Stop your worrying because you don’t need to be perfect to raise healthy children. You don’t have to look perfect or act perfect or be perfect. In fact, trying to be too perfect may result in a child who just never feels good enough and suffers in another way. This is especially true for our daughters who are constantly bombarded by so many competing, powerful messages.
We need to think carefully about the core values we want to impart to our children. With seemingly limitless choices, more attention can be paid to the décor of the nursery than to the values we want to impart to that little person who will occupy the crib.
How many of us have sat down and really thought about the lessons we want to teach our daughters? Most of us haven’t, but I think we would benefit if we did.
Make a list. Share it with your friends. Share it with our readers.
What would we wish? To develop trust, loyalty, or respect? To seek wealth, fame, or fortune? To work towards scholastic achievement, athletic achievement, or social skills?
No right answers. And no one has all the answers. This exercise is a personal journey. But it is one that most of us do not take the time to really think through when we have children. But since we have made the decision to make life’s journey with another human being, I believe it is our duty to impart our values and ideals we hope she chooses as she soon goes off to live her own life.
Whenever I fret about how I have handled a situation (usually one that turns out less than optimally), I try to find my way back by using the image of life as a road. Not very original, but this has been very helpful to me as I forged my way from young mother to now superfluous (or so they think), annoying mother, who calls/texts/skypes them too often in their now independent lives.
As a family we are all on this road together. My husband and I decided that religious life, our family life, our vacations, and school/work were most important. When they were younger, they could wander a bit from the straight and narrow path we would have liked them to follow on this road, but they could not wander off the road. If they did they would end up in a ditch. And when young, it isn’t easy getting out of a ditch without a parent’s help. Lessons would be learned, sometimes the hard way.
And as they got older, it was harder for us to keep them near the center of the road. But by then they would have already learned that there are still boundaries that would take them off the road. If you are confident in the boundaries and you are confident in your map making skills, your children will feel secure to explore but will not fall off of the edge of your world, which has become, in great part, their world. Or so we hope.
So, if once in a while, as you are going down this road, you might make a wrong turn. No biggie. Just figure it out and get back to the path you really wanted to be on. And while you are on this journey, behave the way you want her to behave. Take the time and the effort to care for your body, mind and soul the way you want her to do so. Be realistic as to what you can control and what is left up to fate—give yourself some slack. But remember, that from the moment she is born, she is looking at you to lead the way. So lead knowing that no leader is perfect. She just has to be good enough.