I’m sure you’re thinking, okay what somewhat reasonable person born and raised in the South, specifically in Texas, thinks that this is at ALL a good thing to teach your children. Like how would my daddy and mom, and my Paw Paw and Gram be okay with this character trait, or lack there of, that I am bestowing on their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Simple. Follow along for a walk through my brain of this thing called parenting that I’m taking my best shot at and sometimes fall flat on my face along the way.
I look at my children as tiny adults and take my job very seriously in helping them grow up. Now that I have 2 preteens we do a lot more explaining and I step back to see how their character has developed. This can be via my oldest son’s choice to lead a junior wrestler in the right way, my daughter choosing to stand for herself and for those who cannot and so much more.
I recognize they are still children. I am always just behind them watching, waiting, critiquing, and congratulating. This is a learning season and one that I am very present in.
My children do not say sorry because I expect them to take OWNERSHIP OF THEIR APOLOGY. ‘Sorry’ is just appeasing the situation for what’s ‘expected at the time.’ “I’m sorry” forces the person to take ownership for their mistake. This is a huge deal to me with apologies and when telling someone you love them, plus more. My children are learning to OWN their decisions and the consequences that come with them.
Never Be Entitled, Always Be Grateful
My children are raised to never be entitled and to always be grateful. I want my children to be grateful to others just as much as others are to their dad, a marine. Well of course most people are supportive our troops (the individuals not necessarily the mission.) So that’s why we thank them for their service. This seems like common knowledge in society?
What About Non-Military?
But what about Doctors? Teachers? Coaches? Therapists? Dentists? Psychiatrists? Surgeons? Friends? Family? Do they not deserved to be thanked?
What about their families? Should they be thanked? People have thanked myself (military spouse) and my kids (military kids) for the sacrifices we make having my husband in the military, does that mean these others do not sacrifice?
Sacrificing Time is Something to Show Gratitude for
My children know that at the end of every single practice they are to thank their coaches, thank their teachers at school, thank their therapists for their time and so forth.
I also make it a point to have them (and myself) personally thank the family of the identified party to ensure that we are grateful for the time they sacrifice to help teach, coach, mentally prepare, etc. our children.
So they may not have their dad go on deployments, but what about the dad who’s sitting there trying to do Virtual Learning for his class and unable to really give the undivided attention his little one needs? Is he not sacrificing?
What about the coach who wakes up at 0600 to go to his first job and then races to volunteer at a gym as his second job where he doesn’t get paid in money, he gets paid in teaching OUR CHILDREN how to better themselves mentally and physically. He’s coming home 2200 at night most nights making for 16 hour days. Does he not sacrifice? Does his wife and kids not sacrifice time with him?
I am watching to help them learn social and character skills. They are not perfect and WILL MAKE MISTAKES; how do they overcome that? Acknowledge it? Break down? Are people takin them for granted or advantage of them? Being ‘too kind,’ ‘too optimistic,’ ‘too whatever you want to say… make no mistake, I’m raising them to know how to set their own boundaries and survive the cruelty just as much as I am working to have them understand the importance of gratitude.
What’s the Point?
We all sacrifice in different ways; remember that the doctor doesn’t have to go to work that day. The teacher could resign and skip to another school. The coach could go home and get rest and a cooked meal. Our children need to own their choices and the consequences that come with them as well as teach them to be grateful to all of those around them sacrificing time to spend helping make them better humans.