On putting in the hard work

by - October 25, 2013

My mommy wish list for my kids contains some hefty wishes, some of these wishes include: develop a love of learning, an inquisitive mind, be a good friend, a good listener....
I could go on.  But what always tops this list is for Lucia and Willis to learn empathy and respect above all.
I have had a couple great conversations with moms in various stages of momming about how you teach a child to be empathetic or respectful.  Always great ideas and perspectives come from these talks.

I read recently a couple interesting articles in Chatelaine which have given me further help in this discussion.
This first article is in this month's print edition- I couldn't find it online and it was my favourite- it was talking about how to teach your kids gratitude and empathy and offered some great tips.  The pointers that most stuck out to me were : "Hands down, the number 1 way kids can learn to be grateful and show empathy is for parents and other adults to model it for them."  The author then offers some precise tips on things you can do to show gratitude and empathy.  Super good read, I suggest you pick up a copy of the November issue and have a read yourself.  On an unrelated note, there's also a lovely guide to boots for the fall/winter.

The second article I read is more related to teenagers but is still relevant as it talks about how empathy is something that takes a lot longer to develop, which makes sense as it's quite a complex idea that even adults struggle with.  What I don't agree with is how teenagers are portrayed.  I work in a high school and feel very comfortable walking the halls.  There is way more positive out there than you'd realize.  So many great examples of stewardship, of faith, of love in our young adults....you'd be surprised.  Don't believe me? Come hang out with my 60+ grade 9s.  They are wonderful mini adults in training.

Good food for thought for a lovely Friday morning.  All I've come to realize from reading these articles and making observations on some of the strong kids in class....as a parent, you have to be willing to put in the hard work and the hours and make the sacrifices.  Sometimes that means saying no, and giving up TV to work on homework.  But it pays, people, it pays.  I've seen that through and through in the classroom.

 I'd be interested to see what the experienced moms out there have to say about what they lived while trying to raise empathetic, respectful and grateful children.....

Have a great weekend!

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Have a lovely day!