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5 Things We Forget When It Comes to Teaching Our Youth

As adults we tend to forget about our weaknesses when teaching children.  We don't always get it right when we make life decisions.  People get angry with us too and expect us to "stay focused," "do a good job," and "don't get into any trouble."  With so many marriages ending in divorce, children born out of wedlock, job terminations, alcohol and drug use impairing good judgment, sexual diseases, and despicable media negatively impacting our communities, we can't always get it right no matter how hard we try at times.  So keep this in mind before you come down hard on children.

One.  Some relatives who we admired were not always wise and may have had personality disorders.

You may not want to tell your children about your "business," or someone else's, but there were some things about favorite relatives that just wasn't right whether you know it or not.  Some family members had (or still have) personality disorders and sometimes those mental issues get in the way of sound judgment.  For instance, consider how angry some were when it came to relationships and parenting children, how they treated others outside the home, the time they spent doing wicked things, or controlling behaviors they exhibited.  Sometimes disturbing personality traits are carried over into the next generation.

Two.  You didn't always tell the truth or practice what you preach.

As much as we would like to believe we are perfect, we are not.  Oftentimes, your children and other individuals see where you don't always do what you say.  Some parents get mad when their offspring call them out on their foolishness, but why get mad?  You did it, so speak truth--don't make excuses, and work not to do it again.

Three.  You most likely are the reason why your children and others don't respond positively to you.

Sometimes what we believe are the children's faults are really our issues.  We tend to project what we are going through on to others and think that there are no consequences.  So take a moment and ask yourself, "How am I contributing to this problem (whatever it might be) when it comes to my children or does it really have anything to do with them?"

Four.  You aren't respectful of others' time and energy every now and then.

You may have heard, "You have to give respect in order to receive it."  So if you are often tardy to events, do a lot of excuse-making, and do other things that make people feel uneasy when they have spent their time and energy for you, is it any wonder why your children have little regard for what you do for them?

Five.  Sometimes you make mistakes and don't learn from them.

We all expect children to learn from their mistakes, but are we?  How many people do you have to sleep with before you come to the conclusion you need time alone?  How much debt must you accumulate before you realize you need to stop spending so much money?  How many lies do you have to tell, before you think, "I should stop lying."

Teach children by not only talking about all the successful things you have done, but what about those failures?  Explain to them why it is so important to avoid as many bad decisions as you can and hopefully they just might do better as a result.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men and provides spiritual insight here.


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