Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Year to Shift Gears....Raising the Next Generation

As a teenager, I remember my first driving lesson.  I was anxious but excited to be able to step into the world of adulthood and independence! So, there I sat behind the steering wheel of a white  Ford Escort, decked out with ugly beige seats and a possible Bon Jovi cassette tape ready to be blasted into the speakers(don’t hold that against me!-lol).  I still remember the sound of the car starting up and the feel of the cold, hard steering wheel underneath the palms of my hands. It was go time! Power was in the grips of my hands. I could go anywhere and the possibilities were endless.  This was the moment I’d been looking forward to for years! It was my drive towards freedom! At that moment, there was no turning back or so I thought….
            Actually, let me back up for a minute, literally! My dad had me back out of the drive way and pull the car forward and that was driving lesson number one!  Talk about disappointing, I couldn’t believe it! What happened to driving the streets like a crazed teenager on a mission for status? Not a chance.
  Let me explain, I couldn’t drive a stick shift very well or truthfully- at all!  So, I had to start with the basics, starting the car, backing up and moving forward.  It was a simple task for most experienced drivers, but for someone that could barely get out of first gear; this was an issue, a big one! Needless to say, I had more driving lessons in the weeks ahead. I won’t mention the one where my dad started me on a hill and told me to drive. Yikes! It was tortuous for both me and my dad. Let’s not talk about the smell of a burning clutch!  I think I recall my dad turning to me at some point saying, “I love you and because I do, your older brother will have to teach you this!”  I get it now.  He knew that it was going to be challenging to keep his patience with me and still remain the loving father he was!  Don’t worry dad, there were no therapy sessions on this topic!-lol
            In today’s world, we are still learning to shift gears with the realities of what we face daily within our Government and our economic status.  The pressures our children face currently and what is ahead is no picnic. How does our parenting need to shift in order to prepare our children for the trials of the future of America?  Our answer is to get to back to basics.   My husband and I understand that as parents we have a moral responsibility to raise a generation with character.  So, what do we teach our kids in a world that is constantly challenging their morals?  For Craig and I, it is a no brainer- God’s truth!
  Recently, Craig has been reading several books, “Return to Prosperity” and “The Father Connection.” Both have opened his eyes to the challenges he faces as a father and a provider for his family.  Together as a couple, our goal is to teach our kids to overcome any obstacles that might come their way and prepare them to live in a world that will slowly try and define them.  We want to teach our kids that they are not defined by this world and its demands but rather by who they are, a Child of God.  We want to instill in them values and morals that are life changing and can help change lives.  We believe part of society’s problems today is based on the lack of sound training that children receive at home.  What happened to the foundation of good parenting? It got replaced by reality TV shows that are full of corrupt and immoral values, among other things.  The more we look at the next generation being raised up, the more we see a lack of integrity, or morals.  Unfortunately, they lack motivation, work ethic and have no clue of what delayed gratification is.  They expect everything now and for it to be handed to them on a silver platter with no questions asked. 
 We have four kids altogether and  two of them are teenagers. In fact, our oldest daughter is graduating this year.  We’ve experienced the need and desire for her to have the lastest cell phones, I-pod, computers and other technologically advanced items out there.  However, we didn’t cave into the pressure we faced to appease her need to fit in and be cool. It was a hard stand but a necessary one.
            I get it for the most part because I use to be a teen.  But back then, Jordache Jeans were the greatest rage and not an I-pod touch that costs hundreds of dollars.   I see something more deeply lacking in our teens today.  There seems to less emphasis on family and charcter and more on the world. I could go on and on to back up my opinions but I will spare you my drama.        I haven’t blogged much on this site for the year because I knew God wanted me to shift gears from my normal encouragement to women.  However, I now have a direction to drive in and is burning in my heart now more than ever over the past 18 years of being a parent. Having the role as a mother is one of the single most important jobs you could have. In fact, a few years ago, I read in a magazine an article that stated that the average mother of two children should be paidd a salary of $150,000  because of all the hats we wear raising children.  If this were true, then I would earn over $300,000 for all 4 of mine!  However, my payment comes from seeing my kids become people who will hopefully make a difference in this world.
 It is no small feat to raise a generation that stands for more than just self.  Yesterday, my husband shared with me from the book, “A Patriot’s History of the United States” 10 of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues that he lived by.  When I heard them, I knew in my heart that this is what I flet compelled to blog about this year, virtues. What has happened to Godly virtues in our world?   My husband and I want virtues and character developed in our kids.  This is our legacy to them and more so, our responsibility! This year as American’s we need to shift gears to a lower speed and teach our kids the basics, character and morals. Once we choose to raise them on foundational principles, then and only then will America be able to make a comeback in the future. Yes, the future of America depends on our children.  We need children who are not ashamed of making choices that are Godly and who set an example of  just simply doing the right thing. Here are 10 of Benjamin Franklin’s virtues that you can find in his biography:
-Courtesy and Respect
-Work Ethic
            These are the qualities that most of our generation lack today.  I hope that you will journey with me on some of these discussion topics, so that I can get some insight on your thoughts as you try to raise this next generation of Patriotic Americans.  What virtues are you instilling in your kids and how are you doing this, by example or by simply leaving it up to life to teach them?


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