Teaching Your Children

We teach our children many things. Some things we teach directly, like how to tie their shoes or how to ride a bike. Children learn by watching our behaviors, whether they be positive or not. We teach values to our children, perhaps hoping they will travel the same path we do in life.

I was reading a blog post from a dad who expressed the thought that traditional femininity was something his young daughter should be taught, and he would be active in the teaching process. By traditional femininity here I mean notions such as women should have long hair, women should strive to look conventionally attractive and they should cultivate sweet demure personalities. The girl growing up in this household would have little freedom.

I was brought up in a religious household where there was a certain brand of traditional femininity was taught. It was especially focused on females having little freedom, even as adults.

Growing up, I would often bristle at the things I was taught. For the most part I wouldn’t express it though. Having grown up in a household where a certain brand of femininity was taught, I realized certain things. These things wouldn’t have to apply to femininity alone, but anything you might think is important to teach your child. Your child will:
1)Buy into your value system
2)Maybe adopt some of your values but not others
3)Totally reject your value system

If your child doesn’t buy into your value system, eventually they will go their own way, no matter how hard you have tried to make them conform.

Some things my parents taught me I eventually tossed aside. Some other things they taught, though were definitely good life lessons.
Some of these include:
1)The value of reading and the library…My parents were both readers in their own way. My mom especially loved the library and we went there often as children. There was always a bit of excitement hoping you would find a hidden treasure.
2)My parents believed in making do. There was never a big rush to buy a new car, or other expensive purchases, even though they could afford it.
3)They were impeccable with their finances. They were both good investors. They would be horrified to pay a bill late. Of course due to hard work and some luck they tried to live their life together in a way that there wouldn’t be any worry. I realize that despite hard work, many people still have a hard time financially.

Now just because they had these values doesn’t mean their children necessarily grew up with the same values. I would say I am good with reading and making do. I don’t think my husband and I will end up with the same kind of nest egg when we reach retirement, but we do try to do our best. My sister, has probably destroyed her finances entirely in part due to her alcoholism.

Some things you might think are just common sense, things that everyone teaches their kids. Years ago, I went to visit my sister, long before I knew she struggled with alcoholism, and some things shocked me. She had many things stored at room temperature that you would normally keep in the refrigerator(at least at our house). I never asked her about it, but it was definitely a what the heck moment.

My husband and I have values we hold important. We hope we’ve taught our children well enough to be kind out in the world. Some of the smaller stuff though, it won’t be the end of the world if they change their mind.

2 thoughts on “Teaching Your Children”

  1. Can you elaborate more on what the writer noted as “having little freedom?” Is this more perspective with her gender or just overall?

    I think at some point all children will reach a point where they begin to think and make their own decisions regardless of what their parents tell them. I remember it being a monumental day for me when I began to look at my parents and realized I didn’t agree with a lot of the things they thought and said.

    I would say the hall mark of a great parent is one that doesn’t tell their kids what to do (thinking in terms more as they growing) but provides them a system where they consider how their actions affect others, consequences, and free thinking. Instilling those values in them allows them to be dynamic and grow as a person. The children I have seen fail often seem to come from homes where they are molded to be a certain way in the cocoon of their small town and home. Once they get into the real world, they fail to have the skills to be able to be amorphous with changing times and cultures.

    Somewhat of a tangent from your post, but somewhat related. I was telling someone a while ago how it is so odd how most people are on the same page to want to teach our children to tell the truth and be honest. But yet once we become adults, we expect obedience, political correctness, and in a sense, to fall in line, even if it disregards the truth. Why teach children to tell the truth if we don’t expect it as adults?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey thanks for stopping by. I was talking about my own experiences growing up with more traditional values when I talked about having little freedom, and I meant it from the perspective of how my sister and I were raised. I have no doubt that men who are raised with a narrow path to walk might feel little freedom.
      I definitely had the sense though if I had been a boy I would have had more leeway with curfews, and perhaps less interference on my adult life. My dad didn’t think unmarried females should live on their own would be own example.
      Yours is a good post, especially about teaching our children to tell the truth vs expectations as adults.


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