy your children and remember that you still need to instill discipline in them and you and your child will be all right. Make no mistake, this isn’t easy. It’s a fine line that has to be traveled, and it takes a great deal of effort, but what in the world could be worth more effort than a child?

Play games with them, read books to and with them, discuss what they watch and what they do, and without being a dictator, explain to them what is acceptable for them and what is unacceptable for them so as they grow, they will learn how to make sound decisions for themselves. After all, that is our job as parents, it’s not to make decisions FOR them, but to teach them how to make smart decisions for themselves, so we can trust them to do so as they enter the world on their own, because sooner or later, they will.

The only way that we can do that is by learning who our kids are. With time, effort, devotion, and unconditional love, we can perform our most valuable function in life; we can be loving parents and role models for our children to follow. What on Earth could be more rewarding than that?

Posted by 12mimi22 on 03/08 at 09:14 PM | Permalink
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