It is our responsibility to teach our children. Most of us know that on a deep internal level. But what shall we teach them? In this age of relativism and DNA awareness, what truths will we send forth into our family trees?
I urge all of you to write your own list of values that you would like to pass on. What do you think is essential for future generations? What truth or knowledge has helped you tremendously in life? What raises your passion, your sure loyalty and energy to defend? What do you hope your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be like?
Working on a list will strengthen your resolve and equip you to be intentional in how you behave and what you say. It will strengthen you to do things even when you don't feel like it. It will help you to do things for the next generation that no one did for you. It will help you to be your best self.
My list includes modeling kindness and teaching my children to respect others. Not the type of respect that is modeled by the world--not a kind of respect that depends on power or performance. I have wanted my children to understand on a deep level that they are special and unique, and so is every other human being. Respect among equals is powerful and lovely; I want my children ready to find and keep such relationships.
I want my heirs to know that there are situations in which they need to stand up for themselves, because some people will unknowingly step on their personal set of boundaries and need to be taught the limits of those boundaries. I also want my young sheep to be wary of the wolves in the world, who are prone to be controlling or abusive. I want them to respect that those people are choosing a lifestyle that is toxic to others around them. I want my children to respect themselves enough to stay away from poisonous relationships.
What is something that would be on your list? Give it thought. It could make a huge difference in the years to come.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Teaching Our Children
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Lovely post!. Values and morality are the foundation for a child's healthy upbringing and lifestyle. I grew up in an environment where being truthful was and is my first duty to myself and to my god. As a mother I aspire to see similar qualities bud in my child. Thank you for this wonderful piece that makes us aware of what we should be and do to see positive characteristics grow strong in our children, especially in times today when the society is undergoing changes contantly.
Thank you, Barkha.
You wrote,"Being truthful was and is my first duty to myself and to my god." I love these words. Being truthful is not always easy, but it is essential for an upright life. When we are dishonest to ourselves with denial or minimization, we harm ourselves and our family. It allows the status quo of abuse to thrive--and thereby harms everyone involved. It is not loving to lie to ourselves.
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