Tomorrow morning I'm speaking at a church moms' group, and it should be a great opportunity.
It's not a large group, but it's local, and I don't have to drive far, which is nice. I seem to spend my life in cars driving to speaking engagements these days.
Anyway, what I want to focus on is "what are you preparing your kids for?". So often we focus on getting through today--making sure the kids don't beat each other up, tear the cat's fur out, set anything on fire, or run out of the house naked.
So our lives are spent trying to avoid the small fires. We'll do whatever we can to keep them busy--put them in front of video games; let them watch the TV; or separate the siblings constantly so they don't fight, instead of focusing on how to help them work things out.
I think what helps is a bit of a mind-switch: we need to realize that we are raising families, not children. Your kids will not always be kids. One day they will be adults. And the kind of adults they will be depends upon how you raise them now. Focus on the future.
I like to say that the best gift you can give your future daughter-in-law is a son who cleans toilets. He will be a catch indeed! And if he can make a lasagna, too, she'll be in heaven.
So do your kids have a chance to learn necessary skills? Are you teaching them delayed gratification, or do you focus more on distraction if they get miserable? Are they forced to get along with their siblings, or do you let them watch television in their own rooms? Do your kids know how to handle money? Even a 4-year-old can be taught the importance of saving for something.
Anyway, that's the theme of what I'll be saying. We just went out now to buy Daddy a birthday present, and the girls paid with their own money that they earned. That's good. That's the way it should be. Now I have to go pack my props for tomorrow!
Labels: chores, parenting, saving, spending