Raising Kids Someday

I read this interesting article the other day on the milestones that matter most when we’re raising our children and how different things are valued in different cultures.

Now, surely you all know by now that I’m a patriotic person, but I think we’re doing something wrong in this country. Well, I think we’re doing a lot wrong, but I’ll not pontificate in this post – just stick to one thing at a time…

I realize I’m saying this as someone who hasn’t parented yet, so I’m acknowledging that. However, I’ve been very active in the lives of a few of my nephews and niece and was old enough to be a force in my little brother’s life when he was a kiddo. I also started babysitting at 12, so I’ve spent plenty of time around kids affecting their lives.

I think we put the emphasis on the wrong things here in the good old U.S. of A. I couldn’t care less if your kid can read at four. But if they can show compassion, thoughtfulness, and ingenuity, that’ll definitely get my attention.

Take my nephew Ayuba for an example. He’s a great student and athlete, but what I really value about him is his sense of humor, his compassionate heart, his thoughtfulness, his insight, that he’s becoming really good at showing appreciation, that he’s socially aware – all things that have to do with skills that make him a great person, not just a great student and athlete.

The other day my sister was at work and her boyfriend was home with my niece Farrah and Ayuba. Her boyfriend started suffering from really bad back spasms so Ayuba took over Farrah duty by feeding her, changing her, and getting her down for her nap. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many other nine year olds in our society who could step up and care for a nine month old like that. I value that about him more than anything else!

So here’s my plan:

  • Talk less to my kids and lead more my example like my dad did when he was teaching me softball or mom did when I watched her cook
  • Expect more from my kids and empower them to take action and do things for themselves whether they’re told to or not
  • Foster emotional intelligence by helping my kids to understand how to be socially and emotionally aware
  • To do their best in all endeavors including, of course, school

What are your thoughts on that article?

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