Well, that’s kind of a “load of crap” title. First, there are no manuals on how to raise children, even though many people actually do need them, and second…what’s your definition of “quality children”? Annie and I have talked endlessly about how we want to be as parents and about the characteristics we would like our boy to have, easier said than done.
Really? Do We Know How to Raise Children???
We understand that we can do all we can but it simply won’t “go according to plan”, but that’s life and thankfully we do have a very real understanding of that. However, there are some basic things that we feel we can give Little Browne that are often overlooked these days. In fact, when I say basic…they ARE NOT basic anymore. Here are a few of those basics, along with some things that may not be so basic:
-Do not argue in front of the child- I grew up around this and it simply makes any kid feel crappy.
-Do not undermine the other parent in front of the child (or speak disrespectfully to each other in front of the child)- This is VERY common, but we want to avoid this at all costs, it shows the kid where a weakness may be or that being disrespectful to mom or to dad is okay, and it is absolutely not.
-Healthy food- Screw McDonald’s and soda and all that crap, blows my mind that we are so willing to put processed, unhealthy, sugary crap down our own throats and our children’s throat…STOP THAT!
-Live simply- We live in a time where less is more, sustainability and being more aware of the environment is becoming more important to us.
-Patience- There is no need to explain this, patience is crucial in all we do.
-Communication- Interacting with others is something we do every single day, yet we never really teach or show kids how to do it. Talk to them about it. It’s an ongoing process.
-Respect- Always show respect toward others, but more importantly, show respect toward yourself. I have found that most people that truly have self-respect automatically give respect to others.
-Work hard- Nothing on this planet replaces hard work. Work hard for yourself and work hard for others.
-There are no man/woman roles- You can bring home the bacon little dude, but you can also cook it and clean the house afterwards. I do a lot around our house because I have a different schedule than Annie, therefore I can clean the house, do laundry, do dishes, and so on.
-Creativity- Be creative and unique, don’t be afraid to stand out. Play music, sing, be a poet, color outside the lines…find what you love and turn that into your life’s work.
-Travel and culture- Some folks have doubt in us, but our goal is to get little dude going on car trips as soon as possible to get him used to that and then on to short plane rides and then longer ones. We want him to see the world and experience the amazing cultures out there.
I could go on with some other things Annie and I have discussed but I think you get the drift. I’m not saying we’ll succeed at all of these things but I do think we stand a good chance. My motivation in this goes beyond my love for Annie and for Little Browne, it has to do with wanting to provide for this boy what was not provided for me. If you have any idea of what I may mean by that last sentence, you’ll understand the drive and motivation.
As a 35 year old first time dad-to-be, I feel so amazingly lucky to be the one that will work from home for the most part and raise this dude. I think about my role in this every single day, and when I think about those mornings where we say goodbye to Annie and it’s just him and I, there is no greater honor in life I could have…sentimental and corny I know, but I’m ready for the diapers and the spit up, it all comes with the territory.
The fact that Annie and I are on the same page with all this and that our motivation and intent is nothing but love…I feel this will be the biggest and most amazing adventure we take in life! I just hope Little Browne Dude lets me get work done during the day…Haha