Thursday, September 30, 2010

Raising Adults

I am raising adults... not children. This statement usually gets me a few raised eyebrows. I see so many people raising children these days and then they wonder why their offspring make such poor adults. I get my share of flack because I allow my kids to say and do things that some find questionable (these being the same people who generally find me questionable so...). I know that my children are real people not puppets. They have real desires, feelings, gifts and challenges. I am not nearly as concerned by what they do or how they do it as I am WHY.

I would much rather that they question someone (even an adult) right here, right now about something if they honestly feel that what the person did was wrong then to stay silent and be polite "good" little children. I love it that they regularly whisper to me "I don't want to know what would happen if we said or did that" after witnessing other people's behavior. Or even better the times they say "thank you for disciplining that out of me" when they see peers still whining, complaining or pouting... I am not kidding.... they have really said that MANY TIMES.

On the flip side, they can be severely punished for "good" behavior if I feel like they did it for the wrong reason. I don't allow placating people who are being poorly behaved. I will make all the allowances in the world for someone who is trying and none for the people who feel entitled to them.
My kids say that I have a 15 minute answer for every 10 second question. That is because although I will occasionally use the "because I said so" it is honestly rare. I want them to think. I want them to understand why. So I take the time to talk through my decisions with them and play out the "what happens in the long run" scenario so that they understand my heart. Even if they don't completely agree with me they don't question it the next time because they know why I am saying yes or no.

Anyone who knew me when knows that I do not tolerate teasing people in any fashion for things that make them different. I do however support teasing to the point of ridiculousness about the things that we all have in common. I love comedy and I think laughter is a defining beauty in our home but never at the expense of someone else. This was a hard lesson for me as I was teased and tormented when I was young and used words as weapons myself for a long time before God really taught me this.

If you read nothing else of this babbling on READ THIS...

I know that my children are not mine. I have been given an opportunity to raise and influence two daughters of Eve and two sons of Adam. They will take what I have taught them and use it to serve themselves or the Lord. I have no control over that. That is why I am far more concerned with their heart and the why than the behavior itself. I love it that they are all so different. I only hope their true love is the same.


Tam said...

Well said. ♥

Olson Family said...

Amen. Amen! And I'll say it again -- AMEN, Sister!! Perfectly articulated. I could not have put it more eloquently!! Amy, you've spoken my heart as a mother. And, oh boy, have I ever received some serious "consequences" in some of my relationships for the way I parent! But I, too, am INCREDIBLY passionate about these 4 arrows in my quiver!! And I don't want to waste even one shot!

You know, after visiting you in August, when we were driving away all four of my children stated that your kiddos were people they wanted to get to know better... that you were the kind of family they wanted to spend more time with and be more like. (That's the first time in a VERY long time that I've heard them say that about a family they've just met!) But I believe it's because they discerned what kind of values you live and they're attracted to that.

You're such a blessing! Love you!