If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to hate.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place to live in."
In these beautiful and powerful words we can find great wisdom. As we wake daily and move about our children are always watching and listening to all around them. What we do in moderation our children will do in excess. When someone calls and we tell our child,"Tell them I am not home", we are in turn teaching our child its okay to lie. When we yell at someone in the store we are teaching our children we are better than others. When we talk about someone in front of our children we are teaching them its okay to share gossip. When we choose to speak badly of someone we are teaching our children its okay to judge. But when we teach our children grace we are showing them Jesus. When we teach our children forgiveness we are showing them the love of Jesus. The example we are to our children will either lift them up in life or tear them apart. Our children do not belong to us, they are God's children, and we are to love them as He would have us to. We are to lead them in the right direction with love. As parents we often make mistakes, and when we do the greatest gift we can give our children is an apology. For our children to hear us say we are sorry means the world to them. To share with our children is what they desire. As I worked with the youth in our church for almost eleven years, the kids opened up to me, they shared things they wouldn't share with others. I would encourage them to share with their parents and most of them would say," I can't share with them, they won't listen." I too learned this wisdom the hard way. I wish I would have listened more instead of talked. Our children need us to ask more than,"How was school today", "How was work", or "Did anything exciting happen today?" They need us to be there, to share our own experiences, to be involved in their lives and thoughts, giving them respect also. For our children to know they are loved it is more than presents, and saying the words, its adding the actions to it. Most children would rather spend a day with their parents than have a gift. They would rather share a moment they will forever remember than hear us say,"I am too tired tonight". We often hear there are no directions to being a parent, there is no book to show us the way, but there is and that is the bible, God's word. May we as parents search our hearts, ask God for wisdom and grace when it comes to loving our children, for they are the future, they are our legacy. If they feel love they will share love and be a bright light to others and their future will be filled with the blessings of love that our Father in heaven so desires for His children~