Don’t Mess With the Mother (Part 2)


I posted last week about a fruit-seller who was determined that her daughter get an education so she could make something of her life, and some of you emailed me to say you hoped I’d say more about the matter. Well, here’s more. Smile (It’s also kind of a follow-up on my last post: You Never Know with Kids.)

I think a key factor in raising kids (or any kids within your influence) is intention.

There’s a longstanding debate about what parenting styles are best (witness, most recently, the “Tiger Mum” issue), but speaking broadly (and I’m sticking out my neck here), I’d say how you go about raising your kids is not as important as what you would have them become. Especially if you’re the mother.

I say that because those who seem to be doing the best at parenting are those who are very clear what they want to accomplish. The methods may change, but the focus doesn’t. When there’s a focus. (Which isn’t to say they succeed wildly, but they probably stand better chances.)

You may say, “Of course I want good children!” I’ll ask what you mean by “good.” And no, you don’t get to define it in terms of what they’ll have, or what you’ll give them, or even what experiences they will go through. It has to be clear in your mind what you want them to become.

So, if you could pick only 3-5 values you wanted to pass on to your kids, which would you pick? The fruit-seller’s included education. I’m single and don’t have kids yet, but mine would be integrity, curiosity, kindness & passion.

What are yours?

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