Teach Them Well

9 Aug

I’ve been trying to come to terms with the unsettling fact that I cannot shield my children from the wrongs of the world – nor can I keep them from contributing to them. I’m worrying I’m not doing enough to make sure they make the right decision or react the best way when mom and dad aren’t around or watching.

Recently, two things happened to Nate that hurt his heart. Other kids caused the pain. One involved a group of kids surrounding him while repeatedly calling him a word that should not have a negative feeling/meaning attached to it but obviously they’ve been guided to think that way. We do not think that way and Nate and Nia both know that. Nate was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to respond. The other situation was because he likes a little girl who one child said wasn’t Nate’s “type.” The child said that to Nate because the girl has darker skin than Nate. Apparently, the child’s parents made him write sentences for liking a girl who wasn’t his “type.” (!) This made Nate sad. (Heck yeah it should!) He didn’t understand. I told him we don’t think that way. “Is your girl friend nice to you?” I asked him. “That’s what matters to mommy and daddy. Not what a person looks like. You like the person you want to like. Don’t worry what others say. We do not judge whether we are going to like someone because of skin color or hair color or size or teeth or …” He told me he knew and then went on to be happy about this little girlie who makes him feel special.

These are 7-year-olds. They are taught this. I can only hope our teachings speak louder to Nia and Nate than what others are taught (or not taught for that matter).

I want them to remember to be kind, caring and considerate. Protect those who need it. Consider how their words or actions affect others. Have a helping heart. To instinctively know how to react when they witness – or are the target of – a hurtful act. Don’t turn to anger first as a solution. Think through their thoughts and be smarter than the pain and hate. Apologize with an excuse. Forgive without conditions attached.

Among the kindness, I want them to be strong and stand their ground when they know it’s the right thing to do. Fight back when absolutely necessary. Make mistakes and work to fix them or do better next time. Don’t let a fear of failing – or not being 100% at something – keep them from trying. Make the best/most of things. Find the bright spot through the darkness. Don’t be bored. Savor the still moments among the adventures and appreciate the challenges and tough times because they are blessings too. Be grateful.

I think through all those hopes for them and then realize – that stuff is hard for me to do as an adult and I want my kids to remember do it? I can hardly control my own responses to things. How can I control theirs? They are going to mess up. I know I’ve had many selfish and road rage moments of regret. All I can do is teach them well and hope they hear the guidance over all the wrongs.

I will try to remember too.

6 Responses to “Teach Them Well”

  1. Melissa August 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Love this, Nikki. I wish more parents were like you and Andrew! 🙂

    • areyouzhazha August 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      That’s so very nice! We are really just doing the best we can. It’s a confusing journey at times that’s for sure.

  2. likemymamasays August 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    You are such a good mom. Such a good person. I admire you and the way you are raising such thoughtful, caring and precious children.

    • areyouzhazha August 16, 2013 at 6:40 am #

      That makes my heart so happy. Thank you. It helps to know other awesome moms and vent to them. You give great advice! 🙂

  3. Ginger August 16, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I just love how you are teaching them to be compassionate. I’m so sorry Nate is having to deal with some of these things, but it’s really a good thing. It’s good that he is opening up to you guys about it (shows that he feels comfortable bringing problems to you), and good that you’re helping him sort out how to react/respond. Like you said, you can’t shelter them forever, so it’s important to have these experiences so they can understand how to deal with them in the future. And my hope is that as Nate learns how to respond positively to this kind of stuff, other kids will see his example and learn from it too. If only all kids came from families where love, kindness and compassion were the goals!

    • areyouzhazha August 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      I’m lucky to have good friends who are incredible parents and people. It helps to keep us moving forward on what matters and focused. This junk is tough!

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