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The ABCs of What Parents and Society Want for Our Children

by Rena Canady-Laster
Life Coach

This month recognizes fathers; last month we recognized mothers, and these roles are of utmost importance to our children. However, the old adage "It takes a village to raise a child" still holds true today. The parent’s and society's expectations for our youth influence their academic and career aspirations, nutritional and health habits, spiritual development, and spending habits. No matter how negative the press may be regarding our youth, we must continue to have and emphasize high standards and faith in their abilities. Our dreams for them must never die. We must let them know that even the most successful people had some failures. Because success leaves clues, everyone follows a different path, so we have to end up adjusting our expectations to reflect the youth’s change and growth process. Raise the bar, but remember to mark their milestones and growth. "Each day of our lives we make deposits into the memory banks of our children", says Charles Swindoll. Barbara Johnson has said, "To be in your child's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. Here are some ABCs to remind us of what we all have in common when it comes to what we want for our children. We want them to have, be and do the following:

A - Ability to respect authority, authority figures, and parents.

B - Be mindful of their associates and friends

C - Clear rules, expectations, and boundaries at home, at school, and in society

D - Develop peaceful resolution skills, the ability to see other’s point of view, to get along with others, and avoid hurtful language, behaviors, and actions

E - Engage in cultural activities and exposure to new ideas, foods, and places

F - Family life filled with unconditional love and a supportive environment

G - Generational exposure to their elders and their wisdom; respect for elders

H - Healthy choices in thinking, eating, money management, and care of their bodies

I - Integrity in all of their actions

J - Jokes that are not at the expense of someone’s feelings or self-esteem. The gift of laughter.

K - Knowledge. The application of knowledge is power. Be a life-long learner. Value education and stay in school.

L - Learn from their mistakes and keep moving forward

M - Manners. Manners. Manners-have some.

N - Neighborhoods that have caring neighbors who monitor and supervise their behavior

O - Opportunities to be of service to others

P - Positive relationships with adults and to have role models within their family and community, not just celebrities and sports figures

Q - Question their lives - "Why am I here? What's my purpose? What will be the consequence of my actions?

R - Religious institutions that share in their spiritual, character, and moral development.

S - Safe environments at home, school, neighborhoods, and cities

T - Talk to adults, two way communication with them- listen as well as respectfully share opinions

U - Understand and appreciate cultural diversity in themselves and others

V - Values that develop character, integrity, and guide behavior. The ability to be responsible and to accept responsibility

W - Work skills that include soft and hard skills

X - Xamine choices and the ability to monitor their own behavior

Y - Youth programs, sports, and clubs that engage them in activities during key after school times and on weekends.

Z - Zeal and passion for goals that foster independence and self-sufficiency; the ability to persevere and never give up.

Let us always keep H.O.P.E. (Have Only Positive Expectations) alive for our youth because people may change, things may change, times may change, and priorities may change, but our expectations and desires for them must remain the same. As Whitney Houston said in her song, "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside." If we as mothers, fathers, grandparents, teachers, mentors, and society work together with common expectations and desires, our youth can’t help but soar like eagles.

© Copyright 2017 by The Middle Georgia Informer
P.O. Box 446, Macon, • GA 31202 * Ofc:  478-745-7265


Rena Canady-Laster