Parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job any of us will ever have. But good parenting is not easy to come by and we see the results of bad parenting every day in the news. And even for those of us who had great role models growing up; when we approach our own children and the myriad of skills that parenting demands, the task can seem overwhelming. The fact that you are here says that you want to be the best possible parent for your children and you are looking for ways to become that great parent.<!
I was fortunate to have some pretty great role models around me. The members of my family and extended family were some pretty good upright and moral people, not without some very real challenges. They taught me through their struggles that there are no excuses, and challenge just means using our resources to get where we want to go.
My father was a holocaust survivor who spent six years in concentration camps with terror, death and starvation the reality that surrounded him. Taken to the camps at the young age of 17, he lost his entire immediate and extended family except for two cousins. Fortunately he had an uncle in America who brought him to this country and his home after the war.
Certainly my father had every excuse in the world to remain bitter and angry after the war. Going through such an experience definitely embeds within a person, excruciating pain and suffering. However rather than choosing to focus on his inner pain, he chose to work hard, rebuild and love again. I feel his warmth, respect and love to this day, even a good several years after his passing.
So having good role models was a blessing, but my models were those who had also dealt with suffering and pain. This gave me sensitivity to suffering and the ability to understand that challenges although sometimes painful, often make us better people. This is important for us to understand as we venture out into our parenting journey.
As we parent out precious children we hear a myriad of voices calling out to us to parent and discipline according to many and varied methods. Some will adhere to certain principles or mentors while others will emphasize the psychological effects of too much or too little of this and that.
Many of these methods and theories are based on solid and sound principles that have data and research behind them. There is much to learn and glean from many of them.
However, sometimes in our zealousness to promote a certain method or tool we can overlook the most important aspect of parenting which is to transfer solid values to our children. Why is this vitally important? Because there are so many voices out there that the world has become a confusing place. There are tantalizing trinkets that attract our children as they pass through the market place of life.
How are we able to ensure that our children choose noble pursuits and stay away from undesirable influences? It can only be through the powerful messages that our children receive at home. When the home voice is well thought out and clear it immunizes our child to a great extent and allows him/ her to make good choices.
Many years ago Nancy Reagan, first lady during Ronald Reagan’s reign as president in the 1980’s launched her famous campaign “Just Say No.” Her support for an anti-drug program which aimed to give teens the tools to be able to resist peer pressure to take drugs was encapsulated by this statement that became an inspiring slogan to the youth at that time.
How did this slogan come about? While visiting an elementary school in California, a young school girl asked Ms. Reagan what to do if she was offered drugs. Nancy Reagan responded. “Just say no.” Many “just say no” clubs formed across the US where young people made pacts not to experiment with drugs.
Although it may be simplistic to say that this slogan was the only significant cause in the reduction of drug use, research tells us that drug use actually declined in the 1980’s. Clear messages do make a difference! So it is important for parents to be the loud voice that guide children to make wise decisions, even when their parents are not there to supervise them. Today, it is folly to leave this to chance.
Every Kid Insights believes that the home should be the single most powerful influence in a child’s life. This is a formidable but privileged task for today’s parent. We truly hope that you can find something to help you on your parenting journey and enjoy the articles on this site.
In addition the Every Kid books were made with the intent to help parents teach strong values to their children. Look over the articles on this site and let me know what topics you would like to hear more about. Please feel free to comment or share your thoughts below. Looking forward to hearing from you and sharing your parenting journey!