Children are a great gift but also a great responsiblity. You, as parents, are responsible for how your child acts, no matter what. If your child misbehaves at school, it isn’t the teacher’s fault, it’s your child and you. If your child steals a car, it isn’t society’s fault, it is yours and the child.
As parents, we are responsible for providing our children with not only a moral compass but understanding of the world, and themselves. We should encourage them to think for themselves, follow their passions, sing when the moment takes them, and appreciate the world around them. To this end, our family has engaged in subliminal programing so that our children will be able to contribute to the world around us.
To understand that good people can and should be hated, we introduced them to Ja Ja Binks.
My kids know what tribbles are!
My children understand that no matter how a car looks, or what color it is, it is what is underneath that is most important. The same applies to people.
To make them understand fear, we let them watch Dr. Who and see the Weeping Angels.
So that our children realise that winning takes more than just taking part, we don’t let them win that often. This also means that when they do win, my wife and I can claim that we let them…. even if we didn’t. Let’s just say Mario Cart is the great humbler!
We explain that there is very little that is boy or girl only. Boys can like Barbie cars, girls can like Star Wars. We cannot limit them because we were limited growing up.
If our one son says he wants to marry a Hummer, we don’t laugh. We do laugh when our other son says that he can’t because the Hummer won’t cook for him.
We call our kids names, tease them, make them understand that being called a name really doesn’t matter. They return the favour with us and we all laugh. Well most of us, most of the time….
The future is going to be very computer intensive. There are computers everywhere and there will be more in the years to come, so we aren’t going to tell our children to not go online. We tell them that we trust them, we keep an eye and ear on what they are looking at and we encourage them to do things online. There are million websites that allow children to build, play, race, and learn about life.
We are honest about life with our children. We don’t pretend life is always good, that they will get whatever they want. We explain as best we can any questions they ask. We told the truth when our cat was put down. We have explained (in very generalized, none graphic or descriptive ways) how babies are made. We have even explain the difference between over steer and under steer.
We watch motor racing and have favourite drivers so our children know that you can’t win every time. This is a hard lesson to learn when someone like Sebastian Vettal but a lot easier when it is Kimi Raikkonen on a wet track.
We make our kids responsible. When they do something wrong, there are consequences. It can be hard to enforce the consequences some times but if we don’t, what will stop them from doing it again? Other than we run out of cans of paint?
We let our children try what they want. This results in one child who wants mussels, calamari and salmon while the other wants pizza and hot dogs.
We kiss our children each day and tell them that we love them whenever we get the chance. It helps balance our those moments when we are threatening to take them to Walmart and leave them, or threaten to beat them like a rented mule (does anyone know where we can rent a mule?).
We laugh a lot. We are silly. We don’t make big issues out of small problems. As long as we are all healthy, safe and happy, stickers on windows, marker on walls, Lego underfoot aren’t that bad. Well maybe not the Lego underfoot.
Every family will raise their children differently. All children will turn out uniquely. It just so happens that our children will probably be more unique than all the others!