One thing for sure, being parents is a very difficult task and no one has the right formula or knowledge.
We always have internal conflicts to balance what we would like them to be versus what they really want to be. Of course in certain things they may not know it because they have not lived long enough to know and there is when we can help them to understand or at explain our point of view. Some times is difficult but you have to let them do some of the wrong things in order to allow them to learn from themselves.
You asked the following questions:
What do you think is the most important thing(s) in raising children?
To listen to then an understand who they are and what they want. Then provide the appropriate support that they may need.
Like with the animals in the nature, you protect and teach them when they are little and later help them to become independent as they grow.
Another important thing when they become teenagers is to remember that we were one once and made mistakes, this will help you to be a little bit more tolerant. There will be moments that they will try to challenge both of you and if you make them to decide you will see that they will came back for help.
One of the hard task is to always keep track where they are and what they are or will do.
Do you and your wife have any policy or principle about educating them?
I believe that first husband and wife should be united and in agreement all the time. Remember the husband and wife couple came first and children after (later in life the couple will be alone again). Also is very important to lead them with your examples. Like you mentioned at one time you mentioned that you would like them to help others so you do it first and then have them participate as you do
Teach them the moral principles and to always tell the truth.
I believe that they will project their future based on your relationship with your husband. If they see both of you happy, they will look in life for a similar thing.
One thing for sure is that does not matter how good other families looks, they have their issues somewhere as well. Also in every country the families have their own challenges to overcome.
I believe that the good times that you have with them are always treasured. They always remember how we used to play or do things with them.
I consider the life as an adventure and we have to go for it. Also most of the time we have only one chance in life to be able to do what we want. If they embrace this concept they may look for challenges in life.
Sorry for the long email but I hope it helps somehow.
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