If you could pick two qualities for your children to possess, what would they be? The question seems like an easy one because most of us can name dozens of favorable qualities we’d like for our children to have, but the the catch is, you can only pick two.
Would you pick qualities that give them a better chance of succeeding in the work place? Or how about ones that help them build strong relationships, friendships, and bonds?
When I first became a mom, the newborn days felt as if they lasted an eternity. My nights and days were so long and I filled a lot of my time with self help books and memoirs. One of my favorites was ‘Strong and Kind’ by Korie Robertson. It’s a book about her experiences as a parent, her stories, her battles, and most importantly, her realization that if you want your children to be good people, the best way to teach them is to show them. Pretty self explanatory, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. But Korie really opened my eyes to things I do that may not be teaching our girls the values we want them to exemplify.
When I think of the word strong, I think about the sports the girls will try, the criticism they will face, and as good as it is to win, the worse it feels to lose. I think about them coping with losing someone they love, experiencing heartbreak, and facing challenges as they mature. Right now, Nick and I are here to help them develop but as quickly as these first two years have passed, I’m reminded that we won’t always be able to fix every problem they encounter.
This is why being strong is so important. I want them to be strong enough to say no when they want to and to stand alone if they have to. I want them to be strong enough to carve their own paths and create their own happiness. I want them to be physically strong, mentally strong, and most importantly, faithfully strong – and they need us to live those truths and show them.
To be kind is to be of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person. As strong as I want the girls to be, I want them to be equally compassionate, selfless, and kind. The best sense of fulfillment comes from acts of love.
Here’s where a few (or all) may disagree: I don’t think you have to take away toys/material things to teach kindness or selflessness. Will my children have everything? No. But, they will treat a janitor with the same respect as they treat a CEO. How? Because they will see that money and ‘things’ are fleeting.
As parents, it’s our duty to embody kindness with patience, gratitude, balance, honesty, compassion, loyalty, and humility. Whew, that’s a lot! But it’s amazing that those attributes can all be wrapped up in one word: kind. I don’t think the girls could truly live a fulfilling life without being kind.
I’d love to give my girls the world, but we cant. However, by modeling positive traits, with confidence, consistency, and unity in truth and love, we can increase the chances of our kids catching on to positive, life altering traits.
I highly recommend ‘Strong and Kind’. I find myself revisiting highlighted sections and rereading chapters for comfort and guidance.
Would you pick different qualities for your children? I’d love to know!