Parenting: Children are your gift to the world

Fotolia_77072166_XS_3Parenting is one of life’s great experiences. It’s also an interesting experience. Anyone beyond the age of sexual maturity can become a parent, assuming they can find a suitable partner. However you don’t get any training for the role, nor do you realise the magnitude of the task you’ve taken on until the day you bring your first child home from the hospital. Only then does the size of the challenge begin to sink in.

As well as being a great experience, parenting is a great responsibility. Children are the gift we give to the world. They are the future. They will be the adults of tomorrow and they take the baton from our generation and carry it forward. So how they’re nurtured must be taken seriously.

Preparation begins with the place in which they live their early lives. A parent’s power to create a loving, stable home and a daily climate and lasting environment in which the child can develop, thrive and grow is so awesome it must be used both consciously and responsibly.

Discipline your emotions. Give them the light and warmth of love, hope and good cheer. Make a conscious effort to be positive, enthusiastic and supportive. This can have an enormous impact not only on the emotional well-being of children, but also on their ability to experience the joys and pains of childhood in healthy and constructive ways.

Enjoy every minute with them because the years fly by all too quickly. Fill your house with joy and laughter. Encourage them to strike a balance between their schoolwork and the pursuit of the things they genuinely enjoy doing.

Recognise the importance of an education which will both stretch them and broaden their minds. Instil a sound grasp of concept-based subjects. Foster their creative, sporting and vocational talents. Build self-confidence and sociability. And develop their ability to think, speak and write clearly. If they can also develop a dash of style, then that will really make them stand out amongst their peers.

Above all provide them with the moral framework within which they can lead their lives respectably. And remember; if you want them to live by the moral code you establish, then you must live by it too.

Have high, yet realistic expectations of them. Parental expectations are good for children in so far as it helps motivate them to strive to achieve and do their best. However temper those expectations with realism. Stretching a child can help them to realise their full potential but any stretching must be consistent with the child’s natural ability. Setting them up for an obvious failure would do more harm than good.

As they grow and mature, be sure to give them some regular chores to do and gradually place responsibility on the shoulders. Enjoy their achievements but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t quite manage to live up to everything you expect of them. As long as they’ve done their best, then that is all that can be reasonably expected of them.

If you can do all of these things you will produce that all too rare bird, the well-educated, polite, balanced and confident young person with a strong work ethic. Achieve that and the world should be grateful for your contribution to the future.

Never underestimate the importance of parenting. It is probably the most useful work we ever do.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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