Teaching Your Children Well

Parenting is not an easy job, but we take it on with a commitment and passion that is unrivaled.  We bring our children into the world with all of our heart and soul.  We embrace them, love them, shelter them, and snuggle them so they will feel safe and secure as they begin their journey in the world.  As our children get older much of our time is spent making sure they are provided for.  We shop, cook, clean, work, and save for their future.  We put boundaries around them so they begin to understand right from wrong, good from bad, and get them ready to move toward whatever their destiny demands of them.  In all of the demands child-rearing places on parents one thing that often gets overlooked is teaching them how to make the world around them a better place. 

Robert F. Kennedy, in talking about the contribution that people must make for the betterment of society, says; “History will judge you, and as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, in the extent to which you have used your gifts and talents to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow men. In your hands lies the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit.”  In order to fulfill the best qualities of our own spirit we must learn how to give of our personal resources and ourselves to others.  To truly invest in the future of our children we must also invest in our communities and the community programs that provide for our children.  Additionally, to support our children’s future we must also teach them how to give back to their community.  Giving back means more than just working in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It’s also more than just giving thoughtful gifts.  It’s about returning something to society so society has more resources to support its members.

As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children that there is an explicit connection between the welfare of the individual, the family and the community.  The philosophy of giving back to the community not only creates social awareness, but is also starting to create a new kind of social entrepreneur.  Young people today are learning how to solve problems in their community through such ventures as Kaboom, a nonprofit organization that links communities and corporate donors to build safe and accessible neighborhood playgrounds, the Teach for America movement that focuses on how low-income children can have access to equal education, and the City on a Hill Charter School that uses a community collaborative model that encourages Boston youth to give back to their community upon graduation.  These are just a few of the organizations, run by young entrepreneurs, teaching kids that they can make a difference.

Perhaps the most important job we have as parents is to be role models.  By encouraging our children to be socially aware they will instinctively react to their environment in order to make it a better place to live.  Take 11 year old Chelsea, for example, who placed boxes in the hallways of her school to recycle newspapers.  Her parents recycled at home and Chelsea saw the need to do the same at school.  Her project was so highly acclaimed that it was adopted throughout her entire school district.  Or ten year old Robert who noticed that money in his neighborhood was being collected for the homeless and for children but not for homeless animals.  With his parents support he began to raise money for the Companion Animal Rescue League and found out that $20 could take care of an animal for as long as one month.  As Kennedy says, you will ultimately judge yourself, in the extent to which you have used your gifts and talents to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow men.  To this end, the true meaning of giving begins at home as we teach our children that we live in an interactive world that requires us all to participate and give in order to thrive.  When we effectively teach our children about giving back to the community we teach our children well.

Two Minute Articles for Parents0 comments

Leave a Reply