“To educate a person in mind and not morals is to educate a menace to society.”
As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children values and ideals that will help them become responsible human beings who will be a not only grow up to be responsible adults but also hold respect for others and be an asset to society. However, the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how diligent we are in raising our children and teaching them the values we believe will make them honest, kind and considerate adults, the decision to carry those values with them throughout life is up to them. All you can do is equip them to handle real situations and hope they’re strong enough to face life’s challenges
I was raised with values that would make me the epitome of society but along the way, there were distractions and my moral development suddenly became overshadowed by the realities of life. Given your own pitfalls, it’s hard teaching your children values because deep down inside know the truth. That despite your instilling in them values which you think will make them more responsible; you know they will still come home at midnight when you told them to be home at 10 and still succumb to peer pressures even though you’ve told them that in 10 years, being accepted by the popular kids in school won’t matter. That failing one exam in High School isn’t the end of the world because life will give them many opportunities to succeed.
My daughters think I have eyes in the back of my head or a crystal ball. When I, quote, unquote as they put it, lecture them, they think I don’t understand what they’re going through. But I do! I do understand. I was never home on time. I did succumb to peer pressure because I wanted to be a part of the popular crowd and before coming into my own, back when I thought the world owed me something, I tossed everything that I was taught growing up out the window. My attitude was, “what’s the point in being honest, kind, considerate when the world didn’t share my same values?” And yes I did fail a few exams in high school and thought my world was coming to an end and that my teacher was the devil!
What my daughters don’t understand is. I’ve been 22. I’ve been 18. BUT, they’ve never been 48 so I beat them in experience. I’ve been there, done that sometimes even twice. Nothing they are experiencing now is new to me, their experiences may be on a different level than my own given the gap in years but I can guarantee the basics of their experience are the same. Looking back it makes me cringe at the thought of how much time was wasted on trivial things that paled in comparison to what came later. The advice I give them now is, don’t sweat the small stuff, save your energy and tears for the big stuff waiting on the road head.
©Etta D. Richards