Monday, August 24, 2009

Raising Kids

Funny how we take things for granted! I know I do. Sometimes we forget or just don't think about how good we've got it or why. I have seen people in fancy homes that did not appreciate anything they had and I've seen people with very little who thought they were the luckiest people in the world. But then ... I have seen it the other way around too.

Happiness in a home is the most important thing in the world. A family that is `pleased' with each other makes for that environment. And that environment is passed on to your kids.

Money and security are important but they are not the most important. You try to have nice things but
`togetherness' is the key. This is not a perfect idea for everyone because some like being alone and independent from others. I don't understand that because it's not my way.

I don't like being away from my family and don't like any of them away from me. I believe in family closeness. Even today, I like knowing what's going on in my married kids lives .. good or bad. Molly and I are always there for our kids .. WHEN THEY ASK!

Molly and I believe we are our own best friends. I believe in friendship in marriage. When each of my three children asked for my blessing for them to marry the one they loved, all I asked was, "Do you like him (her)?" Their answer was my answer. I never asked my kids if they loved that person. Love is second to like. Love can sometimes really just be lust hiding. The young sometimes don't see that.

There are those that believe a bank account and a secure job is the highest priority to teach young people. I disagree. First you teach them pride in themselves. You teach them that they are accountable for their actions .. good or bad. If you've raised your kids to `THINK', then let them use what you taught them. If you taught your kids to be responsible, then trust them. If you taught your kids to talk and trust you, then sit down and talk to them. I'm not saying not to `step' in and help with decision making but wait till you're asked. If you've raised your child in a home with open talk, they will welcome your ideas.

This way of handling children isn't for everyone but it has worked for Molly and me. We have always had love AND discipline as the guide in our kids lives. That was when they were 4 years old, 14 years old and it will be when they are 64 years old. I hope you noticed that I used the word `GUIDE' and not rule. You see, sometimes you have to be willing to compromise or bend a little. Rebellion is a normal part of kids learning independence. How well you know your children will dictate how to bend (or at least, let them think you did). Same guide is used in `horse trading'. I'm not saying be less than honest, just careful how you present your side.

Well, by now you are probably wondering what got me off on this subject. Over the last 2 weeks I have listened to several friends talking about the mistakes they've made with raising their kids. I too, have made mistakes but like to think I learned from them. I have worked with numerous young people in my life that was having problems with their parents. And parents with their kids.

I have found over the last 30 years of dealing with folks with these types of troubles that the main problem is lack of communication. If I could pass on ONE RULE it would be, `learn to talk to your kids and let them know they can talk to you'.

Nuff said! My two-fingered typing is getting the best of me. I need to go and wrap them around a big glass of iced tea….


  1. I hate to see a rift in a family. I always want everyone to get along. Sounds like the two of you did a good job.

  2. Very true Jay. Our lifestyle has been different with one kid a special needs and my husband in a job that took him away from home 20 days a month. But communication and letting my kids know they can talk to me was a number one priority.

  3. Your method of raising your children sounds much like the way my mother raised my siblings and me. I only hope I do as well with my own children. It is hard for me sometimes to step out of the way and let them be/grow/learn on their own.