This I Believe

Rebecca - Union, Kentucky
Entered on January 11, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: children
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This I Believe…

When my children were born I heard a saying, you’re not raising a child, you’re raising an adult. If you raise a child to act like a child they will, if you raise them to act like an adult, they will. Keeping this in mind I have tried to teach my children how to behave and be respectful at a very early age.

Most of the time children want to please their parents and want to be like them. If you allow them to be disrespectful as a child, they will be disrespectful as adults. I have never left a restaurant because one of my kids was crying or misbehaving nor have I have ever had one of my children embarrass me in a store crying for something they wanted. They were told what was expected of them, if they were good, they could get some candy or gum.

Children are very astute and intelligent. They try their wings and see what buttons they can push at a very early age. One of the first things they try to get by with is if I cry I’ll get what I want.

My children were also raised not to ask “why” when told no. I don’t believe in standing and arguing with a child that just keeps asking “why”. They were taught at an early age, no is no. I gave them the reason for my decision with the facts and even though they may not have been happy with being told no, sometimes they would understand. And if they still said they didn’t understand, I would use the line, “when you grow up and have kids, you’ll understand”.

One of my biggest peeves is that what a lot of parents are raising children to become is a criminal. You may say I am not raising my child to be a criminal. If you break the law and particularly in front of them what are you teaching them?

You may think you’re not breaking the law in front of them but do you put on your seatbelt when you get in the car? What about a stop sign, do you roll through it or stop? Do you obey the speed limit or get angry when someone is not going fast enough? If you have a radar detector to evade the police what are you teaching them? Do you teach them to steal a shirt by showing them how to avoid the cameras in a store? I would hope not.

As soon as a child is born, you start teaching them. So remember you’re not raising a child, you’re raising an adult.