August 31, 2015

Guiding Children by Gail Joan Cohen – Chapter 1: Visions of the Future

Guiding Children

Gail Joan Cohen



Take a moment now to think about what you want your children to know and to become when they are adults. This is the first step. What will your children be like when they grow up? Write down your visions of your children all grown up. Will they be rich? Will they be happy? Will they be in jail? Discuss your visions with your spouse. Children will be a combination of their own abilities, gifts and challenges influenced by you, their place in the family, their peer group and the world around them. You have a great impact on what your children will be and what they will achieve. Know what you want and expect for them and then make an effort to instill these values and ideas in them. I do not mean to suggest that you can teach your child to be a doctor or a lawyer. I am talking more about the ability to achieve what the child needs to achieve and to live by who the child really is, how to get along in society and perhaps how to make the world a better place. Know your child and guide from there. No two children are alike and should be given the same things. Some suggestions as to what you may want for your children follow.

  • To have the ability to make decisions.
  • To be honest.
  • To recognize feelings and learn appropriate behavior for those feeling.
  • To be trustworthy.
  • To listen to what others are really saying.
  • To be able to negotiate.
  • To have problem solving skills.
  • To value diversity.
  • To appreciate their gifts and use them.
  • To enjoy each day.
  • To benefit society.
  • To ask for what they need.
  • To smile and have basic social skills.
  • To have confidence in themselves.

Sometimes parents teach only their own values and ideas without allowing the child’s natural values, ideas, and personality to grow and develop. Teaching of values is very complex. Many of us live by what our parents thought we should be and do. Some of their values and teachings we do follow, and sometimes we do the opposite of what they wanted us to do. Sometimes we do as taught and resent it. And, sometimes it makes us sick causing stress related illnesses and emotional problems. I believe children can honor their own core values and also incorporate the rules of our society. I believe with a few simple “realizations” we can raise wonderful, productive and happy children. And, we can be wonderful, productive and happy parents.

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