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Saturday, September 13, 2008

How do I want my children to see me? How do I want them to be when they grow up?

Let's be honest. I want my kids to be like me. Or how I think I am, or how I want me to be, anyway.

I want them to be independent. Deep down, I'd love to coddle them, but they need to know how to pick up after themselves, how to wash a load of their laundry, and how to think for themselves and prioritize.

I want them to understand the big picture--their big picture. What today's events mean in the great scheme of things. To have perspective. The most important time in life, I think, to have a concept of "the big picture" would be middle and high school. These are probably the most challenging times to teach this concept, must start early on this one. Is age 4 too early to explain "the big picture"? I'm not sure, but I can let you know later.

I want them to not be afraid. The world can be a scary place, and there are some bad people and some bad governments on this earth, but if you focus on your own community and the positive impact you can have, that's more productive. I'll have to lead by example on this one, but better to wait until they understand what all those words on the nightly news mean. There's no use in explaining what a terrorist is to a child too young to have figured it out on her own.

I want them to understand and really embrace the concepts of teamwork, being a good sport, and "it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game". Being competetive can be good--or at least that's what I hear, since I don't have a competetive bone in my body--but being the best or first or the winner isn't everything. But how to teach such abstract concepts?? If it were easy, there'd be more adults out here in the Real World who are put the greater good over their own interests and are good sports.

I want them to have a sense of humor. For crying out loud, this can get you through almost anything. If there's nothing else I've learned from having twins, it's that a sense of humor is almost always your greatest asset. Having three or four arms would be an even better asset, but I personally haven't been provided with these yet, so a sense of humor it is! And the best way to teach humor, so far as I can tell, is to keep laughing. All through the day. And we're pretty good at this at our house. Nothing is too sacred to be a punchline.

I also would like them to love to read, to be interested in cooking and in photography, to love music with their very souls, and also to watch less TV. Maybe if we had a cheap, crappy TV, that lesson would be easier to instill in them. Hmm.

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