Monday, February 6, 2012

Because I Would End Up as a Didactic Mother...

Making the assumptions that I am going to find someone later on in life, get married, create a family, and have a successful life, I have certain lessons I want to teach my children.   Obviously, teaching my children how to use the toilet properly and to remember to eat their vegetables are already required in the manuscript for motherhood (or... they would be if there was a complete manuscript on how to be a good mother).   I can't exactly predict that my children will be the epitome of perfect, angelic children nor can I assume that they will have all the good morals and values that society tries to instill in them... so I definitely have to be prepared to repetitively teach my children certain lessons in life.   I want to teach my children six, very important, precepts:  honesty, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, humility, and empathy. 

The first, honesty, is a given.  You are taught from the moment of vocal discovery that honesty is the best policy. Not a lot of parents advocate lying and dishonesty (however, as a lot of us have figured out, adults have found a way to diverge from telling the truth, and in defense, claiming that it's for the right reasons).   I want to teach my children the importance of honesty and always telling the truth.  I need to remind them, however, that there is a fine line between honesty and rudeness.   Honesty is when you're being asked something and you simply state your opinion or what you believe in.

Person #1: "Do you think I should stay with my boyfriend?"
Person #2: "No, I don't.  He's not good for you, he's a jerk, and I honestly don't believe he's the 'one.'"

Rudeness is when you don't filter your mind and you simply just state whatever you want, disregarding the fact that it may hurt the ones around you who simply just don't want to know.

Person #1: "I bought this dress the other day. I love it so much on me!"
Person #2: "Frankly, you look fat. And it doesn't suit you and it's ugly.  And your closet really needs to change soon."

As seen from the latter example, there is a line between being honest and being blunt. I want to teach my children the importance of honesty, but the dangers and bad intentions brought with frankness. 

Kindness and generosity kind of go hand in hand.   I want to teach my children that being kind and nice to everyone around them is important to leading a good life.  "Treat others as you would want to be treated."  Isn't that what kindergarten teachers kept telling us over and over again whenever we pulled someone's hair or called each other names? It's not like they were trying to be annoying.  The 'Golden Rule" has merit in it and it's something I want to instill in my hypothetical, future children.  Be nice to others... you would want them to be nice to you too, right?  Makes sense.  The Golden Rule also applies to generosity.  I was taught at a young age to give more than I received - that when I died, I had given more to people than I have received from them.  Giving overrules receiving any day.  My children (my beautiful, perceptive, future children) will be instilled with the value of generosity.  I want them to give not just things that they have, but give love and happiness to everyone.  I don't mean to go all hippy on you, but it's true.  If you're able to give your heart and happiness to others, you are able to spread a great thing into society. 

Forgiveness is a very hard precept to teach and it's a hard one to learn.  Children and adults a like have trouble conforming to the conclusion of 'forgiveness,' especially when it deals with things deemed as 'unforgivable' in today's society.   This will probably be the hardest value to teach my children, but I know it will be the most rewarding. 

I was always taught to be humble - to never show off and boast about what I have, who I'm with, and what I've done.  Obviously, I have had a couple slips due to excessive pride, but for the most part, I have done my best to apply what my parents have taught me.  I want to do the same for my children.  I want to teach them the importance of being humble; of being simplistic and modest.  And I want to remind them that being humble doesn't deserve a prize in the end - it is just looked at in admiration. 

The last precept, and probably the most important one, is empathy.  It's a simple concept that people tend to forget or misinterpret.  Empathy is defined as "The ability to understand and share the feelings of another." It doesn't mean to just stare at a poor person and feel sympathy.  It doesn't mean to just "aww" at the starving children in Africa. It means to understand what the people around you are going through.  I want my children to understand that they are not the only beings in this world - that it doesn't revolve around them, their friends, or their possessions.  I want them to know that when a friend is having trouble with a math problem and asks for help, they shouldn't get frustrated because it is "so easy."  I want them to understand that everyone is different and that they need to be reminded that everyone has trouble sometimes and that it needs to remind them, my children, of where they're from and who they are. 

I don't want to write anymore. Good-bye! :3

No comments:

Post a Comment