Love Your Children Well
On Monday, I posted a list of things my parents did that allowed my brother, Dave, and I to succeed. We both have a strong faith and he has a great marriage and loves being a dad. Both of us earned advanced degrees and have succeeded in our professions. We love life! We owe a lot to our parents.
Did you read the list and notice what wasn’t there? I realized it only after I thought it was finished. Love isn’t there. I didn’t list something like “Love your children well.”
I didn’t add it because I realized the list is how they loved us well. That was love. It is love. So, yes, love your children well.
Here’s the list again. You can be parents like our parents. Love your children well:
- Pay attention to daily work and not just test scores.
- Be available, offer to help, and be kind when you do.
- Talk about the application of what kids learn and not just how they did on what they learned.
- Take educational trips.
- Prioritize the extended family as much as possible and appropriate. Honor your elders.
- Read widely.
- Involve your kids in athletics, music, dance, and the like at least for a season or two to see if they’re talented and want to develop their skills. They’ll learn about teamwork, character, the role of practice, and the benefit and joy of performance. Athletics and music brought both Dave and I great joy. Dave still plays his trumpet in a church orchestra so it has provided him with many, many years of service and community.
- Help your children like and love their siblings.
- Attend patriotic events.
- Listen to speeches and critique them. Listen to the news and talk about government, politics, and the church.
- Teach your children how to form and depend their own opinions.
- Honor teachers by talking well of them in front of your children and invite them over for dinner. Surprise them with blessings every so often.
- Attend church and get involved there.
- Do things together with your children. Mother and son and mother and daughter and father and son and father and daughter.