Monday, January 21, 2013

Taking The High Road ~ Things We Teach Our Children

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It's no surprise that children learn from observation.  They watch our every move. They hear our words, despite sometimes having selective hearing.

In essence, we as parents really are our children's role models and their first teachers in life.  This is why how we behave in front of our children is so very important.  How we behave is a large part of what we teach our children is important.

I keep thinking of what kind of person I want to raise.  I hope to do my best to raise Little One as having her own ideas, but also knowing how to interact within society even if others don't agree with her ideas. I want her to be strong, but not pig-headed. I want her to be sensitive, but not a push-over. I want her to be compassionate, empathetic, understanding, loving, and I want her to know how to stand up for herself and what she believes in. I hope we raise someone who is considerate, and most of all, respectful to others.

This sounds a bit lofty, since she's only four years old.

I was just thinking of different scenarios and how to deal with them. For example, when someone slights you or spreads vicious rumours about you (these things happen in everyone's lifetime), do we teach our daughter to take the high road or stand up for herself and say something even if the repercussions may not be positive?

Is being quiet and ignoring other people's idle thoughts or malicious rumours the perfect revenge? One can very well say that just going on with your life and paying no attention to stupidity is the best thing to do. What about putting your foot down and getting your transgressors to tell you to your face what they didn't have the gumption to say to you directly in the first place? Do we teach our daughter to stand up for what is just and right?

I am still undecided on what to teach Little One regarding how to deal with people who have slighted her. For now, she's in Junior Kindergarten, and I'm hoping I have a few more years to figure out how to prepare her for the world around her.

In the meantime, I am reminded of this great quote:

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” - Dale Carnegie
Right now, Little One is so good. She hasn't been jaded or tainted.  At this age, she's still a blank canvas, if you will. She's full of love and trust...and she believes everyone in the world has a kind heart.

Though I know we cannot protect our children from the world outside the home, we can certainly prepare them.

Wow. I know I've said this before, but parenting really is not for the faint of heart.

Fellow parents, what do you teach your children when it comes to dealing with people treating them poorly?


koala_tea said...

I don't think that taking the high road and standing up for yourself are mutually exclusive - you can take the high road by not going down to the bully's level but also make it clear that you won't stand for it. The big thing is not to stoop to the bully's level - be respectful at all times but be strong too.

Christine McN said...

Koala Tea:
THANK YOU for this. That is so true. Respect is key.

Kristen said...

Parenting is so difficult. We always want to make the right choices and want our kids to be the best people they can be. It is so hard to know what to do or say in these situations. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Love this post! I really try to keep the innocence of my children and hold onto that as much as I can...I think as we grow up, we loose that.

Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen said...

Respect is so incredibly important. #1 thing to teach children.

Elizabeth FrugalMomEh said...

We haven't exactly reached the point of teaching her anything in that way yet, but I do plan on teaching her to respect others as well as herself. What a great post!

Manager to Mom said...

That's a great question, Christine. Our kids are too young to address it directly but definitely food for thought as there isn't an easy answer to this. Like koala tea said, however, I think there is a happy medium that can be found here. Good luck!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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