I read somewhere that “Family is the highest school of education”
My first thought was that family is where our children learn to be the kind of people that they will become. It is where they learn the values and morals, and the integrity that will influence them for the rest of their lives. Positive or negative, what children learn in the family setting will shape their lives. We, the parents, are the ones that have the responsibility to guide our children in the right directions – through our role modeling, through the boundaries and guidelines we set, and to pass down our spiritual and cultural heritage.
My second thought was that my children have taught me a lot more than I feel I have taught them. I have learned to be in the “present”, to enjoy the wonder of the little things that happen all around you, to be responsible to others, of being of service to others. And I have learned about unconditional love.
I think unconditional love is the most important thing that I learned from my children. It seems very natural when the children are your biological children. You have brought these young children into the world and they are part of you.
But when you become a step dad and you have other children develop the same feelings for you and you for them, it makes you appreciate the power of love.
I know through our weekly family meetings that children understand a whole lot more than we give them credit for. My daughters would constantly amaze me with there comprehension of the topics we discussed in our meetings. Once I asked our youngest daughter if she knew what a certain more difficult word meant, and she “blew me away” with simple but profound definition of that word.
I have also learned from my children about being responsible for what I think feel and do. Children are sponges. They soak up everything around them and reflect it back to you, and sometimes it hurts to see yourself in the mirror of your children.
Yes the home is the highest school of education… and we want every parent to graduate with a doctorate in parenting. Open yourself to what each day teaches you, because everything that happens to you has a lesson behind it. Be humble enough to accept the lessons our children bring. They are great teachers.
Take some time to sit and talk with each of your children, either individually or as a family. Really listen to them, let them express their feelings. Ask them some tough questions like “What is love?” or “What does integrity mean to you?” Then listen. Let them teach you!