I often hear things like, “The GenX are just so selfish,” or “millennials are not into authority figures but into relationships.” Generalities are okay for studying cultural and societal history but fall short in terms of what we can expect from our children.
I have four adult children and they’ve all matured into responsible adults who each contribute great things to our society. Three of the four families are now raising children of their own and I love watching the various family traditions, habits, and rules they follow.
When raising my children there were a few things I did that helped them grow into responsible adults:
-I spent a lot of time with them and made my family a priority over other things that could have distracted me.
-I was hands-on through early childhood, but as they became teenagers I slowly let go and gave them more responsibility each year.
-Once they were 18 years old I stopped trying to manage their grades, their friends, and their habits. I let go so they had the opportunity to take responsibility for their life. (that was the hardest thing to do when I saw them failing)
-I was consistent.
-I disciplined, (taught them) by helping them see their mistakes as life’s lessons; instead of punishing them.
-I took them to church every week. They never complained about it.
-I helped them raise money and encouraged them to go on mission trips to they could travel the world and understand how other people lived.
-I didn’t engage in divisive or negative talk about others.
-I prayed a lot.
Speak, teach, and model responsibility into your children, and you will more than likely witness the same. Children won’t always do what you say but they will do what you do.