"Don't Put that in your Mouth" and More Worthwhile Parental Advice
Can you recall the person who offered you valuable advice at a critical junction in your life? Do you remember foundational bits of wisdom that someone taught you at an early age that later guided you through some difficult decisions? As parents, we have influence over our children and we must take that responsibility very seriously. In many ways your children will be the unique people they were designed to be but in many ways they will also reflect the life you have lived before them. That’s true whether they decide to reject your life choices or emulate them.
The good news about parenting is that you don’t need to be perfect. Your children can learn from your openness about mistakes you have made just as easily if not more easily than from what you’ve done right. Own both of them. They are what make you human. Advice that has been learned the hard way is generally well-respected and taken to heart because it costs you something to reveal what happened to you and why.
Exercising Values is designed to help us build a strong foundation of values under our children in a way that is easy to accept. Each character quality gives us time to reflect on how we have demonstrated or not demonstrated that quality. It jolts us to remember painful moments in our lives where we could have done better but it also reminds us of bullets dodged because we acted on principles. Never feel that you must pretend to be something you are not but let your children know the direction you are trying to go. Let them know that you care about being an honorable, helpful and admirable human being. Let them know that you support them in their own journey not out of never ending success but out of understanding the struggle.
My advice to you this day is that if you would like God to guide your life in general then begin each day by asking him to guide that day. If you’d like to be sure that you spend time with your children, in general, then spend some special time with them today. If you want someone to know that you love them then live showing it and take time to say it.
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