Raising a Better Future
Posted on July 07 2020
We all want our kids to be better than we were/are. Some of us want them to be happier, healthier, or more kind. However, we tend to raise our children the way that we were raised. For a few, that might not be a great model to follow.
How, then, do we raise our children to be better than we were? First, we need to realize that our parents also wanted better for us. In many ways, each generation has improved slightly, but we still have a long way to go. The evidence of this is seen every time we turn on the news or have a peek at social media. Inequality is rampant and all around us, but there are many ways that we can improve the world for the generations to come.
Teach by Example
Let your children see you being better than you were. Let them see you taking other people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions into account. Give them experiences that enrich their lives and the lives of others. Working in soup kitchens, nursing homes, and communities through volunteer service, can teach them about respect for all people regardless of their stage in life, race or age.
Teach by Learning
Let your children see what you have changed about your thinking. Be honest! Enlighten them about when and why you were wrong in thought or action. By being transparent about our false assumptions and faults, we provide our children with the ability to be ok with admitting wrongs. When you show your children that you can continue learning, you allow them to see that no one is too old to be taught or to elevate their thinking. They will forever seek knowledge and growth, which is needed in this world in order to strive for real gains for all members of society.
Teach by Sharing
Do things with them. Do not expect your children to magically start helping others if you yourself aren’t willing to put action behind your words. Create experiences where you learn together.
If there is a part of history you aren’t aware of, read a book or watch a movie with them. If you are outraged by what you are seeing by local politicians, sit with your children and write letters expressing your dismay. Teach them the voting process so they can evoke true change when they are of age to do so.
By sharing in the learning process, our children are able to view us as allies to their betterment and feel encouraged that we are striving to be better just as we want them to be.
Encourage your children to have a diverse group of friends and do your best to do the same. Making new friends as an adult may be difficult but allow your children the opportunity to interact with more than their homogenous groups. Explore parks in neighborhoods outside of your own; eat at restaurants run by different demographic groups; purchase items that are made by other cultures. Whatever you choose to do, show your children that everyone is a valued member of your community. Instead of teaching them not to see color, make them aware of differences in color. Making them aware of differences in color and how that difference can affect many areas of life will allow them to know how to properly support diverse populations.
Teach Them Responsibility
Teaching children what they are responsible for can have a significant impact; showing them they are responsible for their thoughts and actions will allow for a future of accountability. It will teach them that they won’t get everything right, but that there is honor in admitting fault and holding yourself accountable. If we are able to recognize where we go wrong, we can also put measures in place to fix our errors. This will have more impact than you realize.
There are no magic words that can teach a child to be a better human than those who came before, but the more you expose your child to opportunities to do right by others, the more you can foster that behavior. We cannot continue to repeat the past. Our present is showing us how detrimental that can be.
I don’t want my children continuing to grow in a world of chaos and hate. The only way for us to fix these issues is for EVERYONE to start at home. Teach by action, teach through love and empower them to do what’s right regardless of whether the majority is on board.
When it’s all said and done, I want my children to be the living example of all that’s good! How about you?
Until next time Kuties!