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Are you raising good kids or great adults?

If you are focused on raising great kids, then I will tell you now, you have the wrong mentality.

The author Andy Andrews said it best, "you shouldn't be interested in raising great kids, you should be more interested in raising pretty good kids who grow up to be great adults." This is a paradigm shift and a new perspective that is first hard to grasp, but a perspective that should be thought about seriously. Every parent wants to have that perfect child that listens, obeys, and is always well-mannered and polite.

Growing up in the south, we learned to call our elders Mr. and Ms., hold open doors for women, if you were a male, give up your seat for a female to sit down, don't use profanity around older people, speak when spoken to, stay out of grown up conversations and while I am quite sure I could go on and on, I think you get the picture. These are all good qualities to have and I think that parents should be commended on their efforts in raising children in this manner.

Sometimes we as parents focus more on ourselves and our reputation, thinking that we are providing a better future for our children when we "protect" them, but are we? If I asked, in your experience, how are preacher kids when they go to college, join the military, or get out on their own? Most people that personally know these individuals would say that they are the wildest because of the stringent rules they lived with for so long and now that they have freedom, they are looking to explore. I find it interesting that when I go to middle school and high school games and track meets, I see children using explicit language, dressed inappropriately, being disrespectful to authority all while in the presence of adults. It makes me wonder, though, what would these kids do if their parents were here with them? Possibly the same thing, as we all have different views on ethical values, parenting styles, and moral beliefs and our focus on raising kids are different.

It's up to you to steer your children in the right direction and that includes helping them identify bad influences that could ultimately wreck their lives. A child's growth should be gradual and they should be afforded the time to grow. This can be done by providing them with responsibilities that will allow them the opportunity to succeed and fail. The best time for them to fail is while they are being supervised under your care.

Remember, there is more that is caught than taught. The most powerful way to teach your children anything is to tell them and show them. While you are examining their friends, I encourage you to examine yours as well. Even as adults, we can get knocked off course by our choice of friends so make sure you are doing your part in preparing the next generation because they are a direct reflection of you and your legacy. #SPEAK2MYHEART

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