One of my biggest fears as a parent is raising my girls in a way that causes them to be selfish minded. In a way that takes away all of their freedom causing them to fight for their #1, themselves. I want to have children that look outwards to others. Who regard others before themselves. Who freely serve just because they see a need not because they feel obligated or because they want to get something out of it for themselves.
I feel like God is taking me on a journey of how to keep my kids hearts open to me. I am on a journey of figuring out how to parent in such a way that shows my girls that they are incredibly important to me, even more important to me than "myself." Teaching them by example. Like Paul says in his letters follow me as I follow Christ. I want my children to be led by right motives, and to serve others with all of their heart, like mom does.
Yikes, high calling.
To regard someone above yourself. To sacrifice yourself for the sake of another. Is that not biblical? Now I know this is probably funny to some... since...well as a mom don't we all do well EXACTLY that? What I am on a learning curve right now about is ... HOW do I teach my children to embrace loving others while I continue my journey to lead by example? What are the starting points?
Here are a few things that I have been thinking about.
1. Getting into a consistent routine of making sure my kids know that they are FAR more important than any "thing" that we have around us. Example. One of the kids breaks something. The first thing that comes out of my mouth HAS to be. "Is the "thing" more important than you, Kassia? NO!! Kassia you are FAR more valuable to me than anything!!!" (There may be consequences... but that should always be presented as a learning experience not a moment where their value is on the line.)
2. My children's joy should never never be stifled!!!! Even when they are being loud or rambunctious. They need to ALWAYS know that their joy is FIRST important... (As a side note I don't mean happiness, their "happiness" can be fleeting, I am referring to the innocent sparkle that you see in their eyes when they are genuinely having fun.) then I give direction on how they can serve others while they are being silly and playing. "Hey babe, I love that you are having fun and playing, that is sooo cool. Would you be able to do that in a quieter voice so that the adults can talk and have fun too?" This is very difficult to me because my first response tends to come up as a selfish motivation of my comfort first your joy second.
3. Teaching my kids that in all circumstances loving others is top priority. When feelings are hurt. When they have a toy that is rightfully theirs. The other is always more important than the thing, or selfish ambition. .... and then after that acknowledgement... then we will deal with the circumstance and make things right.
What a journey... as much as this is a parenting tool... it's such a lesson to me to make sure my priorities are right. Am I loving others to the same extent that Jesus loves me. Am I putting others above myself on a consistent basis?
What are you thoughts?
For those moms who have been before me what are somethings you have done to teach your children these things on a daily basis?