I am going to write something today that is important to me, my children. Not only mine, but yours, and others in general. I will be discussing resilience and what it means to me. I also will be adding my opinion on raising strong kids, and why today we have fagile youth. The idea is to teach your children well to develop independence, strength, problem solving skills, and great moral fiber.
This isn’t going to be a “how to do my job” manual. You are a parent, and may have been one long before me. I am not in the habit of pretending to be an expert in any field, especially raising children. On a daily basis, I screw up more times than I do well, I think.
Today, children, much like young adults just want everything handed to them. At a baseball, football game, or soccer match, if they lose, our children get a participation trophy, which is basically saying that it is not whether you win or lose, but how many free trophies you can get. Don’t worry, if you fail, we will hand what you want on a platter, so you don’t have to work so hard to try the next time. But we want them to all understand that they are all equally special right? Well, they aren’t. Everyone is equal at birth with the same God-given rights. That is it.
I am not the best basketball player in the U.S. I wasn’t even good in my early years, but I got better. I was good enough to enjoy the sport, but never enough to be a Jordan, Pippen, Miller, or Bird. Right now there are definately small children that are better than I am at it. I wasn’t best in any of the sports that I played, but I was decent and enjoyed it. I was never good at guitar, so you don’t see me playing music for a living, you see me wiring up power instumentation, and blogging. That I am good enough at to be professional. I am not going to ask a basketball player to build me a house, nor a carpenter to perform surgery. We are equal in rights, but not in skills or gifts. We are not even equal in opportunity. We have the right to persue happiness, but were never promised that we would succeed, and also never promised that we would have the right opportunities to succeed.
The point of the game is to develop a skill, work as a team, overcome adversity, and become critical, and quick, thinkers. The game doesn’t teach them to be 100% independent, but it does teach them to pull their own weight, and contribute to the team goal of winning.
Noone wants to let their children hurt themselves, believe me, I know. Now, I would stop them from pulling hot water on themselves, or climbing a 90 foot tree, but what is the harm of falling of a bike and skinning up your knee, or getting stung by a honeybee.
We need to have physically strong children. My children and I wrestle at home. We have lots of fun doing it, and fortunately have a large livingroom to do it in, without breaking stuff. It is almost inevetable with how rough we play together, that they or I am going to get hurt. It happens ALL THE TIME. Yet, they still beg me every day to wrestle with them. They take their accidental lumps, and get over it, because they are getting better, and one day they are “going to beat Daddy.” And I look forward to they day that they have that kind of strength.
If you want to succeed in any endeavor, you must be tenacious, and so should the kids. We want mentally head-strong children. When they get hurt, physically or emotionally, we need to listen to them and respect what they are dealing with, but we don’t always have to run to rix whatever problem they have. Maybe, we need to let them fix their own problems, and just be there to support them, and help wipe the dust off and send them right back into the war zone with confidence.
When pioneering in business, or other personal endeavors, we don’t want every decision that they have to make to be pawned off on us, or anyone else. They need to make their own decisions, and learn to live with the fact that these decisions impact their lives. They need to be confident enough in themselves to be able to make this type of decision. When making family decisions, we should include our children in them. They probably will not be the factor that sways us in our decisions, but at least they gain real-life experience before the weight of the outcome is directly on them. Decision making is a very important skill. When given the choice to do something, or do nothing. They should do something. You never get anywhere by doing nothing. More times than not, a poor decision is better than no decision.
Think about the people that founded this country. A good half of them died, but everyone perseveared and built one of the largest and most free nations on Earth. Many of them KNEW that things could end for them, most of them KNEW that even if they lived, that life would not be easy. They may not have know how bad it could be, and maybe they had more hope than was healthy, but that is what got it done. They DID IT. They didn’t get halfway there, get tired of their commitment, head back to Europe, and get participation trophies.
Last, but not least, is morals. We must place a sense of moral duty in our children. They should be upstanding citizens that are willing to help others, and stand up to evil. There IS evil in this world. Our children may run into it. Chances are, they will. Even our political leaders of void of a proper moral compass, so I don’t see things changing very soon.
I have always said that I want my son to be great at sports, but not to quit his endeavor for intellect so he can focus on sports. I want him to be very strong and able to beat the mess out of anyone that he needs to. But I want him to understand with that strength comes the responsibility of great moral judgement. He should never pick on those smaller, or weaker than him… physically or mentally. He should always stick up for the weaker people that are being defeated by the bullies that pick on them, first with no intention of physical confrontation, but if it turns south because he is dealing with a jerk that hasn’t learned the same lessons that I have taught him, he should be able to beat that bully to a pulp… in defense, of course. (chuckle)
As I write this, I realize some of my own shortcomings, and will probably read back what I have written and try to apply all of it to my own parenting. All this was today, was a bunch of opinion by a guy that is not parent of the year. I have failed on some, if not all of what I have discussed today, but I will constantly strive to get better, do better, and teach my children to BE BETTER than I am, than our society is, than our talking heads in government are. They are our future, and as such, deserve your hard-pressed time and attention to train them to be good people, strong people, and prepared people. I would rather have a person that is a product of what I have discussed today, than what we have today a million times over.
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